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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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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 04/29/2016

- Local schools have stepped up to show their support for the Antigo community after last weekend's prom shooting. We'll show you what that effort looks like at Lakeland.

- Plus, a local greenhouse that was destroyed by a tornado in 2011 and was rebuilt is celebrating it's20th anniversary. We'll take you to the celebration.

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

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MADISON - Many businesses in the northwoods rely on money from visitors.

Last year, tourists spent nearly $12 billion in Wisconsin.  That's according to a report the state Department of Tourism released today.  It found tourism spending went up about $500 million from 2014.

Last year marked the sixth straight year of increasing spending.

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ANTIGO - Police Chief Eric Roller keeps his emotions pretty well in check.  But as the Antigo Police Department break room fills with food and thank-you cards, Roller cracks—just a bit.

"Seeing that and seeing all the responses on Facebook, I mean, that's the part that chokes you up," Roller said in his office Thursday afternoon.

Just five days earlier, essentially the entire Antigo police force (and many other departments across northern Wisconsin) scrambled to stop a teenager from killing anyone at the high school's prom.  Two party-goers were hurt, and the 18-year-old shooter, Jakob Wagner, was killed, but thanks to officers Andy Hopfensperger and Ryan Bula already at the scene, the threat ended there.  Hopfensperger shot Wagner "multiple times,"according to court documents released earlier this week.

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WESTON - A new health clinic in Weston hopes to help women with different health issues.

The Couri and Smyth Health for Life Medical Center had its ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday. The clinic is led by two doctors, Dr. Kimberly Couri and Dr. R. Louise Smyth, who specialize in helping with women's health issues.

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EAGLE RIVER - After what happened last weekend at Antigo High School's prom, many people can't help but think about increased security measures at other schools. But Northland Pines High School wants teens to think about other issues before their prom on Saturday.

Tri-County Council was at Northland Pines Thursday talking about dating violence. They want kids to be respectful of each other and have fun this weekend.

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS - Wisconsin Rapids Police expect to release the three names from Wednesday's double-murder suicide soon. The department is waiting for today's autopsies to be finished before releasing those names.

Officers search the Wisconsin Rapids home Wednesday morning and found three bodies.

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MADISON - Wisconsin's Department of Justice is creating a new bureau to handle officer-involved deaths and other sensitive investigations.

Attorney General Brad Schimel announced the new Bureau of Special Investigations Thursday. In a statement, he said the new bureau will play an important role in maintaining the transparency and thoroughness in officer-involved deaths the public deserves.

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