Search for missing Merrill woman extends to ponds and waterwaysSubmitted: 05/01/2013
Story By WJFW News Team

MERRILL - Cell phones and GPS make finding someone pretty easy these days. But not if they disappear without those tools.

Anita Bucki, who lives near Merrill, vanished from her home, late last week leaving behind her purse, phone, and car keys.

Earlier Wednesday, the Corning and Hamburg Volunteer fire departments along with the Marathon County dive team searched several nearby bodies of water.

They're also continuing to search the wooded area around her house here on Wegner road in rural Lincoln County. So far they've not found any trace of her in the area.

"I don't believe she's there, we haven't had any luck with any canine searches," Lincoln County Chief Deputy Nathan Walrath said. "That would indicate that she's in the wooded area, but we want to rule that out to indicate that she is not."

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office is asking anyone who may have seen Anita Bucki or with any details about her disappearance, to call them.

The State crime lab was there collecting evidence.

The Sheriffs Office wasn't able to share any details about what the found, or what they were looking for.

They also won't confirm whether the Bucki's were having marital issues or if Anita Bucki has any medical issues that could have cause her to wander away.

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RHINELANDER - A Marathon County man who drove to Rhinelander to meet up with a 15-year-old girl for sex told police he nearly turned around.

Instead, Dustin Zernicke pulled into the Shopko parking lot Friday night and found officers waiting for him.

The 35-year-old Zernicke made his initial appearance in Oneida County Court Monday afternoon.  Undercover officers posted an ad on Craigslist pretending to be a 15-year-old girl.  The post said "Mom sent me [to] Rhinelander for the weekend and I have nothing to do."

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MERRILL - The Merrill Fire Department sees the need for more, younger EMTs to get into the business. Like other area departments, it wants to ensure its staff will stay strong for years into the future.

People like Dylan Schielke can help make that happen.

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WISCONSIN - This year marks the third highest bear harvest in state history.

The totals cement Wisconsin's title as the best state in the U.S. for bear harvests with 4,643 registered.

But it wasn't all good news for bear hunters. 

This year also marked the highest number of hunting dog deaths.

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MINOCQUA - The Minocqua Town Board always knew it would need to replace Supervisor Bryan Jennings eventually. But the Board didn't think it happen so soon.

Jennings died September 8, two days after he was struck by lightning while walking his dog.

Town Chairman Mark Hartzheim says the Town is now accepting letters of interest from anyone wanting to fill Jennings's seat.

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EAGLE RIVER - Many of us already put out the scary decorations and pumpkins for some Halloween spirit. But if you're looking to take it up a notch, dress like a zombie and grab your running shoes this Saturday.

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WAUSAU - This fall Wausau's Woodson Art Museum will bring together artists from all over the world. 

The Birds in Art exhibit gives artists an opportunity to share a piece of themselves with their audience.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 10/24/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll update you on the details of a fatal car crash in the Town of Stella that took the life of a teenager late Saturday night.

This year marks the third highest bear harvest in state history. But it also marked the highest number of hunting dog deaths. No one knows for sure why, but we'll tell you about some possible reasons.

And the Elcho-White Lake High School football team agreed to play an 8-man football game against a nearby high school's team. We'll tell you how it's helping out the nearby team.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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