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Six Members of a WI Killed in KY CrashSubmitted: 03/02/2013
Story By Associated Press

ELIZABETHTOWN, KY - Police say six members of an extended Wisconsin family were killed and two injured when their SUV was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer and burst into flames on a Kentucky highway. Minutes later, another crash in the opposite direction injured three, one critically.

Police say the first crash happened at 11:13 a.m. EST Saturday on northbound Interstate 65 near Elizabethtown.

Police say all occupants of the SUV were from Marion, Wis. They were identified as James Gollnow, 62, and his wife Barbara, 62; Marion Champnise, 92; Sarina Gollnow, 18; Soledad Smith, 8; and Gabriel Zumiga, 10.

Police said Soledad and Gabriel were foster children.

The two survivors were also foster children. Police identified them as Hope Hoth, 15, who was transported to a hospital in Lexington with burns and a broken spine; and Aidian Ejnik, 12, who was taken to Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville with cuts to the back of his head.

Police say after the SUV was hit, it hit the car in front of it, but the driver of that vehicle had only minor injuries.

The SUV was ``totally engulfed in flames. It was totally destroyed by the fire,'' Master Trooper Norman Chaffins said, adding, ``It's just a charred mess.''

He said one eyewitness told police two people emerged from the blaze and one appeared to be on fire.

The two crashes shut down the busy stretch of highway for about five hours.

Chaffins says despite snow flurries, weather was not a factor in either crash.

The driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured and was cooperating with police, Chaffins said. He was not identified.

``He's obviously pretty torn up about everything,'' he said.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 02/21/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

During tax-filing season, there are many scams that taxpayers may encounter. We'll tell you how to avoid some of these scams.

Vilas County is just starting to use a new system that makes it easier to get extra help from area townships. We'll explain how it works and find out how it's working in Rhinelander where they already have the system in place.

And we tag along with an Athens maple syrup producer who is beginning to tap trees now that the season has started.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MADISON - The head of the state prison system is assuring lawmakers that Wisconsin's troubled youth prison is safe.

Department of Corrections Secretary Jon Litscher told the Assembly Corrections Committee during an informational hearing on Tuesday that the prison outside Irma is safe and secure and is focused on educating inmates.

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Fire engulfs Eagle River homeSubmitted: 02/20/2017

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EAGLE RIVER - Firefighters arrived to a home filled with flames earlier on Monday in Eagle River. It took three different fire departments to put out the fire.

It happened at a house on Highway 17 north of the Highway 45 junction. The emergency call came in just before 11 Monday morning. The Eagle River Fire Department was first on the scene.

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HAYWARD - Warm weather is forcing organizers to change the route of Saturday's American Birkebeiner ski race in northwestern Wisconsin.

As a result, the race will not finish in downtown Hayward this year.

The Birkie race course normally crosses Lake Hayward to get to downtown Hayward. But the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation said Monday the lake is no longer an option.

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WESTON - A Langlade County man died from a gunshot wound outside a Weston bar last week.

Everest Metro Police say Nicholas Houdek was found face down in a parking lot outside Wiggly Field early Friday morning.

Houdek was from Bryant, which is just outside Antigo.

Police didn't say if someone shot Houdek or if he shot himself.

He was a 2007 Antigo High School graduate.

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ANTIGO - The woman accused of illegally taking her kids to South Dakota for months faced a judge on Monday in Langlade County.

Cathy Brown is charged with a felony, after interfering with a custody order.

11- year-old Averie Brown and nine-year-old Dalton Brown were reported missing from their school in November.

They were found safe with their 37- year- old mother in Hill City South Dakota in January.

Brown appeared in court for an initial hearing via video from the Langlade Jail, and her attorney Lindsay Erickson appeared by phone.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - This weekend many of us may have seen images of a pickup truck falling through the ice on Lake Michigan. Some trucks even fell through the ice in Wausau.

So, how safe is the ice in the Northwoods?

DNR Conservation Warden Supervisor Dave Walz says this time of year the ice can melt fast, so anglers should be aware of it. He says it also depends on the lake.

"We've seen anywhere some still on the Rainbow Flowage 24 inches of ice out there this last weekend," Walz says. "A few other lakes we've seen it as thin as six inches of ice."

Walz said no one fell through the ice this weekend in the Northwoods.

No matter the temperature, even if it's below zero, it's never a guarantee that ice is safe.

"Just remember, it's never 100 percent safe out there," Walz said. "It's always at your own risk."
Walz said you should always fish with a partner for safety.

The last day ice shanties can be on lakes is March 19.

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