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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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Northland Pines football players recognized for accomplishmentsSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - Three local graduates in Eagle River will go to play division three college football this fall.

Northland Pines High School already recognized football players who are going to division one or division two schools in February, but they wanted to also recognize players who will go play at D3 schools.

"We have a lot of individuals that are good students and are really good at football. They enjoy it; they work hard at it, both in the season and in the off season," said Northland pines High School Football Coach Eric Swanson. "This is kind of a time for us to honor those individuals because they have worked just as hard as the kids that are playing a little higher ball."

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UPDATE: Incredible video & 911 call sheds light on Marinette County police chase & shootingSubmitted: 08/1/2014

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MARINETTE COUNTY - New dash cam video from a police chase in Marinette County last Thursday afternoon shows just how dangerous the situation was for drivers on the road. 43-year-old Robb DeGroot of Green Bay was crossing lanes into traffic and also shooting at other cars along the way.

Audio released by the Marinette County Sheriff's Office shows the confusion and fear from drivers getting shot at by DeGroot.

"He just fired out the window again," said the Illinois man that called police about the July 25 incident.

DeGroot led police on a more than 20 minute chase in Marinette County. The caller told the dispatch officer that DeGroot was weaving between traffic.

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Minocqua Chamber names new directorSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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MINOCQUA - The Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce will welcome a new executive director later this month.

Krystal Westfahl will start at the chamber August 21st. She'll replace Kim Baltus who left to join the Howard Young Foundation.

Westfahl comes to the Northwoods from Appleton. That's where she has been in charge of fundraising for the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Wisconsin for the past seven years. Before that, she worked as director of the Sampson State Park World War II Military Museum in Upstate New York.

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Girl, 12, not competent for trial in stabbingSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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A judge declared the girl incompetent Friday and ordered her committed for treatment. Two doctors who examined the girl had submitted reports saying they didn't think she was competent.

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Clean Sweep event give people opportunity to get rid of hazardous chemicalsSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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ANTIGO - It can get tricky to get rid of some chemicals safely. That's why Langlade County conservationists want people to bring their chemical products to the Highway Department Shop on Saturday.

People can get rid of all pesticides, insecticides, and chemical products at the Hazardous Waste Clean Sweep. It's free for all households and farmers.

Conservationists think the event will help people who don't normally know what to do with the products.

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UW Trout Lake Station holds open houseSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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They also had activities for the kids.

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In July, the Northwoods sent a team of firefighters to the area to help fight it.

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She's working with the U.S. Forest Service.

This is one of the pictures Flory sent us of her area.

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