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NEWS STORIES

Teacher accused of selling pot got 'glowing recommendations' during hiring processSubmitted: 11/14/2013
Story By Lex Gray


RHINELANDER - Police searched a Rhinelander High School teacher's house because they thought he had been stealing equipment from the school.

They say that's when they found 66 marijuana plants and a sophisticated grow operation. Since we reported that story last week, people have been asking how Joshua Juergens got hired in the first place.

"We got glowing recommendations," said superintendent Kelli Jacobi. "I don't know that those were all completely honest."

Superintendent Kelli Jacobi says the district did a background check on Juergens. That check turned up a record, as does a simple online search of Wisconsin's online court records.

In 2010, Juergens was convicted of disorderly conduct. In 1997, he was convicted of marijuana possession, both misdemeanors.

"We did know that there was a drug issue, a misdemeanor, I believe he was 19," Jacobi said. "We look at patterns in behavior. If something is a recurring thing in a background check, that definitely signals a problem."

But Jacobi says she can't factor certain convictions into the hiring process.

For now, Juergens is on unpaid leave from his teaching job. He'll stay in the Oneida County Jail unless he can come up with his $2,000 bail or get into a treatment facility.

He returns to court November 21.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 04/27/2015

- A pair gravel pit mines could significantly change the look of one area in Lincoln County. The proposed mines would cover more than 100 acres south east of Tomahawk. We'll take a look at the issue coming up tonight at six.

- We'll give you an update on controlling a pesky species of aquatic invasives.

- And what would happen with a major gas line leak? WPS practiced scenarios today.

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

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EAGLE RIVER - Many people enjoy freshly roasted coffee. But, the process to roast those coffee beans can be a science.

"We start with green coffee. It comes in 130 to 155 pound sacks of coffee," said owner of Eagle River Roasters Dan Beihoff.

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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 Forest Service.

Kids in Rhinelander Monday learned about endangered bats across Wisconsin. A bat expert with Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest showed the importance of keeping bats healthy. The students helped local scientists by building new homes for the bats.

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

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

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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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MADISON - The legal fight over what type of identification Wisconsin voters can show at the polls and be allowed to cast ballots continues.

The American Civil Liberties Union and state of Wisconsin are still battling more than a month after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a constitutional challenge to the state's voter ID requirement.

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MADISON - The person who died from carbon monoxide poisoning at the Midwest Horse Fair in Madison has been identified as a Junction City man.

The Dane County Medical Examiner's Office said Monday 61-year-old Lloyd Taylor died at a Milwaukee area hospital. He was taken there after he was found suffering the effects of carbon monoxide in his camper outside the Alliant Energy Center April 17.

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RHINELANDER - People in the Northwoods got the chance to try a variety of beer, wine, and food on Saturday.

Hodag Hops and Vines was held in Rhinelander.

There were many different breweries from Wisconsin and the Midwest at the event.

The Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce relies on volunteers to help with the event.

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