MINOCQUA - A Wisconsin Department of Justice Special Agent believes synthetic drugs are on the rise in Wisconsin. That's what he told parents and community leaders Thursday night in Minocqua.
The synthetic drugs are marketed as legal and harmless. They vary from potpourri to bath salts. Both are labeled as not for human consumption, but can be crushed and smoked to get high.
Bob Kovar is a prevention specialist at the Marshfield Clinic. He's a member of the Marshfield Clinic Center for Community Outreach Northwoods Coalition. He's seen the dangerous effects of these drugs in person.
"They could potentially die," Kovar said. "Their body core heat is up, they're having seizers, they're combative."
Lawmakers make certain ingredients illegal, but producers find a new ingredient before the law even takes effect.
State Lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday that would broaden the definition of synthetic drugs, which would make them more inclusive of all the various ingredients.
They believe that will help police react more effectively.
The Lac Du Flambeau tribe declared a fight against drugs this spring. Two operations since then have flushed drug users and producers from the reservation.
The tribe is its own sovereign nation, so laws are different than state and local governments.
Kovar says the county and state don't have as much flexibility as the tribe.
"We can't react as fast," Kovar said. "But we can certainly learn and try and react faster."
The special agent held the presentation at Lakeland Union High School.
RHINELANDER - A scoop of frozen custard goes down pretty well on a humid day like the Northwoods saw Friday. Rhinelander's Associated Bank made grabbing a scoop an easy way to help others.
Culver's set up a mobile custard stand outside the new bank building on the corner of Lincoln Street and Oneida Avenue from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Fifty cents from every $2.50 cup sold went to Associated Bank's Children's Miracle Network fund.
The bank is hoping to raise $500 through its fundraisers for CMN this month.
MERRILL - A Northwoods school pulled off a big surprise on Friday to honor a few veterans. After months of planning, students and staff at Kate Goodrich Elementary got to see the payoff of all their hard work.
"It was like kind of overwhelming," said Wolfgang Lenk.
Lenk, Todd Annis, and Randy Perry had no idea they would be the guests of honor.
"To see all these kids and knowing how hard they worked selling all this, and now your name comes up that you're one of the three recipients, it was awesome," said Annis.
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