RHINELANDER - Courtrooms often make us think of traditional procedure and seasoned judges.
But Oneida county has a unique way of dealing with some suspects.
Students from Rhinelander High School and Lakeland Union High School trained to become members of their schools' teen courts Monday.
"Teen court is an alternative for first time offenders ages 10-16 to go through, rather than going through the court process, to go through a process where they meet panelists, their peers," says Oneida County Teen Court coordinator Lynn Feldman.
Those panelists go through a highly selective process.
Not every offender goes in front of the peer court.
It's only in minor cases like shoplifting and vandalism.
Even then it's up to the judge to recommend the case to the peer court.
The offender has the option to then go to teen court or stay in the court system.
The offender must admit to wrongdoing if they choose to have their case taken to teen court.
The panel of their peers then gives them sanctions.
They can range from community service to required tutoring.
The offender's record is wiped clean as long as they complete the sanctions.
This is Amber Sheth's third year on teen court.
She joined it to be able to give back to the community.
"As a part of teen court and restorative justice, is that we help them realize why what they did was wrong, and the impact of their actions upon themselves, their loved ones and the community," she says.
Teen court has made Amber more interested in the legal system.
She's not alone.
The program sparks an interest in a variety of fields.
"Some of these students go on to be part of mock trial. Some students decide to be lawyers, or to go into political science. Others may become counselors, teachers. It doesn't matter where they want to go after school is over with. There is something here that will benefit them," adds Feldman.
Teen court started in Oneida county more than 5 years ago.
MARATHON COUNTY - Two important Wisconsin products won't benefit from a possible trade war. It will likely hurt them. Last month President Trump placed tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum imports. China came back and slapped tariffs on more than 100 U.S. products. The motives are political. But the effects trickle down to hurt local economies.
When it comes to growing ginseng, nobody does it quite like Marathon County.
"Wisconsin ginseng is sort of the cream of the crop when it comes to American ginseng," said Hsu's Ginseng Enterprises Director of Operations Mike Klemp-North.
Ninety percent of the U.S.'s ginseng crop is grown in Wisconsin. Ninety-five percent of that crop is grown in Marathon County.
EAGLE RIVER - Several Northwoods schools wanted to make it clear to their students Wednesday, there's always someone there to talk to. Anti-Bullying and suicide prevention speaker Bob Lenz spoke at Three Lakes and Northland Pines high schools Wednesday. Northland Pines Dean of Students Josh Tilley said he hopes students walk away from the talk knowing they can reach out to at least one person when they feel alone.
"Over the last few years, we've been bringing speakers in, national, local and state speakers so that we can really help our students understand that if they feel different they have the opportunity to be an individual, but if it's hurting them they can get help," said Tilley. Northland Pines staff members recently looked closely at their relationships with students by reviewing class rosters. They want to make sure all students have support.
ANTIGO - People around the country will see just how much a police officer killed in the line of duty meant to his family and community.
Karl's Transport in Antigo revealed its newest semi-trailer design Tuesday afternoon. The trailer features Everest Metro Detective Jason Weiland. Weiland, 40, was shot and killed in a shooting rampage around the Wausau area on March 22, 2017.
MADISON - The Legislature's finance committee is giving the Department of Corrections more money to cover prisoner health care.
The agency was budgeted $80.6 million in fiscal year 2017-18 to inmate health care but now expects to spend $90.7 million thanks to rising drug costs, more hospital visits for the prison system's aging inmate population and rising contract nurse costs.
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