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NEWS STORIES

Wausau PD Offers Distracted Driving SimulatorSubmitted: 05/16/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


WAUSAU - We teach our kids to look both ways before they cross the street, buckle their seatbelts, and never drink and drive. But our kids may be teaching us a safety lesson soon. When it comes to texting and driving, adults are worse offenders than teenagers.

Today, Wausau Police went to Wausau West High School. Instead of telling them how dangerous texting and driving can be, they showed them.

This simulator car has an accelerator and brakes, but doesn't actually move. Students who went in thinking they can get away with texting and driving found out otherwise.

"I think they do feel like they do a pretty good job. They might say, 'Well oh yeah I was speeding a little bit'. But they don't even realize the drifting and the danger that it could cause," says Maureen Pilsner, from the Wausau Police Department.

One of our reporters gave it a shot, thinking she did pretty well. But she hit two people, another car, and had two speeding violations.

"Anything that you're texting or reading over the phone while you're driving is not worth dying for or risking someone else's life so it can wait. Hopefully through people's passion on this topic more lives can be saved in the future," says Maggie Deloye, a Wausau West Senior.

The Wausau Police Department is offering the simulator to anyone in Marathon County who wants to learn the dangers of distracted driving. Officers will take it to businesses, schools and community events. If you're interested, you can call the police department.



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 IN OTHER NEWS
Local seed company expandsSubmitted: 08/27/2014

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WHITE LAKE - A local Langlade County business will soon move its headquarters from White Lake to Antigo.

Owners of Wolf River Valley Seeds bought the building on the corner of 3rd Avenue and Edison Street in Antigo earlier this month. The company is known for producing high quality forage seeds to help provide nutrition for dairy cows. They are also a leading producer of the highly nutritious triticale seed.

"Wolf River Valley Seeds in White Lake is the largest producer today in the United States of triticale for Syngenta," said Production Manager and Part-Owner Mark Resch. "Triticale is a cross between wheat and rye and a lot of people don't know what it is. In the fields around here, it would look a lot like wheat and it is a very high protein forage crop that dairy people are using."

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Northwoods gun safety discussions following Arizona shooting instructor deathSubmitted: 08/27/2014

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RHINELANDER - The accidental death of a shooting instructor in Arizona raises questions about what kinds of guns children should learn to shoot.

A 9-year-old girl was learning how to fire a fully-automatic weapon on Monday. The recoil was too much for her to handle. As a result, she ended up firing several rounds uncontrollably and one of the rounds hit her instructor in the head. Some gun instructors in the Northwoods wonder why a young girl was using a fully-automatic weapon in the first place.

"Firearms training is an evolutionary thing," said Bruce Gary, an NRA certified shooting instructor. "You don't go from a training rifle to a machine gun. It was a horrible accident that frankly was preventable. And I don't understand why this instructor put a machine gun in the hands of a 9-year-old girl."

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Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes new executive directorSubmitted: 08/27/2014

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MINOCQUA - The Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce just welcomed a new executive director.

Krystal Westfahl started in the position August 21st.

She comes to the Northwoods from Appleton.

Westfahl is no stranger to the Northwoods.

She vacationed up here with her family.

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Leadership Oneida County seeks more applicants before deadlineSubmitted: 08/27/2014

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RHINELANDER - Going back to school takes a lot of time and money, but there's another way you can get a step up in your career without stepping in the classroom.

Leadership Oneida County is a nine month course offered to people who strive to be leaders. About 100 graduates of the course come from various backgrounds but have the same reason to take it.

"Go through this course to learn more about their community and learn more about their personal strengths as leaders, and to build their own professional network. The point of the course is to really connect leaders to their community," said Tim Brown, UW-Extension Community Resource Development.

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Man who caused an elementary school to be put on lockdown could have charges dismissed Submitted: 08/27/2014

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RHINELANDER - Police think Michael Schettino pointed a handgun at another driver on Highway 51 in May. Police say he then drove through the parking lot of MHLT Elementary school in Minocqua. The school was put on lockdown because of what happened.

Schettino was in court Wednesday. He took a plea agreement. His two misdemeanors could be dismissed if he follows the terms of the agreement for two years.

"The state has the option if they have evidence indicating that you have not complied with the terms of the agreement to bring this matter back into court," Judge Michael Bloom told Schettino, "and if they presented evidence to establish that you were not in compliance that I could enter judgment on your pleas without any further proceedings and go immediately to sentencing."

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Chippewa Falls man charged with 10th OWI in Oneida CountySubmitted: 08/27/2014

ONEIDA COUNTY - A Chippewa Falls man faces more than 12 years in prison if convicted of driving under the influence for the 10th time.

An Oneida County Sheriff's deputy stopped 43-year-old Edward Luedke just before 8 p.m. on August 22nd.

Court documents say the deputy noticed an SUV weaving in its lane and crossing the center line on Highway 17 near Hat Rapids Road.

The officer said Luedke had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and slow movement.

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Kenosha-area officials call for casino approvalSubmitted: 08/27/2014

MADISON - Leaders from southeastern Wisconsin and Democratic state lawmakers say Gov. Scott Walker should immediately approve the Menominee tribe's proposed casino in Kenosha because it would put people back to work.

They came together Wednesday to put pressure on Walker to approve the casino. The Bureau of Indian Affairs gave its OK for the casino a year ago but Walker has until Feb. 19 to sign off on it.

Walker said in a letter to lawmakers on Tuesday that he's moving cautiously because he's concerned about the effect on the state budget.

The Forest County Potawatomi has refused to make its annual casino revenue payment to the state as Walker negotiates with it.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says he thinks Walker is moving as quickly as he can.

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