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Ariel Castro pleads guilty in Cleveland kidnappingsSubmitted: 07/26/2013
Story By Associated Press

CLEVELAND - A Cleveland man accused of holding three women captive in his home for about a decade has pleaded guilty in a deal to avoid the death penalty.

Ariel Castro entered the plea Friday.

In exchange, prosecutors are recommending the 53-year-old Castro be sentenced to life without parole plus 1,000 years.

Castro says a pornography addiction and ``sexual problem'' have taken a toll on his mind.

He also says he was sexually abused as a child.

He had been charged in a 977-count indictment.

He is pleading guilty to 937 counts.

He had been scheduled for trial August 5th on allegations that include repeatedly restraining the women and punching and starving one woman until she had a miscarriage.

The women disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004. They escaped from Castro's house May 6th.


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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 03/30/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

Every year, the federal government puts almost a half-billion dollars into public radio and television. But in his preliminary budget proposal earlier this month, President Trump pushed for cutting all of that funding. Tonight we talk to managers of public radio stations in Wausau and Rhinelander about how those cuts would affect their stations.

We'll tell you about a plan that would turn a former Rhinelander nursing home building into student housing.

And we talk to the Phelps Chamber of Commerce Director about new classes that will be a part of this Saturday's Maple Syrup Fest.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - 65 species of native mammals call Wisconsin home.

The DNR wants help collecting data about all of them.

"Snapshot Wisconsin" is a statewide wildlife monitoring program. It relies on volunteers to host a trail camera throughout the year.

"We ask a volunteer to set the camera out for us and go out and check it periodically, change the camera chip, change the batteries. Then they upload the photos to a central site," said DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz.

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MADISON - Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says he's "generally supportive" a bill allowing the carrying of concealed weapons without a permit.

Vos told reporters Thursday he hasn't yet asked Assembly Republicans where they stand on the bill but that they plan to discuss the proposal.

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MADISON - The University of Wisconsin, K-12 schools and the Department of Natural Resources will all be in the spotlight as the Legislature's budget-writing committee completes three days of briefings.

The Joint Finance Committee meeting on Thursday comes after a 14-hour marathon Wednesday that saw Republicans on the panel disagreeing sharply with key planks of Gov. Scott Walker's budget.

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MINOCQUA - Minocqua's Northwoods Zip line Adventure Tours added new attractions for the upcoming season in hopes of bringing more people to the Northwoods.

The Northwoods Zip Line Adventure Tours has been a travel destination for thrill seekers around the country.

Owner Josh Russart wanted to bring an extreme outdoor activity to the Northwoods.

"We have something for everyone," said Russart.

But Russart wasn't content with just zip lining. He added more attractions every year since he opened the canopy tours in 2014. Last summer he added an aerial adventure tour.

General manager Andrew Warner says it's a mix of an obstacle course and zip lining.

"Our aerial adventure is going to offer a little bit more of a challenge for people that maybe are a little bit more of a thrill seeker," said Warner.

But Warner says not to worry if you prefer to keep your feet on the ground

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CRANDON - A woman charged with helping sneak prescription pills into the Forest County Jail will need several thousand dollars to get out of jail.

52-year-old Patricia Kirker had her initial appearance in Crandon on Thursday.  Police say she supplied 20 pills for an inmate on work release to sell in the jail.

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VILAS COUNTY - Last August, a Vilas County man threatened to shoot or drown himself, leading to a standoff with police.

Wednesday, 49-year-old Mark Mayo pled guilty to intentionally firing a firearm at a law enforcement officer and operating a firearm while intoxicated.

Last August, Mayo called the Vilas County Sheriff's Office saying he had been drinking, taking prescription pills, and had a gun.

According to police, Mayo said if he saw officers, he would shoot them.

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