Family hopes Wisc. legislators quickly pass cannabis oil bill to help son battling seizuresSubmitted: 03/18/2014
Story By Adam Fox

PRICE COUNTY - Seizures seem almost like a normal, scary routine for Krista Blomberg and her family living near Ogema. But she still remembers the first time she saw her son have a seizure.

"We just hear this really, a noise we couldn't place, and ran back there and he was having a seizure, " Krista said.

Landon was 4 1/2 years old the first time Krista and her husband saw him having a seizure.

"First one probably either one of us had ever seen," Krista said.

But it wouldn't be the last. The Blomberg's have battled Landon's seizures for more nearly 13 years.

Landon,18 , suffers from cortical dispasia. That occurs when the top layer of the brain does not form properly, according to Cincinnati Children's Medical Center. It is one of the most common causes of epilepsy.

The Blomberg's have tried eight different medications over the years and even considered a brain operation, but doctors couldn't guarantee it would stop the seizures. So the family had to refocus.

"And figure out there aren't any other options here," Krista said. "(It was like) what do we do now."

They continue to use medication, four different types right now, but Landon's seizures haven't stopped.

That's when Krista found out about cannabis oil. It is a product of the marijuana plant, but it doesn't contain enough THC to alter perceptions. And some people believe the oil could help treat and prevent seizures. That turned into a promising opportunity for the Blombergs.

"Oh my goodness this is helping people who have seizures like Landon," Krista said. "His seizures just don't respond well to medication. He continues to have them even though he is taking all of these meds."

That's one reason why lawmakers listened to a bipartisan bill in the Wisconsin State Assembly Tuesday. It passed the Assembly and will head to the Senate.

The bill would let physicians prescribe cannabis oil to people suffering from seizures.

For the Blomberg's, that could mean reducing the number of Landon's seizures.

That would also help him communicate better. Krista says the seizures make it more difficult for Landon to gather and communicate his thoughts.

"But it was really over the longer haul that you'd see it harder and harder for him to get his thoughts out (after seizures)."

His mother says he can communicate better during weeks with fewer seizures.

She describes the pace and rate of seizures as a roller coaster because they never really know when he could get hit with repeated bout of seizures.

"One a week is a good week." Krista said. "A bad week, he'll have multiple nights of three four five, probably about three weeks ago he had ten seizures one night, and it was just, that was a horrible night."

But there are spurts where Landon only has a few seizures. That's when she friends and family notice Landon being more talkative.

"And it's like he's like that all the time inside, you know," Krista said. "He has all of this that he wants to say and interact and he can't."

The family hopes cannabis oil and lawmakers can help. Legislators will need to act quickly if they want to pass the bill this year. That's because they are nearing the end of their session.

Landon was not available for an interview for this story, but he did pass along a speech he put together for the forensic club he has been working with at school.

He says," I've tried many kinds of medication and other treatments like the ketogenic diet and surgery to control my seizures without success. I still hope that someday we will find treatment that will work better for me."

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ONEIDA COUNTY - A spinoff in the Ashlee Martinson saga seems to have come to a close.

The man convicted of stealing from the home where Martinson killed her parents will spend a month in jail.

Mark Spietz, 39, of Kaukana, was sentenced in Oneida County Court on Thursday.

Back in August, a jury decided Spietz was guilty on four counts of burglary and theft.

According to the criminal complaint, Spietz took ATVs, bows, a tractor, a trailer and Jennifer Ayers' purse from the home. Spietz claimed he was securing the property for a company based in Arizona.

In court on Thursday, Spietz's wife, siblings and parents all testified to his character and work ethic. They testified Spietz is a good father to a seven-year-old son and two step-sons. They said he also takes care of his parents who have health problems.

Spietz's attorney said he believes his client is still innocent.

"I believe that Mark had he had intended to steal the ATVs he wouldn't have gone through the bother of finding the titles," said Spietz's attorney Brian Bennet. "I believe that a person doesn't commit burglaries in broad daylight with the name on the side of his truck or trailer."

However, the state said it didn't seem Spietz took responsibility for what he did. District Attorney Mike Schiek asked for jail time.

Judge Michael Bloom agreed. He recalled sentencing Ashlee Martinson.

"And I looked at her sitting right where you're sitting now, before I had to look an 18-year-old girl in the face and send her to prison for 23 years, and I told her, you had a choice," Judge Bloom said. "And Mr. Spietz, you as well had a choice."

Spietz will also spend 18 months on probation. He can serve his jail time in any county jail as long as he clears it with the Onieda County Sheriff's Office. He also received Huber privileges and will be allowed to go to work and help his parents during his jail time. 

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TOWN OF CRESCENT - Who should pay what to keep a Northwoods lake healthy?  That's -- in part -- the question people around Squash Lake near Rhinelander have debated for months now.

Some want to form a lake district to generate money, but not everyone is on board.  Supporters sent out a petition this summer and got more than 51 percent of landowners to say they support the district.

The organizers say the district fees would pay for DNR divers to clear Eurasian Water Milfoil, which costs around $20,000.  Those fees would cover a grant that's coming to an end.

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MADISON - A 74-year-old man will no longer face disturbing child pornography charges in Iron County.

Instead, Charles Raimondi is now charged in federal court, which could mean a harsher sentence if he's convicted.

Raimondi is accused having a five-year-old girl pose for sexually explicit pictures over a span of about two years.

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RHINELANDER - It took 10 years, but Rhinelander may finally get the spark it needs to build a dog park.

An anonymous woman gave dog park advocate Tina Werres a $10,000 dollar donation recently.  Werres raised about $2,000 -- literally pennies at a time with donation jars -- over the last decade.

But many people didn't want to give a lot of money until a specific location was chosen.  Werres says she still doesn't have a spot approved, but this big donation puts her much closer to actually building a park.

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Packers' Abbrederis WaivedSubmitted: 10/27/2016

GREEN BAY - Thursday evening, it was announced that Wisconsin native, Wisconsin Badger alum, and Green Bay Packer Jared Abbrederis has been waived.

According the the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, wide receiver Abbrederis was waived on Thursday. He was placed on injured reserve on Monday due to a quad injury ever since the game with the Cowboys. From the article, Abbrederis negotiated an injury settlement and wanted to be waived immediately so it would help him potentially be picked up by another team.

Abbrederis was originally drafted by Green Bay in 2014 in the fifth round. He missed that whole season due to an ACL injury and then a big majority of the 2015 camp with a concussion.

This story will be updated if new information is released.

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WOOD COUNTY - We now know the names of the people involved in a Wood County Crash that killed two people Tuesday afternoon.

The Wood County Sheriff's Department says the cars crashed head-on along Highway 80 in the Town of Dexter around 3:30.

71-year-old Barbara Baldwin of New Lisbon was driving one of the cars, and died in the crash.

Her passenger, 74 year old Louise Hemenway of New Lisbon, also died.

Another passenger in the car, 72-year-old Dona Sharp, was hurt....as was the driver of the second car, 30-year-old Greg Kopelke of Wisconsin Rapids.

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MADISON - A Department of Natural Resources review has found Wisconsin's fight against chronic wasting disease was hampered by funding as well as social and political factors.

The Wisconsin State Journal reported Thursday the review found the state five years ago greatly de-emphasized killing deer in high-infection areas, a statewide feeding ban wasn't sought and prohibitions on carcass movement were complicated by expanding infection areas.

A new electronic deer harvest registration system has made collecting tissue samples harder, a marketing campaign to educate the public was discontinued due to cost and lack of money prevented surveys of public attitudes about CWD's spread.

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