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NEWS STORIES

Convicted murderer finds out sentence for escapingSubmitted: 05/13/2014

Kaitlyn Howe
Reporter/Producer
khowe@wjfw.com

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RHINELANDER - The convicted murderer who walked away from his work release job found out how much time he'll serve for escaping. Todd Brecht is currently serving a life sentence for shooting and killing his brother in law in 1985.

Today he found out he got two more years added to that sentence. Because he's serving a life sentence he'll only serve those extra years if he gets released on parole.

Brecht went missing last September from his work release job at the St. Germain Golf Course. His lawyer spoke about Brecht's good behavior before the escape.

"Mr. Brecht is generally a person that can be productive he can also function effictively in normal social environments. And before he was incarcerated in 1985, did not have a serious criminal record either," says John Voorhees, Brecht's lawyer.

Brecht is up for parole in July. The Judge said the parole commission's decision will affect Brecht more than today's sentencing.

"Despite everything that has happened over the last 28 years at this point in time the Department of Corrections has reason to question whether they can trust you at this point," says Judge Michael Bloom.

Brecht did apologize at his sentencing today.

"I'd like to apologize to the people at St. Germain Golf Course. Because I did work up there for three years and I did enjoy my work. Almost three decades ago when I was incarcerated I fashioned myself that my main objective was to someday be released into society," says Brecht.

Brecht had been an inmate at the McNaughton Correctional Center in Lake Tomahawk. Police found him in Orlando, Florida a few days after escaping.


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In-person absentee voting underwaySubmitted: 10/23/2014

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Northwoods clerks say the process has been going smoothly.

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Expera gets WEDC loan for headquarters improvementsSubmitted: 10/23/2014

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The company runs four mills in Wisconsin, including the ones in Rhinelander and Mosinee.

Expera will get the loan from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). That is the quasi-private state job creation agency.

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Grant to help improve Vilas trails appSubmitted: 10/23/2014

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Partial solar eclipseSubmitted: 10/23/2014

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NORTHWOODS - Most of Northern Wisconsin was too cloudy to make out the partial solar eclipse Thursday evening. A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and the earth. The last partial solar eclipse that could be seen in Northern Wisconsin was more than 10 years ago. Calculations for when and where solar eclipses occur are quite precise, according to local astronomer and planetarium owner Frank Kovac.

"The solar system is like a clock," explained Kovac. "We can predict eclipses many years out and it is very geometric, it's very mathematical."

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International group considers Wisconsin one of four most improved states in energy efficiency Submitted: 10/23/2014

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WISCONSIN - An international energy efficiency group ranked Wisconsin in the top four most improved states in the U.S. when it comes to energy efficiency.

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is an international non-profit. The group pushes for better energy efficiency around the world.

They ranked Wisconsin 23rd in the U.S. last year, but Wisconsin made their most improved list for 2014.

"A shift in efficiency administrators had caused a temporary drop in saving," ACEEE State Policy Research Analyst Annie Gilleo said. "We are seeing that Wisconsin is once again realizing consistent levels of electricity and natural gas savings."

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Federal grant will help NTC open mobile lab, expand educational opportunitiesSubmitted: 10/23/2014

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The geriatric healthcare program will get $668,328 from the U.S. Department of Labor. The grant will help create new advanced technical certificates. It will also go towards expanding educational programs.

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Social media app causes problems for Medford High School, app banned from school groundsSubmitted: 10/23/2014

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