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NEWS STORIES

DRI Moves to More Visible SpotSubmitted: 04/05/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


RHINELANDER - The group in charge of improving Downtown Rhinelander used to be holed up in a small second floor office.

That made them somewhat detatched from the area they were looking to serve.

Now, Downtown Rhinelander, Incorporated, will have a spacious new setting and visible spot on Brown Street.

Today, they were busy moving their office to the former "Spice of Life" retail store.

"We felt that it was time that we had a presence on the main street, and we would be accessible. This way will just make an awareness, not only just to the community, but also in the summertime and people walking through the street," says DRI Executive Director Maggie Steffen.

The area had been open since "Spice of Life" closed a few months ago.

"It's kind of nice to be able to take a vacant spot, an available spot, and now put our money where our mouth is in that we're investing and trying to make downtown a valuable place, which it is," says Steffen.

Downtown Rhinelander focuses on historic preservation and economic development in the community.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Back in November, a 20-year-old Rhinelander man drove and crashed his car after a night of drinking, killing his best friend in the passenger seat.

That driver will now spend nine months in jail.

Randall J. Lego was sentenced in Oneida County Court on Friday. 

He faced two charges of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.

According to court documents, Lego's car hit a power pole on River Road just outside Rhinelander.

The passenger, 23-year-old Jacob Juedes, was dead at the scene. Juedes was a husband and father of a young daughter.

Oneida County Circuit Court Judge Patrick O'Melia said it was a tragic set of circumstances.

"The only aggravating factor here, and when I say that I don't mean to diminish the loss here, but is the result of this accident," O'Melia said. "That is the only thing that is not in your favor, which is the result of the action and the permanency of it."

Some witnesses testified to Lego's character and pleaded with the judge to not give jail time.

But, Judge O'Melia sentenced Lego to nine months in jail and seven years probation.

"There's a lot of people in the community who have strong feelings about what should happen," O'Melia said. "But the court can't sentence on community anger or community empathy."

Lego must also complete 200 hours of community service, for which Judge O'Melia wants Lego to speak to kids and teens about his experience. 




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