CRANDON - A third teenager will head to prison for his role in a gang related stabbing earlier this year.
Eighteen-year-old Preston Krusensterna is one of six men charged with stabbing and beating a Wausau man in February, now he'll spend the next 18 years paying for it.
"I accept full responsibility for my actions and my actions alone," said Krusensterna, reading from a letter he wrote to the Judge.
He apologized to the victim and his family for his role in the attack. But District Attorney Chuck Simono told the Court Krusensterna repeatedly denied being part of a gang.
"According to Melvin Zarda Mr. Krusensterna is second in command in the Latin Kings in Mole Lake. And this planning had taken place for three to four days before it occurred," says Simono.
Defense attorney Joel Hirschhorn countered saying Krusensterna by nature is not a leader.
"He's a sky kid who's slight of build. He's immature and from his previous conduct you can see that he has anti-social, sort of, conduct patterns," says Hirschhorn.
Krusensterna's uncle, Sokaogon Chippewa Chairman-Elect Chris McGeshick told the Court the community is partially to blame for allowing gang activity to happen.
"We are not gang members. We do not associate with gangs. And we should not be associating with gangs. We are a clan system. Preston is part of the Bullhead clan. He is not a Latin King. We should not have or condone any of that type activity within our community," says McGeshick.
Judge Leon Stenz, in part, agreed that some of the fault lies with the community.
"Not only a failure of the community or the school but also the parents. Someone should have been here for this young man. But instead of encouraging him to do well they gave him the opportunity to fail," says Judge Stenz.
But Judge Stenz still held Krusensterna accountable for trying to kill another person. He sentenced him to seven years in prison, eight with extended supervision and three additional years of probation.
The three remaining suspects are scheduled for jury trials in January.
MERRILL - Hospitals can sometimes scare kids and even many adults.
That's why one Northwoods hospital wants those kids to be comfortable with doctors if they ever need their help.
Merrill kindergarteners visited Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center today.
The kids got to see an ambulance, physical therapy and x rays.
"We try to show them that you know what, the hospital isn't so scary. And we bring them through different areas that they may experience when they come in or they have a family member here. And a lot of times children, if they don't know, they're very afraid. A hospital can be very intimidating, says Jane Bentz, Director of Foundation and Community Outreach.
NORTHWOODS - People in Wisconsin love their beer, but alcohol is a big problem in the Northwoods. Experts want people to remember that alcohol is a drug and should never be abused.
Alcohol is a depressant and slows down the central nervous system. Experts feel drinking here in the Northwoods has become too normalized.
“When you talk to people even from the Northwoods community alcohol goes hand in hand with family gatherings , graduation, prom, hunting, snowmobiling, recreational activities,” says Katie Kennedy, Options Counseling Service Clinician. “It's kind of created this normalized look at alcohol that it's okay to do that in these environments or in these situations when it actually really increases risks.”
It's not just adults that have alcohol problems. Kids under 21 are finding unique ways to abuse the drug. Some have even resorted to snorting alcohol as a means to get drunk faster.
“What happens anytime you ingest a substance as far as snorting like right into your nose it goes into your mucus membrane,” says Kennedy. “So instead of drinking alcohol whereas it's processed through your system it's a process, the alcohol goes immediately into your body into your blood stream it affects you a lot quicker.”
In 2012 Wisconsin was the number one state for binge drinking. That's according to the Center for Disease Control. April is alcohol awareness month.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - People from all over the Northwoods celebrated Earth Day today. Students at Lac du Flambeau school participated in a natural resources fair today.
Classes, groups and individual students submitted projects to be judged. By doing the projects they learned the importance of Earth Day.
“Polluting could harm the earth and if that harms the earth later on we won't have a better earth to do stuff on like camping, or fishing, hiking and taking walks,” says Sky Risingsun, a Lac du Flambeau student.
35 projects were judged in the science competition. Each student was given a white spruce seed to take home and plant in their own yard.
“It's a white spruce which is a native tree to this area,” says Bryan Hoover, Lac du Flambeau Energy and Air Quality Coordinator. “We've got almost 500 of them and every student is going to take one home so that they can pick a spot in their yard to plant the new tree and watch that tree grow as it matures.”
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