Texting Champion Stresses Dangers of Texting and DrivingSubmitted: 03/08/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

Texting Champion Stresses Dangers of Texting and Driving
THREE LAKES - Every year, more than 100,000 car crashes could be prevented if people weren't texting while driving.

Teen drivers are especially at risk.

But in Three Lakes today, a group worked to get high schoolers to never text and drive.

Three Lakes senior Austin Wierschke has won national speed texting championships in New York two years in a row.

But he knows one place not to text.

"I text in all of these ridiculous scenarios, but I wouldn't be ridiculous enough to text and drive. It poses such a devastating threat to you and others on the road," he says.

Car crashes are the largest killer of teens.

Adding text messaging to their distractions only makes the road more dangerous.

"They don't have the experience developed like you or I would have, but they're also engaging in so many distracted activities, and all of that doesn't mix for a good combination," says Major Sandy Huxtable of the Wisconsin State Patrol.

Students got to try a texting and driving simulator to see how dangerous it can be.

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PORTAGE COUNTY - Portage County will hold an information meeting to share information about a sexually violent offender that will soon be released.

Gregory Loomis, 43, sexually assaulted two children in 1988 and 1992.

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RHINELANDER - An Oneida County judge set a trial date for a Rhinelander woman charged in the death of her toddler stepson.
Ellen Tran's trial is expected to start with jury selection on October 19.

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CRANDON - UPDATE (3/23/18): The Forest County Medical Examiner released the name of the inmate who died in the Forest County Jail earlier this week. 

The Forest County Sheriff's Officer said a man committed suicide Wednesday morning. 

An autopsy showed 44-year-old William Zastawniak died by hanging. 

He was facing three child sexual assault charges. 

The medical examiner is still waiting on toxicology results. 

The death is still under investigation.

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TOMAHAWK - Two best friends turned into business partners about a year ago.

Bill Eastwood and Blake McMahon own Outboards Bar and Grill in Tomahawk.

The duo's combined restaurant and business experience helped them hit the ground running.

Fish quality comes first at Outboards.

"Friday night is the night that pretty much everyone goes out to eat. So if you don't have a good fish fry, people around here start talking!" say Eastwood.

For people with food intolerance, eating a fish fry platter can be nearly impossible.

So, Outboards offers alternatives like gluten-free beer-battered fish.

"We kind of put a twist on things and do it our own way. You can get fries, but you can get quinoa or a fresh vegetable," says McMahon.

When summertime comes, Outboards' patio overlooks the ski show and music on the river.

Outboards serves fish starting at 11 a.m.

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BARRON COUNTY - The discovery of skeletal remains in northwest Wisconsin turns into a homicide investigation.

Forensic analysis revealed the man had been shot in the head.

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KIEL - Police say a report of gunshots at a high school in the eastern Wisconsin community of Kiel (KEEL) turned out to be false and that all students and staff are safe.

Authorities say a staff member of Kiel High School reported hearing gunshots outside the building shortly before 7 a.m. Friday, prompting a heavy law enforcement response.

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EAGLE RIVER - Once a week you probably leave a recycling bin at the end of your driveway. But what actually happens to that paper, cardboard, and bottles after a truck picks it up? 

Eagle Waste and Recycling in Eagle River gets recyclables from all over the northern half of Wisconsin and even the U.P. 

"As far north as Marquette, Michigan, as far east as Menominee, Michigan, from Chippewa Falls Wisconsin to the west and Wausau to the south," said Eagle Waste and Recycling President Alan Albee.

The facility opened in 2012 and has been growing ever since. 

Albee showed us how recyclables are sorted and packed to be shipped off and made into new products.
Recyclables are unloaded from a truck.

Then they are loaded into basin called a metering drum and then unloaded onto a conveyor belt. 

Workers start pre-sorting.

"Our pre-sort allows us to clean the material up prior to going into our main sorting building," said Albee. 

Then the belt runs into another building where it is sorted further. 

"And then the first thing that we pull out is glass," said Albee. 

Big cardboard items are sorted out through a filter. Then paper is separated from plastic and metals. 

"Metal is sorted by use of a magnet; aluminum is sorted automatically by the use of an eddy current," said Albee. 

Workers separate the different kinds of plastic, then items drop into a baler and are made into bricks. 

"The finished products are sent all over the country depending on what the material is. Paper and cardboard are shipped locally to paper mills in Wisconsin Rapids or over by Green Bay," said Albee. 

It's the only facility of its kind in the Northwoods, and one of the only ones in Wisconsin. 

Right now Eagle Waste and Recycling has two balers. They will be getting a third one this summer to pack cardboard.

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