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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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ONEIDA COUNTY - Back in November, a 20-year-old Rhinelander man drove and crashed his car after a night of drinking, killing his best friend in the passenger seat.

That driver will now spend nine months in jail.

Randall J. Lego was sentenced in Oneida County Court on Friday. 

He faced two charges of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.

According to court documents, Lego's car hit a power pole on River Road just outside Rhinelander.

The passenger, 23-year-old Jacob Juedes, was dead at the scene. Juedes was a husband and father of a young daughter.

Oneida County Circuit Court Judge Patrick O'Melia said it was a tragic set of circumstances.

"The only aggravating factor here, and when I say that I don't mean to diminish the loss here, but is the result of this accident," O'Melia said. "That is the only thing that is not in your favor, which is the result of the action and the permanency of it."

Some witnesses testified to Lego's character and pleaded with the judge to not give jail time.

But, Judge O'Melia sentenced Lego to nine months in jail and seven years probation.

"There's a lot of people in the community who have strong feelings about what should happen," O'Melia said. "But the court can't sentence on community anger or community empathy."

Lego must also complete 200 hours of community service, for which Judge O'Melia wants Lego to speak to kids and teens about his experience. 




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The governor's office has named attorney Gregory Strasser to serve as a judge in Marathon County Circuit Court, replacing outgoing Judge Greg Grau.

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USA Today Network-Wisconsin reports the 69-year-old woman approached her neighbor on Wednesday evening in attempt to show him that she didn't have his duck.

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