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NEWS STORIES

Raising money to bring Connie McCallister home Submitted: 11/17/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray


ATHENS - Connie McCallister went missing nine years ago.

She was 16 years old when she went to a party with her 22 year old boyfriend in Milwaukee.

That's when her family believes she was drugged and taken to Mexico by her boyfriend.

It was nine years before police we're contacted by McCallister this September.

Since that, the family has been trying to get her and her three kids back in Wisconsin.

But some claim the family knew where she was all along.

"That is completely untrue and unfounded. But now I'm not looking back, only forward and I'm looking forward to her coming home." said Connie's aunt, Florence Volzka.

McCallister's aunt is leading the effort to get McCallister home.

But that could cost thousands of dollars.

That's why Trinity Lutheran Church in Athens held a soup dinner to raise money today.

"It is not inexpensive. There's a lot of legalities. She had no proof of identification, so it's very hard." Volzka said.

Volzka first talked to McCallister on Skype in September.

She now talks with her every day on the phone.

"On her first one, she was ecstatic, nervous. We both cried. And I got to see her on that one," said Volzka.

"Now it's all through telephone. She's a tough young lady I'll tell ya. From a lot of things that I know now that I didn't know then."

Volzka doesn't know when McCallister will come home.

Wausau police are working with the FBI and her family to help her get back home.

You can help by sending donations to Trinity Lutheran Church in Athens or Athens Area Credit Union.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 07/28/2015

- After years of rumbling over potholes, drivers in Rhinelander will soon be able to travel smoothly over Lincoln Street. The city will completely resurface the busiest part of the road starting Monday. We'll have what drivers need to know.

- Veterinarians in the Northwoods have been treating more cases of heartworm in dogs lately. The illness can leave a foot-long parasite in your dog's body. We take a look at treatment and prevention.

- The Northwoods attracts campers from all across the state every summer. But tonight at 5, we'll introduce you to some Boy Scouts who ventured more than 3,000 miles to visit Langlade County.

- Learn more about spiny water flea, one of the newer invasive species in Northwoods lakes.

- And we'll look at the Wabeno Art and Music Fest, a first-year event coming up this weekend.

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

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NORTHWOODS - Heartworm can be deadly for a dog if left untreated.

Some veterinarians here in the Northwoods have seen a rise in dogs with heartworm lately.

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MERRILL - Many children don't interact with police officers, but officers want children to have a positive experience around law enforcement. 

That's why the Merrill Police Department do activities like archery with local kids. 

Merrill Police officers taught children how to shoot a bow and arrow at Badges and Bulls Eyes on Tuesday.

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RHINELANDER - It wouldn't be summer in Rhinelander without watching worms race. The 29th annual worm races were held at the Rhinelander District Library on Tuesday. Children and parents from all around the area came out to participate.

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker says the bill passed by the Wisconsin State Assembly committing $250 million in taxpayer money toward paying for a new Milwaukee Bucks arena is a "good deal all the way around."

Walker made his comments Tuesday while speaking with reporters in Philadelphia.

Walker says he is ready to sign the bill, which passed on a bipartisan 52-34 vote. There were 35 Republicans and 17 Democrats in support, with 20 Republicans and 14 Democrats against.

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VILAS COUNTY - Spiny water fleas look like monsters under a microscope. A long, spiny tail extends from a big body. The creatures are three or four times bigger than their native counterparts, the other zooplankton in Northwoods lakes.

"Spiny water fleas eat our native zooplankton, and our native zooplankton eat our algae," says Carol Warden, an Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist at the UW-Madison Trout Lake Station in Boulder Junction.

That can be a problem for water quality in lakes.

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RHINELANDER - A crash sent a driver to the hospital in Rhinelander Tuesday morning.

Police say a man driving a pickup truck ran into a parked car on Evergreen Court around 9 a.m.

The crash threw the parked car into the front yard of a nearby home.  No one else was hurt.

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