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Pictures from Abusive Puppy Mill Accompany PunishmentSubmitted: 05/02/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Pictures from Abusive Puppy Mill Accompany Punishment
CRANDON - For two years, we told you about a couple accused of operating an abusive puppy mill in Crandon.

Now, for the first time, we're seeing pictures of the conditions at their house.

John Johnson pleaded guilty to 16 charges of animal mistreatment and starvation Thursday.

His wife, Jacqueline, died earlier this year.

Prosecutors say she was the main operator of the mill.

Since she was more involved in the puppy mill, John Johnson's punishment will be minimal.

He will remain on bond and be prohibited from having dogs in his house unless approved by the Crandon Police.

Prosecutors will revisit the case in 18 months.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MINOCQUA - You don't need to wait for the grass to turn green for golfing.

Minocqua's Ice Golf is an end of season charity tournament coming up on March 3rd.

The tournament raised more than $18,000  last year for charities including the food pantry and Dr. Kate Hospice.

It has become a Northwoods tradition for some people.

"First year we had it, we had only like 35 golfers, now last year we had over 300 golfers," says Albee's owner Randy Albrecht.

If you don't have a group, they'll put into one.

After everyone is done putting, there will be dinner and a raffle.

For tickets and info call: Albee's Yacht Club at 715-356-1366 OR The Thirsty Whale at 715-356-7108.


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MERRILL - Trinity Lutheran School in Merrill doesn't have room for any more kindergarten students next year.

Its class is already full, partly because some families can send their kids to Trinity for free.

For the third straight year, Trinity will participate in Wisconsin's private school choice program.

This year, the state pays tuition for about 30 of Trinity's 120 total students.

"Parents like the Christian base, obviously. That's the main reason people send [their kids] here," said School Administrator Kathy Yahr. "They're keeping them here more now because of the opportunities that we offer."

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WISCONSIN - A central Wisconsin state representative believes smaller communities in Wisconsin should not be treated as a welcome center for sex offenders, particularly sexual violent ones.

Democrat State Representative Katrina Shankland voted for a motion in the state budget to keep sex offenders in their original counties where the crimes took place.

However, Governor Scott Walker vetoed that motion in September because it go rid of the rule that keeps offenders away from schools, churches and other places children might be.

Now, there are three new pending sexual violent offenders waiting to be placed in rural areas of Portage County even though the crimes were committed elsewhere.

Shankland is trying once again to keep these offenders in their original home counties with a budget amendment that has already passed the assembly.

However, Governor Scott Walker vetoed that motion in September to keep offenders away from schools, churches and other places children might be.

Now, there are three new pending sexual violent offenders waiting to be placed in rural areas of Portage County even though the crimes were committed elsewhere.

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HAYWARD - Trail conditions for this year's American Birkebeiner race will be just about perfect.

Executive Director Ben Popp said there's about a six inch base, three inches of snow on top, and more snow on the way in the Hayward area. 

"The energy right now is just unreal. You can feel it here in Hayward and Cable and certainly around the world. Now with a gold medal, Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall, brings more excitement to not only this event, but the sport. So it's a really great time to be a cross country skier," said Popp.

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WAUSAU - Police arrested a Florence County man in connection to a Wausau homicide case this week.
Online court records show Lee Franck, 56 doesn't face homicide charges, but instead domestic abuse counts.

According to the Wausau Pilot and Review paper, the criminal complaint shows Franck got into an argument with Lyle Leith a few days before the 77-year-old was found dead at his Wausau home on Kickbusch Street.

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STELLA - A cat died in a house fire in Stella Thursday afternoon.

Firefighters responded to the call around 1:30 p.m., several miles east of Rhinelander.

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WOODRUFF - Highway 47 in Woodruff temporarily closed down this afternoon so a MedEvac helicopter could lift a man to the hospital after a snowmobile accident. 

A group of snowmobilers were on the trail next to Highway 47 just south of Walter Dr. when one of the snowmobilers hit a bump and was thrown off his sled. 

"They were all traveling the same direction, just hit one of the bumps in the trail and that's what caused everything to happen," said Woodruff Police Officer Jeremy Herrmann. 

The man was airlifted to a hospital and has unknown injuries. 

The crash happened around 4 p.m. 

Highway 47 was closed in both directions for nearly half an hour, causing a backup of cars. 

The DNR, Oneida County Sheriff's Office, Minocqua Police and Fire Departments, and Woodruff Police and Fire Departments all responded.

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