Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Lincoln County sees spike in fake emergency callsSubmitted: 04/10/2013
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com

MERRILL - Plenty of kids will experiment with 911 once or twice even if they're not in danger. Most learn their lesson after one time and don't do it again. But 117 prank calls in 6 months from one kid? That's out of control.

"The most recent was a 'man with a gun' call where there was an active shooter allegedly involved in the city of Tomahawk," Lincoln County Sheriff's Lt. Tim Fischer said. "We had to send many resources, lights and sirens to the scene until we realized it was our prank caller."

But it's not just a kid in Tomahawk making those calls. The number of fake 911 calls is going up, tripling in Lincoln County over the last 10 years. In 2012, the county logged 1619 fake calls, averaging 4.4 per day. Lt. Fischer says that causes several safety issues.

"Our squad cars are going lights and sirens, they're typically exceeding the speed limit, greater risks while driving. What people don't think about is if we're responding to a prank 911 call, we might not be available for the real one that's coming in right behind it," Fischer said.

Prank calls are only one piece of the puzzle. A vast majority of fake dials come from pocket dials -- where phone buttons get pushed accidentally in your pocket or purse.

And what about your old cell phones? It can be easy to give them to your kids to play with. Rhinelander Team Wireless store manager Tim Antoniewicz says that should be avoided.

"If you do still want to give your phones to your kids to play with, you're going to want to remove the battery to make it non-functional so it can't dial 911," Antoniewicz said.

That's one call Lt. Fischer hopes all parents decide to make for their kids.

"If you want to play with 911, get a play phone, get a plastic phone, hit 911, learn where those buttons are," Fischer said. "But don't call us to see if it's going to happen."

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

MERRILL - Taxpayers will need to decide if they want to pay more to support the Merrill Area Public Schools.

Wednesday, the school board voted in favor of a four-year referendum for $2.5 million dollars

The district faces a nearly $2 million operating deficit for next school year.

It has used savings to keep the school running for the last few years.

The priorities of the referendum will be enhancing the school's fab lab, addressing maintenance issues, and attracting and retaining high quality teachers and administration.

Wednesday the school board also reviewed budget options if the referendum does not pass.

The referendum question will be on the April ballot. 


+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander couple thought they were empty nesters. However, an experience volunteering made them open their doors back up to kids who need a temporary home.
The Zoerb's adult children moved out years ago. But at any moment they could get a call from social services that make them bring out their parenting skills for another round.
Rick and Danielle Zoerb work together as realtors putting people in homes that are the perfect fit. However, the husband and wife know their home can be a good fit for others too.
"There's no reason for kids to have to fall through the cracks," said Dani.
Rick met a child at a mentorship program a few years ago. It was a meeting that opened a new door for him and his wife.
"There was no hesitation on our part when we felt the situation was deteriorating for this young boy," said Rick. 

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - It feels a little better about needing to shovel, blow and plow driveways when people know everyone else needs to, too.

Newswatch 12 found a few people around Rhinelander embracing the tasks Wednesday.

Bart Bartholomew has a motto when it comes to shoveling snow.

"Gotta get her done," said Bartholomew.

Bartholomew geared up Wednesday morning on Stevens Street in Rhinelander with not one, but two shovels.

"It usually takes 45 minutes with an average shovel, [but for] me, it only takes 25 if you have two shovels," said Bart with a laugh.

Rhinelander saw around seven inches of snow Wednesday.

The season's first big snowfall brought many people outside to scrape, shovel and blow their driveways.

"I got [a lot to] do over there," said Mathew Bozek.

+ Read More

ONEIDA COUNTY - Police believe a Three Lakes man sexually assaulted a child repeatedly over the course of five years.

For the protection of the victim, Newswatch 12 will not share their age or gender. 

The victim told police they were a child when David Teresinski, 59, first had sex with them.

According to the criminal complaint, the victim said Teresinski had sex with them more than 30 times since 2012. 

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - Wednesday's snowfall might make you want to bundle up, but the sleigh horses in Eagle River love it.

It takes about two hours to get Rocking W Stables' horses ready for a day of sleigh rides.

Driver Karrie Dollar harnesses and hitches those horses every year.

It's not unusual for her to make friends with the people that go on the rides, but it's the horses she grows close to.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Golden Harvest store in Rhinelander wants you to meet its newest store greeter.

He stands far above six feet at the entrance of the store.

"[He's the] North American Big foot," said Golden Harvest employee Steve Quade.

This new store greeter has many names according to Quade.

"[The northern] big foot version is a Yeti," said Quade.

This Yeti is being sold as an abominable snowman which Quade clarifies is the same thing as a Yeti.

"The Yeti is from the Himalayan Mountains," said Quade.

But aside from being an attraction the price tag on the big guy is far from cheap at nearly $1,700.

What's more shocking is how fast someone purchased it.

+ Read More

Play Video

WABENO, CRANDON - Donna Ver Voort calls her mansion "the most beautiful property in Forest County."

The Wabeno home, built in 1908 by lumber baron M. J. Quinlan, is now Ver Voort's Crystal Bell Inn and Spa. Ver Voort has owned the bed and breakfast for 21 years.

"Even on the outside, it looks large, but when you come in, you are blown away," Ver Voort said of its 6,500 square feet.

Now, Ver Voort wants to show off her 27 rooms, three fireplaces, and third-floor ballroom which used to be a basketball court. For the next week, Ver Voort will give five-dollar tours of the mansion.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here