Sheriff's office uses education as tool to fight synthetic drug issuesSubmitted: 11/03/2013
Story By Adam Fox

ANTIGO - More than 50 people met Saturday morning for a Langlade County Sheriff's Office drug presentation in Antigo.

The focus was on synthetic drugs, specifically bath salts, and their impact in the community.

Langlade County Sheriff's Office Drug Investigator Dan Bauknecht emphasized the physical impact of using bath salts.

He says the mood swing caused by synthetic drug can shift from friendly to violent in an instant.

It's something that puts users, family members and police in danger.

Police say that's because the bath salts essentially overload your nervous system. Mood swings can last for hours.

Bauknecht sees that more often when they arrest users.

"The real danger to these synthetic drugs is obviously they are not regulated because they're illegal street drugs," Bauknecht said. "The chemical compound is often times very different from bag to bag, even though its promoted to be the same brand."

Bauknecht started working at the Langlade County Jail in 1999. He says bath salts first started popping up in the area in 2009.

"I think it really got entrenched in our community and got entrenched in the outlying communities around us." Bauknecht said. "Then when it did become banned and people were too far gone on it so to speak to just stop because it was an illegal substance, so it became an underground substance."

The Sheriff's office hopes education sessions like the one they held in Antigo Saturday can help.

The goal was to let people know what is out on their streets. Bauknecht says the battle is more than just arresting users.

"This is more than just cops and robbers with bath salts because of the challenges with it and because of the catastrophic damage that it causes the person and our community, which is a trickle down," Bauknecht said.

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, poison centers recorded 2,677 calls for exposure to bath salts.

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RHINELANDER - Northwoods Veterans will be taken care of this flu season thanks to The Rhinelander Veterans Affair Clinic. 

The clinic will provide free flu shots for Veterans starting Friday. 

Half the Veteran population is over 60 years old, which puts them at increasing risk with flu complications.

 Clinic nurse Christina Paris wants to make sure the Veteran community is taken care of. 

"We like to think of our Veterans as part of our extended family. 

And it's heartwarming to know that we can be here to help them and serve them the best we can," said Paris.

Providing this service to Veterans hits close to home for Paris.

 She served in the Air Force as a medic for 20 years. As a Veteran herself, she understands how important this service is.

"I'm so connected and I really feel like helping fellow service members and fellow Veterans is really important," said Paris.

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PORTAGE COUNTY - Portage County Health and Human Services says it's seen an increase in whooping cough cases in the area. It wants parents to make sure their families are up-to-date on their vaccinations.

Kids usually get a vaccine as a baby, but it says parents may not realize kids need a booster dose at 11-years-old.

Portage County Health and Human Services also recommends adults to get a booster if they haven't had whooping cough since childhood.

Whooping cough usually starts with a runny nose or mild cough, but can be dangerous for babies.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Prosecutors believe a 52-year-old man from southeastern Wisconsin drove up to Hazelhurst to have sex with a 14-year-old girl he met online.

Robert Weiss  of Hartford appeared via video in Oneida County Court Friday.

According to the criminal complaint, Weiss started talking with the girl on a website called "Hitwe." 

Weiss told the girl his name was Keegan and he was 14 years old.

On October 10, Weiss showed up at the girl's house and sexually assaulted her.

He was arrested early this morning.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 10/28/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

The Wisconsin high school football level 2 playoffs begin tonight. We will take you live to Green Bay where the Antigo Red Robins will take on Green Bay Notre Dame. We'll give you a preview of that game and tell you the challenge the Robins will face.

Also, on tonight's Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10, we will bring you highlights from that game as well as from Hudson vs. Stevens Point and Marathon vs. Abbotsford.

We'll bring you this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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LAKEWOOD - What would you do if you felt like part of your history was taken from you?

That's what it felt like for Lakewood community members when the state fish hatchery shut down after operating for 72 years.

Since its doors opened in 1939, generations of Lakewood community members toured the DNR Hatchery.

"It was just a piece of our history," said Lakewood resident Scott VanLaanen.

Due to funding cuts the DNR shut down the trout hatchery in 2011.

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RHINELANDER - Fifty-one Wisconsin residents lost their lives to domestic violence last year.

Rhinelander's Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault will honor those lives Friday night at a vigil.

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WAUSAU - Teachers from Wausau East High School are finalists in a contest sponsored by Farmers Insurance.  

They could win $100,000 to convert Wausau East's current technology lab into a state-of -the-art digital space.

The teachers have moved up to 5 place in the contest. 

They need to stay in the top six until October 31 to win the $100,000. 

Teachers Paula Hase and Elizabeth Kysely, both saw a need in their community. 

They want their students to be able to have the same opportunities as students in other areas of the country.

"In the last five years we have had our resources cut back," said Hase.

 "So it would be great to bring this chunk of money and make a significant difference in a program and ramp it up to quality level.

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