Pushback Against Drug Abuse wants community involvementSubmitted: 07/09/2013
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.

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WOOD COUNTY - We now know the names of the people involved in a Wood County Crash that killed two people Tuesday afternoon.

The Wood County Sheriff's Department says the cars crashed head-on along Highway 80 in the Town of Dexter around 3:30.

71-year-old Barbara Baldwin of New Lisbon was driving one of the cars, and died in the crash.

Her passenger, 74 year old Louise Hemenway of New Lisbon, also died.

Another passenger in the car, 72-year-old Dona Sharp, was hurt....as was the driver of the second car, 30-year-old Greg Kopelke of Wisconsin Rapids.

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TOMAH - The Tomah VA Medical Center will end a lease agreement for a shelter for homeless veterans.

The Veterans Assistance Foundation has operated the shelter for nearly 20 years.

Tomah VA spokesman Matthew Gowan says there have been more than 30 incidents involving shelter residents recently.

They include a suicide attempt, a drug overdose and criminal violations.

The center has given the foundation notice that it will end the lease in January.

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MERRILL - People know Helene's Hilltop Orchard in Merrill as the place to go to get your fall season fix.

The pie makers and apple peelers come in early to crank out caramel apple pies fresh throughout the day.

When people come to Helene's, they are usually greeted by the smell of the pies before they even see them.

"I love being out in the parking lot when people step out of their cars and smell the air. It doesn't smell like a lot of other farms. It's distinctly the cinnamon sugar you smell," said Helene' Hilltop Orchard baker Olivia Telschow.

Helene's is only open for six weeks from mid-September to late October; however, Telschow works alongside her mother Helene throughout the entire year.

Even in the winter, the apple orchard is checked on.

"February is pruning season. Think of me when it's minus ten and it's snowing and windy and snow drifts because I will be out there," said Telschow.

The orchard is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through October 30th.

Helene's will close Sunday for the season, but pies will be available to order for Thanksgiving.

Call (715) 536-1207 for more information.

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EAGLE RIVER - The Northwoods didn't get a lot of bitter cold or snow early last winter.  That forced Vilas County to keep its snowmobile trails closed much later than it hoped.

But the county set its target opening date for this year, with hopes we see a very different winter.

The county set a projected date to open trails of December 12.  That allows deer hunters to get through their season without worrying about snowmobiles in the woods.

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MADISON - A University of Wisconsin student charged with sexually assaulting and choking a woman is expected to face additional charges after investigators say they were contacted by dozens of other women.

Police say officers searching Alec Cook's Madison apartment found a black book with names of women he had met and what he wanted to do with them, including his sexual desires.

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EAGLE RIVER - A driver lost control of her car and crashed into the woods southwest of Eagle River late Wednesday afternoon.

It happened on County Highway D near its intersection with County Highway H. The driver was the only person in the car. She wasn't injured.

An Oneida County Sheriff's Deputy on scene couldn't yet say why she lost control of the car.

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THREE LAKES - Baseball fans in Three Lakes watched the Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the World Series on Tuesday night.

A few of those fans might live on Cy Williams Road, or down the street from Cy Williams Park. As they watched, they may have drawn the connection between that Northwoods man, Cy Williams, and the game they were watching on the field.

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