Pushback Against Drug Abuse wants community involvement
Story By Hayley Tenpas
WAUSAU - When you hear about a serious crime in Marathon County, chances are, it's linked to drug use.
Community leaders feel crime rates will go down if drug abuse goes down.
That's why law enforcement and other groups launched the "Pushback Against Drug Abuse" campaign.
Today marked phase two of that campaign focusing on community involvement.
"We are not a population that ignores our problems. We take on the fights that matter, and this fight is worth taking on," said Wausau City Council Chairperson Lisa Rasmussen.
For Rasmussen, the fight against drug abuse is on.
"To create the energy the community needs to be a little bit angry about you know, all of these things that it sees and the activity in the neighborhoods," said Rasmussen.
Marathon County's "Pushback Against Drug Abuse" campaign now wants community involvement.
"It impacts our quality of life, it impacts the environment in our community and in our schools and it's important enough to us to take back the community and communicate the message out there that this community won't stand for it no more," said Rasmussen.
Sue Nowak is a local drug prevention specialist.
She believes drug abuse leads to larger problems.
Nowak knows the problem won't get smaller until the fight against it gets bigger.
"There are so many different aspects to addiction and what's going on in the community. So I think a team effort is the best way to approach it," said Nowak.
Part of that team is the Wausau Police Department.
They want community members to keep their eyes out for anything suspicious.
"So what do you do when you see this type of drug activity? We always ask you to call law enforcement so that we can go and investigate what is going on," said Captain Ben Bliven.
Bottom line, communication is key in the fight against drug abuse.
MADISON/TOMAHAWK - It may come as a surprise, but fishermen, hunters, or hikers can't legally cross most railroad tracks in Wisconsin.
That's even if the rail line splits their own property. Walking across tracks is only allowed on the thousands of crossings specifically approved by the state.
Some legislative Republicans think that doesn't make sense. They added a proposal to the state budget on Thursday to allow people to cross tracks on foot. Making a crossing would no longer be considered trespassing, and railroad companies would have no power to prevent it.
ANTIGO - Low temperatures this time of year can cause problems for some farmers. One Northwoods strawberry farm had to close down for a few hours earlier this week because the berries aren't ripening as fast as normal.
"The cold days this week made the berries ripen much slower than normal," says Andy Merry, owner of Merry's Berries.
NORTHWOODS - As people start getting ready for the 4th of July, many will camp here in the Northwoods.
The DNR expects almost 3,000 people to camp in the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest this weekend.
The DNR thinks this will be their best 4th of July yet, with almost all of the campgrounds full. People say there's nothing better than camping in the Northwoods.
"We like to come up to the Northwoods because it's beautiful and the water's crystal clear," said Prairie Farm resident Peter Fetting. "The other campers are always really friendly, and I've been coming up here for 30 years. This is my 30th year coming up here to camp."
People already got a head start heading out to beaches and on the water Friday. Campers say more people should come enjoy the woods this summer.
MINOCQUA - You can find tourists all over the Northwoods already for the holiday weekend.
That means area police departments are busy making sure everyone stays safe.
The Minocqua Police Department has all of their officers working extended hours on July 4th, but the police chief says they worry more about safety than law enforcement.
"[The] 4th of July is more family-oriented," says Minocqua Chief of Police Dave Jaeger. "You have a lot of families down there with their children, so we're down there to make sure that it's a safe environment."
Places like Minocqua will be packed with people this weekend, so police just want to make sure holiday events go on safely.
"We mainly focus on, during the parade, we do the re-route, and we have officers on the parade route in case there's any type of issues or accidents that may occur, that we have to respond to," says Jaeger.
The Minocqua Police Department also works with the chamber of commerce and public works to make sure everything goes smoothly.
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