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NEWS STORIES

Zarda Will Serve Four Years for Mole Lake StabbingSubmitted: 11/26/2012
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

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CRANDON - The first Mole Lake stabbing suspect was sentenced Monday. 18-year-old Melvin Zarda is one of six charged in the beating and stabbing of a Wausau Man back in February.

"He has clearly indicated that he is part of the Latin Kings. This whole interaction that is before the court is gang-based," says Forest County District Attorney Chuck Simono.

Facing attempted murder charges, Melvin Zarda took a plea deal with the state. It required him to tell prosecutors what happened the night of an attack in Mole Lake, and specifically who did what.

"Mr. Zarda is incredibly dangerous. Why? Because he doesn't think for himself, he just acts," says Simono.

Simono detailed for the court the role Zarda admitted to playing in the stabbing.

"That's when Mr. Zarda was told to initiate the first strike. According to Mr. Zarda he asked Mr. Craig McGeshick and Preston Krustensterna to do it and they said, 'No, you were ordered to do it'," says Simono.

Defense attorney Stephen Sawyer said while it's not an excuse, Zarda's choice to join the gang wasn't out of a desire for a life of crime.

"To that point it had been a way to hang out with a bunch of guys that he thought cared about him, he thought would watch his back, protect him," says Sawyer.

Simono did note Zarda came forward with information knowing it could put him at risk, without any guarantee of an easy sentence.

"Part of his agreement is he has to testify truthfully at any forthcoming hearing or trial against any of his co-defendants," says Simono.

Judge Leon Stenz sentenced Zarda to nine years: four in prison, with five years extended supervision, for the second degree reckless injury charge. Then he'll also get three years probation for false imprisonment.

"No one has showed up to support Mr. Zarda and that speaks both ways. Number one, maybe they don't believe he deserves to be supported. Number two, maybe he's the way he is because no one has supported him. But to blame everything on the fact that he had alcoholic parents and a rough childhood ignores the fact that he was given opportunities," says Judge Stenz.

Craig McGeshick will be sentenced Wednesday, and Preston Krusensterna December 7th. The other three suspects are scheduled for jury trial in January.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Bottled milk makes a comback in Crandon Submitted: 11/23/2014

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CRANDON - Not many people buy bottled milk anymore. But a locally owned store in Crandon recently brought it back.

"Grandpa sold bottled milk in 1935 when he came to Crandon and for many years after that,"

Now third generation Jay Schaefer is continuing the tradition at Schaefer's IGA in Crandon.

He's selling another locally owned business product on his shelves.

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Opening weekend deer hunt number downSubmitted: 11/23/2014

RHINELANDER - Hunters from all over got out on opening weekend to enjoy the start of gun hunting season.

But this year's opening weekend hasn't been as successful as last year's.

About 103 total deer were registered on opening day.

DNR workers say that number is actually down 25% from last season, and that downward trend is continuing into Sunday.

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Rhinelander Premier Resort Tax will be on spring ballotSubmitted: 11/23/2014

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RHINELANDER - Some Wisconsin cities rely on tax money from tourists to pay for certain things.

Rhinelander's city administrator wants to know if people would support raising sales tax on tourism related businesses.

The question will be on the ballot next spring.

City leaders think the extra tax could bring in about $400,000 every year.

Businesses like restaurants and department stores would see the increase.

The money would help improve the city's roads.

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DNR announces new wetland restoration planSubmitted: 11/23/2014

MADISON - The state Department of Natural Resources and federal environmental officials have developed a new plan to promote wetland restoration.

Currently the DNR requires parties that get permits to fill in wetlands to offset the impact by either restoring wetlands elsewhere or by purchasing credits from banks established by other entities that have done restoration work.

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2 men on sinking boat are rescued on Lake MichiganSubmitted: 11/22/2014

- One Wisconsin man is recovering in a hospital after he and another man were rescued from a sinking boat on Lake Michigan Friday morning.

The Ozaukee County Sheriff's Office responded to a call from a man who said his boat was taking on water at about 11 a.m. The boat was less than a mile off the coast of Belgium, Wisconsin, according to the sheriff's office.

The men and their boat were recovered and brought back to shore.

A 31-year-old man from Oak Creek was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. A 24-year-old Neshkoro man was uninjured. Neither man has been identified.

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Tiffany, Wisconsin GOP skeptical of billions of dollars of budget requests from state agenciesSubmitted: 11/22/2014

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MINOCQUA - A quick glance at Wisconsin's governmental finances could convince you the state has a hole to fill.

Projections show the state will take in $2.2 billion fewer than its agencies want to spend from mid-2015 to mid-2017.

The state legislature and Gov. Scott Walker will need to figure out how to make the numbers work.

Northwoods Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) points out the money the agencies want is more than the agencies will get.

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Steps to prepare for freezing rain Submitted: 11/22/2014

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NORTHWOODS - We could see freezing rain in the Northwoods Sunday. If we do, leaders in Oneida County want people to be prepared.

The Oneida County Emergency Management director says it's hard to tell when the roads are slippery. So they want you to take your time on the roads and on the sidewalks.

"Freezing rain, a lot of times you can't tell that it's actually frozen. The ground is frozen," said Oneida County Emergency Management director Ken Kortenhof. "So even when you're walking on your sidewalks, stuff like that, be careful not to slip. Make sure if you have salt you can salt your sidewalks so you don't have problems there as well."

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