RHINELANDER - Siphanh Phongsavath waived his right to a preliminary hearing Friday morning.
Phongsavath faces five charges, two of which are felonies.
Charges include burglary and attempt of misdemeanor theft.
Phongsavath is charged with breaking into the Rhinelander Verizon store back in November.
Oneida County Assistant District Attorney Steve Michlig thinks Phongsavath's choice to waive the preliminary hearing benefits the state.
"This is a case which is a little bit unusual than other cases we have. there are allegations of other charges from other jurisdictions. I think before we resolve this case, we're going to have to take a look at what's going on in the other jurisdictions, including the potential for perhaps some federal charges," said Michlig.
Phongsavath is also suspected to be part of the Latin Kings gang.
The district attorney's office is hopeful the case will be resolved quickly.
"With the potential for other charges out there, it does offer the state a certain amount of leverage," said Michlig."The defendant has many things to worry about and I think that hopefully, it will lead to the ability to resolve this case with a result favorable to the state and probably more promptly than otherwise."
Phongsavath entered a not guilty plea. He'll be back in court March 18.
MAUSTON - Authorities are investigating the death of a person who was found unresponsive in Decorah Lake early Friday.
Kyle Lynch, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources warden for Juneau County, says he was called to the scene to assist in a boat search about 1:30 a.m. He also says the Mauston Fire Department recovered the body, which was found in the water.
The Mauston Police Department says attempts were made to rescue the individual, but the Juneau County Coroner's Office pronounced the individual dead at the scene. Police have provided few other details, and the victim's name has not been released.
WAUSAU - This has been Wisconsin's deadliest gun-deer season in the past five years, with two shooting fatalities already recorded.
Daily Herald Media reports (http://wdhne.ws/1HvNth3 ) that the two fatalities brought to an end a three-year series of seasons that had been free of firearm deaths. Four other hunters also have been wounded.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, hunters violated some of the fundamental rules of gun safety in all the incidents.
A man was killed last Sunday in Columbia County when he was shot while passing a loaded rifle to a companion in a tree stand. Wearing mittens, she grabbed the gun near the trigger and it went off. On Monday, a hunter in Waushara County was killed by a stray bullet.
APPLETON - The U.S. Marshals Service says a convicted sex offender who was wanted for violating the terms of his release has been arrested in Appleton.
The agency says 63-year-old L.C. Streeter, of Milwaukee, was previously convicted of four separate sexual assaults from 1976 to 1985. Wisconsin committed him as a sexually violent person in 1996, and he remained in treatment until his release in 2013 under intensive supervision.
The service said in a statement that he cut off his GPS and electronic monitoring bracelets and fled supervision on Monday, resulting in a warrant for his arrest. Federal marshals and Appleton police arrested him without incident in Appleton on Friday.
Kevin Carr, the U.S. marshal for eastern Wisconsin, says Streeter was "an absolute danger to the community based upon his past convictions."
TOMAH - The Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center says it has adopted another plan to improve patient care.
The La Crosse Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1QMsDMZ) that Friday's release of the "100-day plan" comes almost 11 months after media reports that veterans at the center were prescribed excessive doses of opioid pain-killers and that employees who spoke out faced retaliation from top officials.
The plan, which follows a 30-day plan announced in May, outlines steps for improving access to care, employee engagement and restoring trust.
Among other things, it calls for recruitment of psychiatric staff, employee forums and listening sessions, and opening an employee wellness center.
Several Tomah VA officials — including former Director Mario Desanctis and former Chief of Staff David Houlihan — have been fired since the problems emerged early this year.
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