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NEWS STORIES

Human Trafficking Happening Everywhere, Even the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 11/27/2012

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RHINELANDER - Human Trafficking: not a problem you'd ever imagine having in the Northwoods.

But one local group is saying it is here; people just don't know how to identify it.

"The injustice, the outrage of human trafficking must be called by its true name: modern slavery," said President Obama in an address on trafficking.

Slavery fueled by crimes against Americans. Eighty percent of trafficking victims in the U.S. are U.S. citizens. Eighty two percent of those victims are from sex trafficking. The first step in fighting it is to tackle misconceptions.

"The most common misconception is that trafficking means that it's only a crime if there's some type of international transportation. What we're really talking about is a crime of either forced labor or forced sex trafficking," says John Vaudreuil, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin.

One of the biggest problems is people see those victims as common prostitutes, in the profession willingly.

"What we're talking about is really peonage; involuntary, compelled, in this case, sex trafficking," says Vaudreuil.

The biggest challenge for prosecutors is they don't get self-reporting victims.

"They're terrified of the police, they're terrified of the person who's controlling them. So the challenge for us is to see people as victims when they are not going to report themselves as victims," says Vaudreuil.

"It's very important, I felt, to bring the information to not only law enforcement but to all of the systems that could potentially work with victims to recognize the red flags," says Shellie Holmes, Executive Director of the Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

Once Holmes recognized those red flags she was stunned to realize it has already been right in front of them.

"I realized that in the last three years we have had three trafficked women in our shelter. We just didn't know how to identify it," says Holmes.

A problem the council hopes education will solve. For now, they want the community to keep its eyes open and keep in mind things may not always be what they seem.

Story By: Lyndsey Stemm

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Police search for hit and run driverSubmitted: 07/28/2014

MERRILL - Police need your help finding the driver of car involved in a hit and run accident over the weekend.

It happened around 3:30 in the morning on Saturday in the town of Merrill.

No one was hurt in the crash.

The victim was driving east on Hillside Drive, just west of County Rd K.

That's when a small silver car sideswiped the victim's dark blue Dodge Avenger.

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AirVenture gets underway this week in OshkoshSubmitted: 07/28/2014

OSHKOSH - Aviation enthusiasts from as many as 70 countries will gather in Oshkosh this week for the annual Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture.

The convention draws about a half million people to the weeklong event near Wittman Regional Airport.

Thousands of planes have already landed at the airport.

On Monday, NASA representatives will talk about their plan to take people to Mars starting in 2030.

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Trial date set for former Assembly Majority LeaderSubmitted: 07/28/2014

WAUKESHA - The former majority leader of the Wisconsin Assembly will go on trial in October for sexual assault.

State Representative Bill Kramer is accused of shoving a woman into a car, groping her and making inappropriate comments.

The charges date back to a GOP event in April 2011.

During a hearing Friday, a Waukesha County Circuit Judge set a jury trial for October 28th.

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Boat show displays restored wooden boats, raises money for medical researchSubmitted: 07/27/2014

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MINOCQUA - It can take years to restore an old wooden boat. But some wooden boat owners are willing to put that time in because the finished product can teach people about antique boats.

People got the chance to show off their boats at 22nd annual Antique Wooden Boat Show in Minocqua this weekend.

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Craft brewfest gives people opportunity to taste different brews, raise money for local organizationSubmitted: 07/27/2014

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MINOCQUA - Craft beers can be hit or miss. The Lac du Flambeau Lions Club gave people the chance to try lots of different types of craft brews at their annual Brewfest.

People got to taste different local brews. There were also some wines and sodas.

More people come to the event every year which helps the event get more breweries to come.

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Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team inspires Northwoods crowdsSubmitted: 07/27/2014

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - Two things unite a special group of 24 of our nation's heroes - traumatic injury and softball. The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team is made up of veterans and active duty servicemen who served in the Global War on Terrorism.

"I thought the world was over. And I thought there was no way in the world I'd ever do anything again," Army veteran and Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball player Rick Wilk said of losing his leg.

Wilk came home safely from two deployments only to lose his leg below the knee to a drunk driver in 2010. Within a year of losing his leg, Wilk was up and running, literally. Now, three years after losing his leg, he plays softball better than most people with all their limbs.

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Pilots take to the sky in Air Cup Race Submitted: 07/27/2014

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WAUSAU - You can find adrenaline and speed at a race track, but nothing compares to racing 300 miles per hour in the sky.

46 Pilots from across the country competed in the EAA AirVenture Cup Race. This is the 17th year racers took to the sky, but it's the first time they made a pit stop in Wausau.

The chairman for the race says it's all about having fun with your friends.

"It's really about how well you can fly your airplane. It promotes efficiency, flying accuracy, a flight planning; it's really just about having fun," said EAA AirVenture Cup Race Chairman Eric Whyte.

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