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NEWS STORIES

Sex offender heads back to prison for third timeSubmitted: 03/07/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander man accused of violating his sex offender registration will go back to prison.

Judge Michael Bloom sentenced Albert Chagnon in Oneida County court today.

The 31-year-old originally served prison time in 2002 for child pornography. Now he'll head back to prison for the third time for a felony charge of failure to update his sex offender registration. This charge is worse than it sounds.

"This isn't a situation in which the defendant simply neglected to tell the supervising agent about conduct that otherwise would be allowable. This is a situation where Mr. Chagnon was engaged in having contact with a 15-year-old girl," says Oneida County Assistant District Attorney. Steve Michlig.

That's the same teenage girl he went to prison for having photographs of two years ago. He contacted her on Facebook within a month of his release from prison.

Defense Attorney Richard Voss argued for a lesser sentence than the five years the state wanted. He asked for the nature of Chagnon's criminal history to be taken into consideration.

"There was nothing where Mr. Chagnon had ever done anything to anyone. He has not ever had a crime in which he's injured anybody physically," says Voss.

But Judge Michael Bloom said what Chagnon did was serious despite the fact that it didn't involve physical contact.

"Until it is established that Mr. Chagnon can, in fact, regulate his own behavior there is a valid concern whether the public needs to be protected," says Judge Bloom.

Bloom sentenced Chagnon to five years; two years in prison and three on extended supervision.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 04/27/2015

- A pair gravel pit mines could significantly change the look of one area in Lincoln County. The proposed mines would cover more than 100 acres south east of Tomahawk. We'll take a look at the issue coming up tonight at six.

- We'll give you an update on controlling a pesky species of aquatic invasives.

- And what would happen with a major gas line leak? WPS practiced scenarios today.

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

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MERRILL - The Community Warming Center in Merrill finished up its first winter season a few weeks ago. The center provides a place to stay for people in need from November through April.

The guest's ages ranged from 22 to 45 years old. The center is run through the Merrill United Way. The Warming Center's director said its first year went much better than expected.

"It's kind of like building the field of dreams and not knowing if anyone will come to play, or to stay in our case," said Merrill United Way Executive Director Dee Olsen. "But what ended up happening was the community was responsive and we ended up with 11 guests throughout the season with 90 user nights."

The center is already preparing for the next season. They have new blankets and pillows ready for their next year.

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EAGLE RIVER - Many Northwoods cities need to make improvements to the roads now that it's spring.

Rhinelander wants to do it, enough to impose a new sales tax.

Another local city will make improvements to the road and the pipes under the road.

Eagle River will replace infrastructure on Division Street.

Eagle River's mayor Jeff Hyslop says it's about 70 years old.

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ANTIGO - Dealing with allergic reactions to bee stings can be one of the biggest health threats to students.

"If we were seeing a reaction, for example a tingling of the mouth, swelling of the throat, a visual that a student might give us if they are unable to breath at that time, we would immediately administer an EpiPen," Director of Pupil Services Unified School District of Antigo Karen Baker.

Teachers watch carefully for possible allergic reactions, especially at recess and on field trips.

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Local kids help protect batsSubmitted: 04/27/2015

RHINELANDER - Seventh graders in Rhinelander will help protect bats this summer. That's thanks to help from the U.S. Forest Service.

Kids in Rhinelander Monday learned about endangered bats across Wisconsin on Monday. A bat expert with Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest showed the importance of keeping bats healthy. The students helped local scientists by building new homes for the bats.

"Ms. Swaney showed us a presentation about the bats with a speaker and now we're building them," said 7th grader Jackie Wells.

"They have predators and it will kind of keep them safe in their little bat homes," said 7th Grader Connor Lund.

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EAGLE RIVER - Many people enjoy freshly roasted coffee. But, the process to roast those coffee beans can be a science.

"We start with green coffee. It comes in 130 to 155 pound sacks of coffee," said owner of Eagle River Roasters Dan Beihoff.

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WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court is struggling over when jail officials should be held accountable for using excessive force against inmates who are accused _ but not yet convicted _ of crimes.

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