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NEWS STORIES

Taking the Time to Honor Those Who Serve UsSubmitted: 05/16/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


WAUSAU - This week we honor people who do very difficult work. In honor of National Police Week the City of Wausau held a memorial service today for those who died while serving us.

Wausau Mayor Jim Tipple, and representatives from the police department and Marathon County Sheriff's Office led the ceremony downtown.

Marathon County has lost law enforcement officers while on duty five times in its history.

State Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley said there is no freedom without the rule of law.

"The quality of life in this country and in this county depends to a great extent to the way in which the police and law enforcement function is carried out," says Justice Walsh Bradley.

Police Chief Jeffrey Hardel says it's important for different agencies to come together on days like today.

Police deal with situations the public can't deal with. And they have to do it with all of us watching closely.

"This is a unique profession. We all respect each other, we all need each other, we all rely on each other to help us through difficult times because we see things that most people shouldn't see. So it is a very close, tight-knit family," says Chief Jeffrey Hardel.

In 2012, 127 officers were killed nationwide. That's down slightly from the 156 killed the year before.



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 IN OTHER NEWS

OWEN - A plane crash in central Wisconsin has killed one person and injured two others.

Clark County Sheriff Greg Herrick says the victim was a passenger in a Cessna 182 that was trying to make an emergency landing on a road in the town of Hoard at about 9:15 a.m. Monday.

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WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling received a record number of phone calls to the helpline in 2014"14,731 to be exact. This is a 5.6 percent increase from calls received in 2013.

Some of the callers reported having to file for bankruptcy or having thoughts of suicide. The report from the Council also calculated $47,000 as the average gambling debt of callers in 2014, and $20,000 as the median debt.

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LAONA - A Northwoods school found a way to teach students skills they'll need after school, and help the community at the same time.

Some Laona High School students helped build a warming shelter at the towns recycling center.

One of Laona's town supervisors brought up the possibility of the building to a school board member.

The school board member felt it was a good way for a small school and town to work together.

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RHINELANDER - A man uses bubbles to entertain kids and parents, but his act Monday night also focused on more than just entertainment.

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Akins makes a living by blowing bubbles.

"It was nine years ago that I left my job teaching to perform full time," Akins said.

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VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County finally got what it wanted. For fifteen years, the county had needed someone to act as a full-time Recreational Officer--someone to monitor public safety on the snowmobile and ATV trails as well as the lakes and rivers. Now, Vilas County Deputy Sheriff Randy Schneider will fill that role.

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PHILLIPS - The Price County Sheriff's Office wants to find out what it needs to do to get a K-9 officer. Sheriff Brian Schmidt believes a new dog would improve the office's ability to find drugs.

The county doesn't have its own K-9 officer. However, they do turn to other departments for help.

"What we would utilize is surrounding counties, and it is at their discretion," Schmidt said. "Like Rhinelander, we utilize their dog on occasion, maybe once or twice a year. But again, it is their dog, so they have their needs come first. So if we have our own equipment, our needs are met with our equipment."

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WAUSAU - The Wausau Police Department will use a "Hero Dog" to help bolster its K9 unit.

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"My last dog, Pluto, is 12-and-a-half and he just retired," Jaeger said. "When [Pluto] saw me in the uniform getting in the squad and he didn't get to come along, he was not happy."

Rex just recently joined the Wausau Police Department, but his service to his community and his country, goes further back.

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