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.
WISCONSIN - Turkey season began last week and hunters have a new option for what they can do with the turkeys they shoot.
The DNR started a turkey donating program this year.
You can donate turkey's to three processors in the southern half of the state.
"A little bit further south of here in areas where there's usually a lot of deer donations and a lot of turkey shot so that we can try and get some good participation for the first year," said DNR's Wildlife Biologist, Jeremy Holtz.
RHINELANDER - Nothing gets the competitive juices flowing like racing to fix a car's fuse box. Nicolet College in Rhinelander hosted 12 Northwoods high schools for some friendly competition with a specific goal in mind.
The competitions varied from auto skills to welding to even cupcake baking. The goal was for students to begin thinking about college.
"Getting to see the inner workings of a vehicle, getting to work and learn at the same time, it makes me think more about college and what I want to do with my future," said Crandon sophomore, Kegan Wilson.
RHINELANDER - People with developmental disorders can hear plenty of negatives when it comes to succeeding in school. That's why a Northwoods school offers a program to help these students prove the doubters wrong.
Nicolet College offers Jump! Start, which helps people with special needs go to college and prepare for the workforce.
College student Ashley Mathy has Pervasive Developmental Disorder, a condition listed on the autism spectrum.
As a high school senior, she was told she would never make it to college because she would fail.
"You're going to have failures. You're going to have people tell you that you can't do things all the time whether you have a disability or you don't have one. And you just have to prove them wrong because if you don't, then you'll just let failure take you away," said Mathy.
CRANDON - Cutting down your time in front of a digital screen can be a tough task.
But the Forest County Health Department wants you to make a special effort to limit screen time next week. It's encouraging people to participate in Screen-Free Week.
"We're missing part of the world," said Forest County Health Department Director Jill Krueger. "We need to reconnect, go back, and discover all of the things that we loved before we had all of this technology."
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