RHINELANDER - Oneida County lost a dedicated public servant this past weekend. Tomorrow friends and family will say goodbye to Paul Dean.
Dean spent 13 years on the Oneida County Board representing Pine Lake. Before that, he served the city of Rhinelander in the Police Department. Back then he was known as Detective Sergeant Paul Dean.
He spent 28 years with the police force. In that time he won numerous awards, made headlines, and gained the respect of his community, colleagues, and even a few criminals.
"I remember one man he had arrested, and put in prison, the man had escaped and made it all the way to California," said Brian Dean, Paul's son, "And he had called my father for advice, explaining his situation and wanted to know what to do. You know, should he turn himself in?"
Some will remember Paul for tracking down a Hodag thief all the way to Chicago, or introducing Karate to the Northwoods. But his friends remember him for his compassion most of all.
"I used to call him the 1-man fundraiser," said Bob Metropulos, an Oneida County Board member and good friend of Dean's "If anyone had a tragedy in his area, he always was out there knocking on doors, raising funds, to help the individual out."
"I can walk through town with a smile on my face knowing who my father was and what he had left behind," says Brian Dean, "I think by leading the life he did, he left a very good example for us to follow."
A funeral service will be held tomorrow at 11:00am at Hildebrand Russ Funeral Home in Rhinelander.
PARK FALLS - Many families began their Thanksgiving Day with a run this morning. Topping off the holiday with a "trot" around town may not appeal to everyone, but for these families it was a way to spend time with one another.
"Trot now so we can pie later," said Steph Schultz, a runner in the Park Falls Turkey Trot.
Families used the Turkey Trot 5K in Park Falls as a way to bond.
MERRILL - Most people enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner with family. But the Merrill firefighters spend their Thanksgiving at the station with their second family, their coworkers. Community members stepped in to make sure the firefighters still had a special Thanksgiving while they were working.
It might be Thanksgiving, but for the Merrill Fire Department, it's just another day
But it is a day with more turkey, stuffing, and pies.
"We had a couple of community organizations that dropped off meals for us which we're definitely grateful for," said firefighter and paramedic Bryson Cruise.
The job doesn't stop for firefighters and Thanksgiving is no exception.
So Park City Credit Union and Hands of Hope wanted to thank the firefighters for their service with a home cooked Thanksgiving meal.
RHINELANDER - Nineteen months ago, 10 police agencies surrounded the Tripoli home of Kenneth Welsh.
Police say Welsh caused a three-hour standoff, threatened to blow up his house, and threatened to kill his wife.
Later in court, he was convicted of two felonies and sentenced to three years in prison by Oneida County Judge Michael Bloom.
But now, those convictions and prison sentence have been erased. This month, while in prison, Welsh argued he didn't fully understand all the elements of one of the crimes to which he pleaded no contest, first-degree recklessly endangering safety. Welsh's motion put some of the blame on his defense attorney, Rod Streicher.
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