MONICO - Piece by piece and memory by memory, a family with a vacation home in Monico is recovering. Their home was viciously destroyed by burglars. We showed you their vandalized home last week.
The Oneida County Sheriff's Office arrested all three suspects in this incredible act of vandalism. But the Wierzbicki's will need a lot more than that to pick up the pieces.
This week they struggled to figure out where to even begin.
"We had to inventory each item on each one of these pages," says Brian Wierzbicki, while paging through an itemized list of personal items that were destroyed. Three hundred of them in all.
That doesn't include the major structural damage to the property. There isn't a wall, ceiling, floor, or light fixture left intact.
The family has already put in 60 hours of work cleaning up their home. But for every layer of destruction they clear, they find another.
"They used a pick axe and a wood axe and chopped up the concrete. Many, many things were discovered beneath mattresses and things like that," says Wierzbicki.
The Wierzbicki's are still in limbo with their insurance company. Brian says he'll have to wait and see how the case plays out in court before he'll feel any better.
"There's a really seriously strange mindset that would allow them to do this much damage, with this much violence, for this amount of time, and then just move on to something else," says Wierzbicki.
One of the suspects, 17-year-old Jeffrey Stefonik was in Oneida County Court Wednesday. He's charged with six felonies, including burglary and criminal damage to property.
A 15-year-old is being charged in juvenile court.
Seventeen-year-old Anthony Briggs is also charged in this case, and out on bond.
Surprisingly, we reported Briggs was allowed to participate in a Three Lakes High School wrestling match Monday.
"Something I enjoyed has been destroyed and it's amazing that they're able to participate in something that they enjoy," says Wierzbicki.
We asked Superintendent Dr. Karling why Briggs hadn't been suspended from the Wrestling team, and he declined to comment.
WIAA rules state a player can be suspended for tobacco, alcohol and controlled substances. But it also says they can be suspended for violating the school's code of conduct. No word on whether felony criminal charges count.
LAKE TOMAHAWK - All around you witness goodwill gestures. It could be as simple as a smile and wave or opening a door for someone. In Lake Tomahawk, it's making a pie.
"I made a pretzel crust with butter and sugar, " explains Sheila Punches. Sharon Hilgendorf adds, "Flour, for the thickening."
Snowshoe baseball's been entertaining crowds since the 1960's. But over at the concession stand, the pie takes center stage.
Strawberry rhubarb, banana butterscotch pie, blueberry pie, rocky road and coconut cream are just a few of the creations. "I like making ones that I think will appeal to the crowd," says Linda Penno.
Each week a different service club's in charge of the snack shack and in turn, takes home the proceeds. Locals bakers, a lot of local bakers make their best pies and donate them to support the cause.
"You get involved with it over the years and it just becomes your way of life on Mondays," says Punches.
On an average night they sell 80 pies. Each one is cut into six pieces and are only two dollars a slice. That means making almost a thousand dollars is easy as pie.
Ken Lochte of Rhinelander exclaims, "This is the only place you get your dessert first, before you get your food." "It's a great honor and pleasure and I've been doing it for quite a few years now," adds Rebecca Morien.
No matter how you slice it, everyone benefits from this unique fundraiser.
"It is unique and different which makes Lake Tomahawk special," says Morien. "It's a very good fundraiser for the community who in turn give it all back. So, it's kind of a domino effect you know," adds Hilgendorf.
If you think this is a lot of pies, the team is requesting the bakers provide double this Friday. They're hoping to have more than 200 pies for the Snowhawks game against the Wounded Warriors.
CONOVER - The Chain Skimmers Water Ski Team from Conover won the state title for their division last weekend in Wisconsin Rapids. Summer water ski shows are a wonderful part of the Spirit of the North.
"I don't know how to spend the summer anywhere else," said Jessica Clark.
She is one of about 35 skiers between the ages of 12 and 31 who spend their summers on Lake Pleasant in Conover. They come from Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida and Texas.
EAGLE RIVER - A new type of foundation could give you a better way to build a home, and the idea for the improvement starts right here in the Northwoods.
Composite Panel Systems in Eagle River builds composite panels for home foundations. Composite means anything made of two or more materials, which includes fiberglass in this case. The company describes the EPITOME Quality Foundation Wall as a revolutionary composite building solution for residential foundations.
The company makes them off site, and then they put them together on location. Composite Panel Systems' Scott Weber says that means a shorter build time compared to concrete foundations.
RHINELANDER - You can expect to see a major reconstruction in Downtown Rhinelander in 2016. The downtown area will improve its look and layout through a "streetscape" project. The new look could include wider sidewalks, outdoor restaurant seating and parking changes on Brown Street, but before any of that happens, city leaders need feedback from their community.
Downtown Rhinelander Incorporated already had surveys filled out b businesses in the area about parking on Brown Street.
The construction company came up with a compromised solution. The proposal keeps Brown Street as a two way street, but there will be parallel parking on the west side and angled parking on the east side.
47-year-old Karen Wessell of Star Lake died in yesterday's swimming accident in Vilas County. A boater pulled 2 people out of the water after they started drowning on Star Lake. We now know Wessell died shortly after.
Wessell went under water during a rescue attempt.
The Vilas County Sheriff says 3 women and 4 kids were along Trampers Trail. 3 boys swam across the channel and were told to come back. They got tired swimming back to shore so the women had to help. Wessell used herself to push one of the boys above the water to keep him from going under. A boater saw them, pulled them out, and started doing CPR.
MERRILL - Members of a Northwoods union chapter gathered unique inspiration for a fundraiser - The Beatles.
Merrill-area Local 6 members gathered Wednesday on the Wisconsin flowage to raise money for groups in need of assistance. The union leaders organized boat rides, raffles, barbecues, and contests. The inspiration for the fundraiser came, in part, from the 1965 Beatles single Help!
"I found out it was the anniversary of the 'Help!' release from The Beatles record, and I decided, let's help our community," said Local 6 Vice President Valerie Nelson. "Our membership is very passionate about certain organizations within our community. One being the Lincoln County Humane Society, the local food pantry, and the American Cancer Society."
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