Oneida County has unique approach to juvenile justice systemSubmitted: 09/16/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson

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.

It hears more than 30 cases each year.

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EAGLE RIVER - Many of us already put out the scary decorations and pumpkins for some Halloween spirit.

If you're looking to take it up a notch, dress like a zombie and grab your running shoes this Saturday.

The 2016 Zombie 5K Fun Run starts at 5 p.m. at Three Eagle Trail in Eagle River.

Zombie Fun Run is still in great need of runners.

Registration is $30 for a t-shirt and a spot as either a runner or a zombie.

Run times don't matter for this race; it is just a race for the fun.

Runners will be given flags attached to a belt to wear throughout the race.

Zombies will then hide on the trail and run after the runners to steal their flags.

Runners with flags left at the end of the race are the winners.

"It's something different. Nothing you know that is normal," said Hallow Fest co-chair Susie Erikson.

You must be over 13-years-old to participate.

Feel free to come in full costume and make-up for the race.

Registration begins at 4 p.m. on Saturday after Hallow Fest.

You can register up until 15 minutes before the race starts on Saturday.

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MINOCQUA - The Minocqua Town Board always knew it would need to replace Supervisor Bryan Jennings eventually.  But the board didn't think it happen so soon.

Jennings died September 8, two days after he was struck by lightning while walking his dog.

Town Chairman Mark Hartzheim says the town is now accepting letters of interest from anyone wanting to fill Jennings' seat.

Hartzheim wanted to wait until January to start looking, but the board was having trouble getting enough members for official town votes.  Hartzheim says he hoped to get through budget season and the holidays, but couldn't wait any longer.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 10/24/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll update you on the details of a fatal car crash in the Town of Stella that took the life of a teenager late Saturday night.

This year marks the third highest bear harvest in state history. But it also marked the highest number of hunting dog deaths. No one knows for sure why, but we'll tell you about some possible reasons.

And the White Lake High School football team agreed to play an 8-man football game against a nearby high school's team. We'll tell you how it's helping out the nearby team.

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

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MILWAUKEE - Authorities say three women from Chicago were killed when a vehicle ran a red light and slammed their Uber ride in Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office released a statement Monday identifying the victims as 32-year-old Amy Taylor, 30-year-old Ashley Sawatzke and 35-year-old Lindsey Cohen. Autopsies are expected Monday.

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WAUSAU - Enthusiasm, excitement and surprises continue to pack the 2016 election season.

 Republican politicians in Wisconsin still have something to add to this election.  

On Sunday Governor Scott Walker, Senator Ron Johnson and Representative Sean Duffy all stopped by the Wisconsin GOP office. 

They came together to encourage voters to get out and vote early. 

About 30 people came out to hear what the politicians had to say.

"We need to convince people who maybe we don't know where their opinions are in terms of election," said Governor Walker.

 "But we work with them, we live next to them, we go to church with them those are the people we need to reach out [to]."

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RHINELANDER - With a little over two weeks before the presidential election, local officials continue to campaign for their pick for President of the United States.

Wisconsin's former Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton visited Rhinelander Saturday to show her support for Hillary Clinton.

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BOULDER JUNCTION - Nearby Fire Departments often rely on each other when they need extra man power. 

On Saturday firefighters from around the Northwoods came together as one. 
"It's vital to have that community bond between the fire departments," said Arbor Vitae Fire and Rescue Chief Mike VanMeter.

The bond between local departments led to a rare training opportunity. 

"Being able to share an opportunity like this is vital," said Boulder Junction Fire Department Chief Matthew Reuss. 

A donated house in Boulder Junction was lit on fire so that the fire departments could practice structure training.  

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