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State gearing up for anti-Heroin campaignSubmitted: 07/26/2013
Story By Kailey Burton


MINOCQUA - Across the state, police say one drug is their biggest challenge- Heroin.

This year, the Department of Justice will target the drug statewide. The Lakeland area is working on its own campaign.

In Minocqua, the Lakeland Prescription Drug Task Force made it harder to sell and abuse prescription drugs. The problem is, those people who used those drugs are still ADDICTED, and heroin is usually the easiest fix to find. Drug prevention specialist Bob Kovar says we need to prevent addiction in the first place.

"Somebody that's addicted to opiates needs to fulfill that addiction however they can... Typically we're pretty reactive. We kinda don't throw resources at people until we have to. So we end up spending a lot of money on prisons and then our justice system," said Kovar.

The state's campaign will officially start later this summer or early fall. The focus IS on prevention and awareness, but leaders hope it will go further.

"It can't just be an awareness campaign. I think there has to be a real push towards policy change... Healthcare, law enforcement, justice, our schools, we all need to be working together. I think when we work together and we implement programs that are proven to work, yes we can make a difference," says Kovar.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

BLAINE, MINNESOTA - Firefighters from Upper Michigan put themselves at risk to battle fires in Utah.

On the way home, two were killed when the bus they were riding in crashed over the weekend in Minnesota.

Now the firefighter who was driving the bus is facing charges.

According to a criminal complaint, 28-year-old Michael Johnson told authorities he'd slept just 45 minutes the previous 28 hours as he drove a bus with 8 other wildland firefighters returning from a fire in Utah to their home base near Baraga in Michigan's Upper Penninsula.

Officers say Johnson was combative and showed signs of impairment at the crash scene, and later admitted to using marijuana the morning of the crash - and cocaine two days earlier.


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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander City Administrator Kristina Aschenbrenner walked into what she thought would be a routine performance review Monday night.

She left without a job.

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's Highway 8 is finally getting its long-awaited renovation.

Beginning this week, construction will begin along two busy intersections on Rhinelander's busy bypass.

Michael Wendt, the Department of Transportation project development supervisor said, "This is probably something we should have done a little while ago, but it takes some time to get these projects going.

Construction at Highway G and 17 South started this week, and crews will lay new surface and install new stoplight sensors. 

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/30/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll update you on the Rhinelander City Council's decision to remove Kristina Aschenbrenner from the City Administrator position.

We'll tell you about a group of people from Minocqua who took a bike ride across Wisconsin and dedicated it to a friend with serious health problems.

And people driving down Highway 8 in Rhinelander may have to watch out for construction for a while. We'll tell you what crews are doing on two intersections of the bypass.

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

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MINOCQUA - Three local cyclists planned to bike in the Ride Across Wisconsin event just for fun this year, but a few days before the ride, a good friend of theirs became unexplainably sick. In that moment, the purpose of their ride changed.

"This is nothing. This is a day. This is an hour, a minute that I can keep going," said cyclist Connie Trapp.

For Trapp, riding 178 miles was a small hurdle compared to the struggle of a close friend.

"Just having somebody to ride it for and be encouraged that you're doing it for someone else besides yourself really helped," said Trapp.

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UPPER MICHIGAN - Firefighters in Upper Michigan believe an electrical issue started a logging truck fire Monday in Iron County.

The fire was reported around 2 p.m. on Co Rd 643. The truck was parked on the north side of the Paint River Bridge.

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WOODRUFF - The amount of blood donations usually drops during the summer, but this summer has been particularly challenging in northern Wisconsin.

"Over the course of the summer, our blood supply has declined considerably. It has dropped 35 percent over the course of the summer, and it is approaching dangerously low levels," said Community Blood Center Donor Services Vice President Kristine Belanger.

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