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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
Merrill businesses find counterfeit billsSubmitted: 09/01/2014

MERRILL - Someone might be making counterfeit bills in the Merrill area.

Several businesses told Merrill Police they were paid with counterfeit money in the last few weeks.

There are many simple ways to tell if a bill is real or fake.

We have a guide, and you can access it by clicking below.

Within the past year, businesses in Antigo and bars in Rhinelander have had problems with counterfeit money.

Contact the Merrill Police Department if you have any information.

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Two photographic exhibits to open next week at ArtStartSubmitted: 09/01/2014

RHINELANDER - The artists paired together in ArtStart's next exhibition couldn't have much different backgrounds.

Next Friday, the Rhinelander gallery will open with two very diverse displays.

"We have two photographic exhibitions opening. One is a solo artist, so the whole gallery will be their work, and the other is an artist who worked with teens as a kind of therapy program, photography and art as therapy," said ArtStart Development Director Melinda Childs.

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State seeks feedback on unemployment insurance systemSubmitted: 09/01/2014

RHINELANDER - More than 50,000 people in Wisconsin apply for unemployment benefits every week.

Now, the state Department of Workforce Development wants to know how it can improve the unemployment insurance system.

"Our Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council really likes to get out there and hear firsthand from those who deal with that system directly. We're looking for their suggestions and their ideas on what we might do to make the system even better," said Dave Anderson, the Assistant Deputy Secretary for the state Department of Workforce Development.

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Farmers see younger generations more involved in farmers' marketsSubmitted: 08/31/2014

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RHINELANDER - Farmers' markets give people a chance to buy local, healthy food. Some farmers think they've been selling more crops this year because more people want to eat healthier food.

Shoppers at the Hodag Farmers' Market can ask farmers different question about how they grow their vegetables. Some farmers think people like knowing exactly what's going into their food. They think a lot more younger people have become interested in farmers' markets because they can get all their questions answered.

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Man charged after girl eats pot-laced chocolateSubmitted: 08/31/2014

CHIPPEWA FALLS - A Chippewa Falls man whose daughter nearly died after eating a marijuana-laced chocolate bar faces three criminal charges.

38-year-old Jason N. Hetke is charged with felony second-degree reckless endangerment. He's also charged with two misdemeanors, child neglect, and possession of marijuana.

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Store owners see increase in customers during Labor Day weekend Submitted: 08/31/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - Labor Day weekend brought in a lot of tourists to the Northwoods. Some spent their time shopping for accessories and clothes, but others shopped for fishing gear.

Customers at Eagle Sports in Eagle River shopped for the best bait so they could get back on the water. One person from out of town bought a fishing license before heading back home.

The Eagle Sports manager, Tod Tyler, says they've seen an increase in customers compared to last week.

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Police find Methamphetamine in drug bust, arrest manSubmitted: 08/31/2014

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TOMAHAWK - A 27-year-old man sits in jail after Tomahawk Police found multiple packages of Methamphetamine, U.S. currency, and many paraphernalia items in a Tomahawk home on Thursday.

Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins says his department executed a state search warrant. The Police Chief says they got the search warrant because of a three and a half month long investigation into the sale and distribution of Methamphetamine.

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