Burglars Get a Biblical LessonSubmitted: 04/26/2013
Story By Lex Gray

MERRILL - Three men will sit in the Lincoln County jail this weekend while they wait to be charged in a string of burglaries Friday morning.

The burglaries happened on East Main Street in Merrill.

Merrill Police can't release many details yet, including their names.

So far, we've learned from neighbors they stole an F-150 truck and something they probably didn't expect to.

"God does work in mysterious ways sometimes," said Clifford Baker, who lives on East Main Street.

It seems that both God and three burglars were at work in Baker's neighborhood early this morning.

"About 5:30 this morning, my brother went down to let his dog out before he went to work and noticed his truck was gone," said Baker's neighbor, Amy Laflin. "He called the police right away, they showed up a few minutes later responding to a number of calls in the area."

Laflin called Baker around 6:30 to tell him about the robbery, but it wasn't until about two hours later he noticed the burglars had come to his property, too.

"They were actually in our garage and in our vehicles, and that's a little unnerving, because they're not invited and then they helped themselves to things they thought were important – which are important to us," Baker said.

The burglars Baker's SUV, probably thinking that the backpacks inside had laptops. But they were in for a little surprise.

"Well we are Jehovah's Witnesses, and what we had in our vehicles that were taken were our book bags that we carry with us when we go out in the door-to-door ministry," he said. "I'm assuming that the perpetrators that got into the vehicles, when they saw the bags, of course they're laptop computer bags, they probably assumed there were laptops in the bags and off they went with them. Unfortunately for them, it wasn't laptops."

By 9:15 Friday, police found Laflin's brother's car in Shawano County. They also have Baker's backpacks, but they're holding them for evidence.

Maybe they got the news that we often try to spread from door-to-door," Baker said. "As long as we have our things back, we're content with that."

The three suspects are due in Lincoln County Court Monday afternoon.

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RHINELANDER - When you think of fundraisers, usually you think of selling candy or gift wrap, but one elementary school is getting more creative with the way they fundraise.

Pelican Elementary School in Rhinelander started their first ever 'Strut for Fund' fun run Wednesday.

Student's family and friends pledge money based on how many laps the kids run around the playground.

The school then gets to use that money.

Organizers say the support is overwhelming in its first year.

"We're really excited, having this be our first year with the amount of support we're seeing with parents who have shown up, and with the enthusiasm in the kids," says Strut for Fund Coordinator Katie Lindner. "I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for all that they're doing to make this a success."

Students got an added treat to help encourage them.

The Hodag came out to help the kids get fired up.

"We had a pep rally [Tuesday]…and the kids were up out of their seats, yelling and cheering," says Lindner. "The Hodag was dancing with them, so they get really excited about it. I had one little boy that came up to me this morning and said 'This is the best day ever,' and was so excited."

Organizers also have other incentives for running like pizza parties and ice cream socials.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 10/07/2015

- The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra made its nearly annual stop in Rhinelander Wednesday morning. The orchestra played 200-year-old music for grade school children, but the conductor says Beethoven connects people in ways no other music can. Hear some of the show from him tonight at 5.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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Fall fire safety tipsSubmitted: 10/07/2015

RHINELANDER - Some people like to cozy up next to a fireplace on fall nights, but finding cost-effective ways to stay warm can be risky.

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MADISON - A court decision to let the Ho-Chunk Nation offer video poker at its Madison casino will stand after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1jdn78F ) the Supreme Court refused to take case on Monday with no comment. The case was among about 1,600 other cases the court declined to take up.

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MADISON - Republicans who control the state Assembly have introduced a bill that would reshape Wisconsin's campaign finance laws.

The measure would double the amount of contributions candidates for state and local office could accept and calls for adjusting those limits every five years to account for inflation.

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CHICAGO - A suburban Chicago man has been extradited from Wisconsin to face criminal charges in the 2013 carjacking crash that killed an 11-year-old boy.

Thirty-six-year-old Rockie Douglas of Beach Park is charged with murder, aggravated vehicular hijacking with a weapon and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

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MERRILL - The Merrill Police Department runs on the motto: "Serving Merrill With Pride." Tuesday, the people of Merrill returned the favor.

Every penny of the Friendship House Restaurant's proceeds from open to close went to the K-9 unit.

Eros, the German Shepherd, and his handler, Officer Matt Drabek, spent Tuesday afternoon at the restaurant along Highway 51 thanking customers and staff.

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