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NEWS STORIES

UPDATE on missing Wausau woman found in MexicoSubmitted: 11/07/2013
Story By Newswatch 12 Team


WAUSAU - We have an update for you on the missing Wausau woman found in Mexico.

Connie McCallister disappeared from Wausau nine years ago. Wausau police got in contact with her via skype in September. They confirmed the woman was McCallister with a DNA test.

But how she got to Mexico has been unclear.

McCallister's family said she was drugged and taken to Mexico, and then abused.

But Wausau police said she never told them anything about that when they spoke with her about her leaving the U.S.

Police contacted her again yesterday to find out what happened.

McCallister said she left Wausau voluntarily with her 22-year-old boyfriend, Freddie Ruiz. She said they went to a party in the Chicago or Milwaukee area. She thinks she was drugged there, because she woke up in Mexico.

She wouldn't say why she didn't tell the police this in September.

Police filed a warrant for Ruiz's arrest back in 2005 on charges of child sexual assault and false imprisonment.

McCallister says she's filed paperwork to bring herself and her three children back to the U.S.

Wausau police are working with the FBI and her family to help her get back to the U-S.



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MERRILL - The Community Warming Center in Merrill finished up its first winter season a few weeks ago. The center provides a place to stay for people in need from November through April.

The guest's ages ranged from 22 to 45 years old. The center is run through the Merrill United Way. The Warming Center's director said its first year went much better than expected.

"It's kind of like building the field of dreams and not knowing if anyone will come to play, or to stay in our case," said Merrill United Way Executive Director Dee Olsen. "But what ended up happening was the community was responsive and we ended up with 11 guests throughout the season with 90 user nights."

The center is already preparing for the next season. They have new blankets and pillows ready for their next year.

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Wisconsin Public Service wants to be ready in case something like that happens. A natural gas station near the intersection of Highways 8 and 47 provides natural gas to most of Rhinelander. Workers rushed there on Monday, simulating their response to a leak.

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Local kids help protect batsSubmitted: 04/27/2015

RHINELANDER - Seventh graders in Rhinelander will help protect bats this summer. That's thanks to help from the U.S. Forest Service.

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"Ms. Swaney showed us a presentation about the bats with a speaker and now we're building them," said 7th grader Jackie Wells.

"They have predators and it will kind of keep them safe in their little bat homes," said 7th Grader Connor Lund.

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"If we were seeing a reaction, for example a tingling of the mouth, swelling of the throat, a visual that a student might give us if they are unable to breath at that time, we would immediately administer an EpiPen," Director of Pupil Services Unified School District of Antigo Karen Baker.

Teachers watch carefully for possible allergic reactions, especially at recess and on field trips.

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RHINELANDER - Fields of an invasive plant called phragmites stand all along Wisconsin's Lake Michigan shore. Invasive species workers hope most of the plants stay away from the Northwoods.

Workers chopped down a stand of phragmites on Monday. It stood on Highway 8 just west of Rhinelander. It had been chemically treated in the fall. Hopefully, that will help control the spread of the species.

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WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court is struggling over when jail officials should be held accountable for using excessive force against inmates who are accused _ but not yet convicted _ of crimes.

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