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


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

EAGLE RIVER - Jewelry, flowers, dinner and chocolate all rank high for traditional Valentine's Day gifts.
If your sweetheart has a sweet tooth,
There are many choices.
"Chocolate is probably number one. Then turtles and also fudge. But, chocolates wins out," says The Country Store of Eagle River Owner Debbie Preuhs.
Our busiest days are those two days before Valentine's Day and then Valentine's Day.
Finding the right gift can be tricky and nerve wracking.
Associates with The Country Store in Eagle River can help you get creative with your gift selection and a portion of their sales this weekend goes towards a great cause.
"We're partnering with Ripco Credit Union and they are going to match our donation. We are donating 10% of our sales on Friday and Saturday to the Vilas County Animal Shelter, says Preuhs.
You still have time, but not much.
Valentine's Day is this Sunday.

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MADISON - A bill that would prohibit people form bothering hunters in the woods goes before the Assembly.

Approval would send the bill on to Governor Scott Walker.

The Senate passed the bill on a voice vote last month.

The measure's Republican authors say concerns about hunter harassment have grown since the Wolf Patrol.

That group of animal rights activists followed and filmed wolf hunters in Wisconsin and Montana in 2014.

The bill would expand the definition of interference with a hunter.

It would include remaining in a hunter's sight and photo-graphing or confronting a hunter more than twice...with the intention to interfere with the hunter.

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RHINELANDER -
Hakim Salaam, a personal chef and chef instructor at Nicolet College in Rhinelander, has a few easy recipes to make Valentine's Day extra sweet for that special someone.


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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 02/10/2016

- Two Tomahawk football players are headed to play in the most dominant Division III college conference in the country.  Find out more tonight.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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WHITE LAKE - After this week it may seem that spring is a long way off, butsome people in northern Wisconsin are still hopeful. 

People are especially hopeful in White Lake.  Village leaders put Iron Mike out on the lake on Wednesday. 

That means you can officially start guessing when the ice will melt—and when the metal-man will fall through it. 

"Norman Mike Berg is the one who came up with the idea," said Chris Oatman, a White Lake Village Board Trustee. "And Iron Mike is named after Mike Berg. And Mike was a native of White Lake and just so active in the community, for veterans and the school and so many things." 

After a 50-year hiatus, this is the second annual contest the village is hosting. Last year Iron Mike fell through on April 2. The winner got a $500 prize. Money raised from ticket sales also helps support the local VFW. 

"It's really exciting, the people really get into it," Oatman said. "The tickets are 5 dollars and basically the format for this year is you have to guess the day, and then you have to put down a time. So the closest one to the day without going over wins the prize." 

Iron Mike is one of many celebrations White Lake has this year. The village is celebrating it's centennial. The village will also have its annual Fishing Derby on Saturday as well. 

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TOMAHAWK - Doctors at Hometown Chiropractic in Tomahawk used to only be able to rely on the word of their patients when making adjustments, but a new tool is helping show patients their progress.

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LINCOLN COUNTY - People need to show up for Jury Duty when they're summoned, but not everyone does.

In December, Lincoln County Court had a high number of jurors not show up to court.

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