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NEWS STORIES

Teacher accused of selling pot got 'glowing recommendations' during hiring processSubmitted: 11/14/2013
Story By Lex Gray

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RHINELANDER - Police searched a Rhinelander High School teacher's house because they thought he had been stealing equipment from the school.

They say that's when they found 66 marijuana plants and a sophisticated grow operation. Since we reported that story last week, people have been asking how Joshua Juergens got hired in the first place.

"We got glowing recommendations," said superintendent Kelli Jacobi. "I don't know that those were all completely honest."

Superintendent Kelli Jacobi says the district did a background check on Juergens. That check turned up a record, as does a simple online search of Wisconsin's online court records.

In 2010, Juergens was convicted of disorderly conduct. In 1997, he was convicted of marijuana possession, both misdemeanors.

"We did know that there was a drug issue, a misdemeanor, I believe he was 19," Jacobi said. "We look at patterns in behavior. If something is a recurring thing in a background check, that definitely signals a problem."

But Jacobi says she can't factor certain convictions into the hiring process.

For now, Juergens is on unpaid leave from his teaching job. He'll stay in the Oneida County Jail unless he can come up with his $2,000 bail or get into a treatment facility.

He returns to court November 21.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Rennes Health and Rehab Center to expandSubmitted: 10/21/2014

RHINELANDER - The Rennes Health and Rehab Center in Rhinelander will add an extra 10,000 square feet to its facility.

The center hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday.

It offers rehabilitative and skilled nursing services.

Right now the facility has 72 beds.

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Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Open HouseSubmitted: 10/21/2014

RHINELANDER - The new Rhinelander Area Food Pantry features new aisles for easier shopping, a sitting area, and large scale for weighing food.

You could see the updates at the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Tuesday. The pantry held an open house to celebrate its new location.

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Help for bat could hurt timber industrySubmitted: 10/21/2014

GREEN BAY - The northern long-eared bat needs help.

Efforts are being made to find ways to help the bat, while not hurting the timber industry. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed protections for the bats, including adding it to the endangered species list.

Bats have been dying by the millions since the deadly white-nose syndrome was found in 2006.

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Rhinelander Winter Farmers Market to Open SaturdaySubmitted: 10/20/2014

RHINELANDER - One local group wants to make sure you can get fresh local produce even during the winter.

The Lean Coalition is partnering with the YMCA of the Northwoods for a new indoor winter farmers market. The Hodag Farmers market closed on Saturday.

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Antigo Marching Band takes third place at state competitionSubmitted: 10/20/2014

WHITEWATER - The Antigo marching band took third place at state on Saturday. The competition was held in Whitewater.

The marching band had a successful season this year. The band won first place at four competitions.

This was the 13th year the band has gone to state. Last year they took second.

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Community helping pick new president for Nicolet College Submitted: 10/20/2014

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RHINELANDER - Nicolet College will need to find a new president. Taxes in the community help pay for some of the school's budget. That's why the school wants to turn to the community before filling the position.

Monday night they heard from the community at a meeting.

Some people want to make sure the candidates have good backgrounds. They also want the board to do their research, but some don't want students left out.

David Hubbard of Harshaw thought it would be a perfect opportunity to learn more about the school. However, he also wanted to make sure students could participate in the process.

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Police: Indiana suspect in 7 slayings hints at more killingsSubmitted: 10/20/2014

HAMMOND, IN - Police investigating the slayings of seven women whose bodies were found over the weekend in Indiana say the suspect has told them that he may have killed people going back 20 years.

Hammond Police Chief John Doughty said during a news conference Monday that the suspect, identified as Darren Vann, is being cooperative with investigators. Vann was convicted of sexual assault in Texas in 2009 and now lives in Gary.

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