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New canine unit making drug crimes more difficult in TomahawkSubmitted: 06/14/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

New canine unit making drug crimes more difficult in Tomahawk
TOMAHAWK - The Tomahawk Police Department saw some major staffing changes in the past year. There's a new police chief, and it got its first non-human member.

The department launched a major crackdown on drug crimes in the area. Now, that newest member has hit the streets to help them out.

Meet Vali, Tomahawk's new drug dog. Vali and her partner Officer Ryan Picl have only been on the job together for two weeks. But in that short time, Vali already shows major promise.

"We've deployed her six times on cars and she's alerted on every one of them. And items have been found inside each car," says Picl.

Vali isn't a patrol dog. That means she doesn't chase and bring down suspects. But she can track people, and she's trained to find all kinds of drugs.

"She's trained for marijuana, coke, methamphetamine, opiate base like heroin and amphetamines," says Picl.

For the canine handler, it's a 24 hour a day, seven day a week commitment. Chief Al Elvins says Picl is the right man for the job.

"Ryan's got a drive and he's able to be aggressive without showing an aggressive nature to people. If he knows that his job is to go out there and make the street safer that's what he's going to do rain, shine, day or night," says Chief Elvins.

The duo will be instrumental in the department's effort to make it harder for people to bring drugs into the community. The drug crackdown has already been successful. In past years, the most drug cases Tomahawk police have had was 84. This year, they've already reached 101, and it's only June.

"We're getting a lot of kudos, but it's nothing I've done. The only thing that I've done in this department is taken the handcuffs off the officers and told them to do their job," says Chief Elvins.

The police have another partner: the community.

"The Animal Clinic of Tomahawk, Dr. Julie has gone above and beyond for us. She's given us all her services for free. One vendor that she had gave us food for life so it's absolutely no cost to the taxpayers," says ," says Chief Elvins.

If people keep contributing the way they have been, there will be enough in the canine fund to bring another dog onto the force when Vali retires.

You can contribute to the canine fund by contacting the Tomahawk Police Department.



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MINOCQUA - Dozens of girls laced up their running shoes to hit the start line for the "Girls on the Run" community spring 5k Saturday in Minocqua.

Girls on the Run is an organization that helps young girls grow to be confident and healthy.

The 5K fun run is just one way to promote a healthy body image.

Girls on the Run Park Falls coach Katie Rybak said the run isn't about time or winners but to make sure everyone knows that they are capable of finishing.

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TOMAHAWK - An old school Tomahawk business didn't win Wisconsin's Main Street Makeover Contest. It could have received state money for remodeling. However, the owner says it's creating a prize of its own and moving forward with its makeover project. 

Doug Kirby has kept the Tomahawk community stitched and sewn together for the last 32 years.

"You have to change to survive in any business," said Kirby.

Kirby thought his Sew-N-Vac store in Tomahawk might win Wisconsin's Main Street Makeover Contest and help with its survival.

"The $10,000 grant would have been nice but we had planned to remodel anyhow," said Kirby.

Kirby's store didn't make it to the final round of the contest.However, that didn't stop him from moving forward with his $30,000 renovation project.

"We're enlarging areas that need to be enlarged like our classroom area," said Kirby. 

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The art of sucker grabbingSubmitted: 05/18/2018

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Fishing usually means grabbing a fishing pole and bait and heading to the lake. But some people decide to go a different route and just use their bare hands.

Sucker grabbing is pretty simple.

"There isn't much to it besides just grabbing a sucker," said Tyler Olson.

But there is more to it than just grabbing, at least for some.

"If you can just creep up behind them, you can just grab it pretty easy, but I've seen Tyler trying to grab it with the two hands but that isn't really working out for you is it Tyler?" said Brandon Alsteen.

The Rhinelander guys go out at night because the suckers are easier to see with flash lights. That light sometimes scares the fish, which is just one factor that adds to the challenge.

"They are very strong animals actually for being little fish, to be honest with you. They squirm out of your hands a little too fast for you grab, you have to be stealthy and fast with them," said Olson.

The catch is why the guys go out.

"I kind of get the thrill out of the whole deal here. It's just nice going out with a couple friends," said Olson.

Those couple friends take the challenge and turn it up a notch between the group.

"It's kind of a competition thing between friends at school. There's a good amount of kids that actually do it. You see who can catch the most suckers I guess and whoever ends up with the most is kind of the big winner," said Olson.

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SANTA FE, TX - Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says 10 people are dead and 10 more wounded after a shooting at a high school in the town of Santa Fe.

Abbott called Friday's shooting "one of the most heinous attacks that we've ever seen in the history of Texas schools."

He says explosive devices including a Molotov cocktail had been found in the suspected shooter's home and a vehicle as well as around the school and nearby.

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ST. GERMAIN - Looking around Kathy Lass's restaurant in St. Germain, it's pretty obvious why she and her husband named it the Wolf Pack Café 19 years ago. 

"We had a lot of artwork that had wolves on it, so it was a no-brainer," said Lass. "We took the pictures off the walls of our house and hung them in the café and decided the Wolf Pack Café was it."

That theme will carry over to the café's new sign.

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MINOCQUA -
Update Friday 11:15 p.m.:

Police believe a missing woman who wandered off from her Minocqua resort walked nearly 20 miles before search crews found her.

The Minocqua Police Department reported late Friday night Susanne Meseberg was found safe at the North Trout Lake Campground near Boulder Junction around 9:45 p.m.

Meseberg, 68, walked away from her family at Beacons of Minocqua around 3:30 p.m.  Meseberg suffers from Alzheimer's.  A statewide Silver Alert notification went out several hours later.  Crews from 12 agencies helped with the search.

A press release from Minocqua Police Chief Dave Jaeger notes Meseberg was found at 9:47 p.m. at the campground, which is approximately 17 miles from her resort in Minocqua.  The release says Meseberg was reunited with her family after her discovery.


Jaeger thanked the Minocqua Fire Department, Newbold Search and Rescue, Arbor Vitae Rescue, Hazelhurst fire, the Oneida County Dive Team, Oneida County Sheriff's Office, Wisconsin DNR, Little Rice Canteen Unit, Oneida County Emergency Management, Vilas County Sheriff's Office, and Woodruff police for helping in the search.




Update Friday 9:55 p.m.:

Minocqua Police Chief Dave Jaeger reports the woman missing from her Lakeland area resort has been found safe.  

Susanne Meseberg, 68, walked off from her room at Beacons of Minoqua resort around 3:30 p.m. Friday.  Jaeger informed Newswatch 12 of finding Meseberg safe around 9:45 p.m.

The police department plans to release more details late Friday.




Police in the Lakeland area are searching for a woman with Alzheimer's Friday night.

The Minocqua Police Department reports Susanne Meseberg, 68, walked away from her room at The Beacons of Mincoqua around 3:30 Friday afternoon.  Meseberg is from Wausau.

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But inside your vehicle, the heat can get downright dangerous.

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