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NEWS STORIES

Family's Vacation Home Wasn't Just Vandalized-- it Was Torn to PiecesSubmitted: 01/24/2013

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MONICO - Vacation homes should be an escape from reality; a place to be stress free.

But a family with one near Rhinelander got a strong dose of both stress and reality this week.

"The Sheriff's Department said the house had been burglarized and extensively damaged," says Brian Wierzbicki.

Brian and his wife Lynn have shared this vacation home on Venus Lake with their family since the 1970's. When they came to see the damage from a burglary this week, they found a lot more devastation than broken glass.

"Virtually every single room was destroyed. There isn't anything that isn't damaged," says Wierzbicki.

"Through that door there, they came through the screen porch and kicked that door open, or smashed it with some heavy object. Once inside they used the axes on the ceilings, the walls, all of the paintings, the prints, the front of the stove and the microwave. They used the axes on all of the cupboard doors and the counter top."

That wasn't all. The vandals chopped up the furniture, tore light fixtures from the ceiling, smashed the TVs, and shattered doors, and windows.

"My wife is an oil paint artist. They tore all of the art in the house, just like this one," says Wierzbicki while holding one of his wife's paintings that's now torn to shreds.

The Wierzbicki's don't even know where to start with the cleanup. But Brian did all the original remodeling, and guess there's at least $50,000 worth of damage.

"We're thinking the entire house has to be gutted. Floor, walls, ceiling in every room have to be removed and redone," says Wierzbicki.

It's a devastating loss of family history and memories. And the Wierzbicki's think these vandals might have serious issues.

"Our friends and others that came through said it was like an axe murder did this. That it was the mentality of an axe murderer," says Wierzbicki.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Department is still investigating the break-in. We'll keep you updated as details become available.

Story By: Lyndsey Stemm

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Trapping convention in Upper Peninsula a congregation of nostalgic veterans, enthusiastic active trappersSubmitted: 07/25/2014

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ESCANABA - There's a certain nostalgia, to be sure, about trapping.

"A lot of us even kind of try to look like the old mountain men. Maybe you've noticed," says the grizzled and bearded Dave Linkhart, a trapper and officer of the National Trappers Association.

But it's more than just the old mountain men-types doing something that has been done for centuries in North America.

The trapping world is more expansive than you might expect, and more than setting some traps, waiting, and checking what animals you've caught.

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Burke releases rural jobs plan, focuses on schools, health & growthSubmitted: 07/25/2014

ACROSS WISCONSIN - A new job plan from Democratic candidate for Governor Mary Burke focuses on her economic objectives with rural Wisconsin.

Many parts of Wisconsin's rural areas, like the Northwoods, lags behind the rest of the state economically; for example, five of the ten Wisconsin counties with the worst unemployment rate in the state are in the rural portions of the Northwoods, according to June unemployment numbers from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Her focus is on growing the rural economy, boosting healthcare and improving schools.

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UPDATED: Names released in deadly Arbor Vitae crashSubmitted: 07/25/2014

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ARBOR VITAE - We know the name of the Minocqua woman who died in a car crash in Arbor Vitae Thursday morning.

Barbara Hilleque, 67, died when her car was rear ended on Highway 51, and pushed into the path of a small tour bus heading the other way.

Dorothy Pacetti, 49, of Woodruff was driving the second car.

Jay Carpenter, 57, of Beloit was at the wheel of the bus.

Both of the surviving drivers were hurt.

12 other people were also taken to the hospital.

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UPDATE: Man suffering from depression before killing himself after shootout & car chase Submitted: 07/25/2014

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MARINETTE COUNTY - The Marinette County Sheriff's Office believes the man who killed himself after a police chase Thursday was dealing with depression. He had also recently become agitated.

Robb DeGroot, 43, of Green Bay shot at Police during a car chase Tuesday.

Police lost sight of DeGroot's GMC Yukon in the Town of Goodman. Deputies later found him dead next to his car in the woods near Goodman.

Police had originally reported that the suspect was a 35-year-old man driving a Chevy Tahoe.

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Summer temperatures impact local toy salesSubmitted: 07/25/2014

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RHINELANDER AND MINOCQUA - Summer gets us outside playing games on the lake or in the yard, but with cooler temperatures this year, trips to the lake may not be as popular.

That impacts certain businesses in a good way. Imaginuity toys stores in Minocqua and Rhinelander have noticed a difference in the toys they've sold this summer.

"We're definitely getting a lot more traffic with the cooler temperatures. A lot more people in the door, which we're loving. We are seeing a lot more people buying more project based items. They're buying a lot of the active play but not so much the water active," said Jessica Hatch, Store Manager.

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Wounded Warriors softball team comes to townSubmitted: 07/25/2014

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - People in Lake Tomahawk could watch a special game of snowshoe baseball Friday.

The Wounded Warrior softball team was in town to compete against the Snowhawks. Lake Tomahawk raised more than $40,000 to bring the team to town.

Fans came from all over to cheer on both teams. They say it's quite the experience.

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More than 50 boats featured in weekend boat showSubmitted: 07/25/2014

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MINOCQUA - Many people enjoy boating during the summer months.

This weekend you can check out the beauty and workmanship of antique boats in Minocqua. More than 50 boats will be on hand for the 22nd Antique and Classic Wooden Boat Show. The event is free to the public and features classics from the early 1920's to the 1960's. It will kick off tonight with a boat parade before the Min-Aqua Bat waterski show... and continues all weekend on the docks of The Boathouse Restaurant.

Boat owners and the public get together to share their love and stories of these antique beauties.

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