NEWS STORIES

Krusensterna Gets Seven Years for Mole Lake StabbingSubmitted: 12/07/2012

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.

Story By: Lyndsey Stemm

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UPDATE: Name released in Tomahawk house fireSubmitted: 04/18/2014

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TOMAHAWK - A man in a wheelchair couldn't make it out of a burning Tomahawk home Thursday.

The fire killed 70-year-old Kenneth Pietila.

A snow plow driver saw smoke coming out of the windows of the home on East Pine Shore Lane just after 1 p.m.

Tomahawk firefighters found an active fire spreading throughout the home.

Pietila, in his wheelchair, couldn't be saved.

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Community fundraises for boy with rare diseaseSubmitted: 04/18/2014

THREE LAKES - Imagine not being able to move your body.

That was the reality for a 4th grader from Three Lakes

Hunter St. Louis has a rare nerve disease called Guillain-Barré Syndrome.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome makes your body attack nerve cells.

The messages from the brain can't get to the nerves.

So his body was unable to move.

Hunter had to go through seven plasma replacements.

And now he'll go through intense physical therapy.

Hunter is leaving the hospital Friday, but he still has a long road to full recovery.

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Northwoods filmmaker makes movies for the big screenSubmitted: 04/18/2014

MERRILL - When you think of movies you probably think of Hollywood, but one man from Northcentral Wisconsin is bringing his feature film to the local screen.

Wausau’s Jarrod Crooks not only makes movies, but he also stars in them.

His latest film, "Dispatched" is based off the Elvis Presley movie, “Girl Happy,” says filmmaker Jarrod Crooks. “My character Jake is sent to go watch my bosses daughter while she’s on vacation with a friend. Then an old enemy is kind of after him while he’s on vacation, so some things happen.”

Crooks made, "Dispatched" on a $5,000 budget and it’s full of romance, action, and comedy.

“My buddy would joke with me, ‘why don’t you just pick one genre man and then just go with it'," says Crooks. "I’m like because I want to make this movie how I want to make It'." "I actually like romantic comedies, I think they’re kind of fun, and I think they’re cute. I like action films because I’m a guy, and I like comedy because Jim Carey is great.”

Crooks is only 28 and has already made 4 feature films. His passion started when he was 12 years old.

“I went over to my friend’s house and he had a video camera. I was like oh we should make a movie, and at that time I was really into, “Wishbone,” says Crooks.

“We’d always remake our own literature pieces. Then I saw my first Jackie Chan movie and I’m like, alright it’s settled we’re doing action films from now on," says Crooks. “From then on it was just a love affair with the filmmaking.”

His latest film will be shown at the Cosmo Theatre in Merrill on Saturday at 5pm.

“The fact that I’m bringing it to central Wisconsin is great because this is where I grew up," says Crooks. "All my family and friends get to see it, so I’m very excited about that and you get to see yourself on the big screen what’s better than that.”





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Fire does $1.5 million in damage in Marathon CountySubmitted: 04/18/2014

EDGAR - Fire did $1.5 million dollars in damage at a Marathon County Highway Department garage overnight.

Someone driving by shortly before three this morning saw smoke coming from the building along State Highway 97 near Edgar.

One of the garages was on fire at the Marathon County Highway Department's location in the town of Wien.

Firefighters from Edgar and Stratford rushed to the scene.

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Statton's General Store will close after ten yearsSubmitted: 04/18/2014

TOMAHAWK - Statton’s General Store in Tomahawk will close its doors after ten years.

Dick and Rita Statton opened the business in May of 2004.

“I decided it was time for a change,” says Dick Statton.

Dick worked in manufacturing for 32 years before opening the business.

He wanted to try something new.

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Merrill library stays ahead of technology, offers visitors 3D printerSubmitted: 04/18/2014

MERRILL - Workers at the T.B. Scott Free Library in Merrill want people to use the library for more than just books.

They're offering the newest in technology and design to visitors.

The library just got a 3D printer for everyone to use.

3D printers are most often found at places like manufacturing plants and tech colleges.

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Observing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday Submitted: 04/18/2014

RHINELANDER - You could find a decent amount of businesses closed early Friday.

That's because many of the owners and employees were in church.

People filled the pews at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rhinelander on Good Friday.

People honored the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

"His death which looks really bad for us is really good because it's in our place," said Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church pastor, Richard Krahn.

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