RHINELANDER - Violent crimes tend to grab our attention- even more so when a family member acts out against another family member.
Police arrested 16-year-old Michael Thimm back in December. He attacked his mother and her boyfriend with a buck knife when they were fighting over a computer. Thimm was in Oneida County Court today for his preliminary hearing.
Rather than arguing about what Thimm did, it seems the defense and prosecution will argue about whether Thimm understood what he was doing. That's because the teenager has a form of autism called Aspergers.
Judge Patrick O'Melia heard testimony from an investigator, a mental health expert, and Thimm himself. The main question: did he intend to kill his stepdad?
"Do you remember him asking, 'Did you intend to kill Joel?'" asked District Attorney Mike Schiek.
"Yes," answered Thimm.
But Thimm's defense team argued that because of his Aspergers he couldn't differentiate his intent to scare or injure Mr. Sandburg as opposed to kill him.
Judge O'Melia decided there's enough evidence to move forward with the case. Thimm is charged with attempted first degree intentional homicide. That charge is serious enough that he's automatically tried as an adult. But since he's only 16, he'll be back in court in May to try to get his case sent to the juvenille justice system.
WOODRUFF - The odds of catching someone who poached a deer remain pretty low unless someone saw or heard it happen. Luckily for law enforcement, that's what happened in Woodruff and Minocqua last week.
MILWAUKEE - A jury has convicted a Milwaukee man of first-degree reckless homicide in the fatal shooting of a 5-year-old girl.
The jury on Thursday also found Carl Barrett Jr. guilty of recklessly endangering Laylah's Peterson's grandmother, grandfather and sister who were present during the shooting in November 2014. Laylah was shot in the head as she sat on her grandfather's lap. Police say the shooters targeted the wrong house.
RHINELANDER - People know Rhinelander for producing things like specialty papers at the Expera mill, food wrappers at Printpack, and sausage at Trig's smokehouse. But AirPro, an industrial fan manufacturer, helps make up part of the business scene. Now that company is taking a new approach to its employees.
"I've never been comfortable with the idea that I'm the owner, I'm in some separate category. To me, we're all in the same boat," said AirPro President Keith White.
To White, his employees at AirPro in Rhinelander are the backbone of what the company does.
ST. GERMAIN - 300 Vilas County sixth-graders joined together against drugs and alcohol in St. Germain Thursday. The kids got to hang out with peers they will be going to high school with in a couple of years.
Though it all looked like fun and games, each exercise opened the floor to more serious topics like cyber-bullying, drug use, and underage drinking.
"There are little things that we are planting seeds and as those seeds are planted, later on others can help it grow as well," said UW Extension Youth Agent Nancy Ann Miller.
Throughout the day, the middle schoolers rotated through hands-on positive activities. Kids were even able to talk to Nicolet College about future career plans.
At one station, the leaders showed off Native American traditions with drumming and dancing to get the middle schoolers to open up.
"They just have a riot. You ask them what's the best thing and they say everything!" said Miller.
This is the twelfth year the positivity conference joined at St. Germain Park.
Conference coordinators say the end goal is to leave the kids with a lifelong memory of the Northwoods.
RHINELANDER - Lifting brand-new bikes out of the basement to see the light of day for the first time, Gene Welhoefer couldn't wait to put them to use.
"We'd love to wear the tires out in year one," Welhoefer said.
The Three Lakes principal loaded bike after bike--29 on this trip--into a trailer parked outside of Mel's Trading Post in Rhinelander Thursday afternoon. The school district purchased 63 bikes to promote healthy habits in Three Lakes students.
"Get outside, breathe some fresh air, soak in some sunshine, take a little ride," Welhoefer said.
GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers have doubled down on their image of playing on the frozen tundra, unveiling more details for its Titletown District that include a winter tubing hill and a skating rink at its heart.
The team announced Thursday the district will also include a football-themed playground and full-sized football field with an artificial surface.
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