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NEWS STORIES

Convicted murderer finds out sentence for escapingSubmitted: 05/13/2014

Kaitlyn Howe
Reporter/Producer
khowe@wjfw.com

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RHINELANDER - The convicted murderer who walked away from his work release job found out how much time he'll serve for escaping. Todd Brecht is currently serving a life sentence for shooting and killing his brother in law in 1985.

Today he found out he got two more years added to that sentence. Because he's serving a life sentence he'll only serve those extra years if he gets released on parole.

Brecht went missing last September from his work release job at the St. Germain Golf Course. His lawyer spoke about Brecht's good behavior before the escape.

"Mr. Brecht is generally a person that can be productive he can also function effictively in normal social environments. And before he was incarcerated in 1985, did not have a serious criminal record either," says John Voorhees, Brecht's lawyer.

Brecht is up for parole in July. The Judge said the parole commission's decision will affect Brecht more than today's sentencing.

"Despite everything that has happened over the last 28 years at this point in time the Department of Corrections has reason to question whether they can trust you at this point," says Judge Michael Bloom.

Brecht did apologize at his sentencing today.

"I'd like to apologize to the people at St. Germain Golf Course. Because I did work up there for three years and I did enjoy my work. Almost three decades ago when I was incarcerated I fashioned myself that my main objective was to someday be released into society," says Brecht.

Brecht had been an inmate at the McNaughton Correctional Center in Lake Tomahawk. Police found him in Orlando, Florida a few days after escaping.


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Couch potato race promotes physical activitySubmitted: 08/30/2014

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RHINELANDER - One type of potato you couldn't find at Potato Fest this year was a couch potato. Leaders at the YMCA of the Northwoods helped promote health and staying active by putting on the second annual couch potato race.

Teams of racers had to build a moving couch and push it down Brown Street in downtown Rhinelander. They also had to finish obstacle courses along the way.

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Soaring through the trees, Labor Day weekend fun Submitted: 08/30/2014

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MINOCQUA - Despite the dreary weather we experienced Saturday, people still soared through the trees in Minocqua on this Labor Day weekend.

Northwoods Zip Line hosted its first Zip Line Extravaganza just off of Highway 51.

People normally would fly through the woods on a regular day, but the owner added interesting games such as using water balloons to hit targets.

Some might think rain would run customers away from the outdoor activities, but the owner believes rain makes it just as fun compared to a sunny day.

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Cancer patient gets dying wish, weds woman he lovesSubmitted: 08/30/2014

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The Cancer Team at Bellin Health granted that wish, and hosted a wedding for Thomas and Lori Feeley on Thursday. Area businesses donated everything from Feeley's dress to the cake.

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Neon Glow Fun Run lights up stormy nightSubmitted: 08/30/2014

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PRENTICE - Nearly 100 people didn't let storms keep them from running a 5K Friday night. The Prentice Pines Golf Course turned into a glowing 5K course for the second annual Neon Glow Fun Run.

People dressed up in their brightest outfits. They also wore a lot of glow sticks.

Organizers started the event last year to bring people together the night before Prentice Progress Days community festival starts. The event also raises money for the Prentice Fire Department and Ambulance Services through raffles and food sales.

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Potato Fest draws in large crowd, teaches kids about agricultureSubmitted: 08/30/2014

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RHINELANDER - Potato salad, french fries, mashed potatoes...just about every form of potato was at the second annual Potato Fest in Rhinelander Saturday.

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Driver found dead after hit-and-run, shootingSubmitted: 08/30/2014

MILWAUKEE - Police say a male driver has been found dead -- apparently shot after a hit-and-run in Milwaukee.

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UPDATE: 12-year-old boy drowns in hotel poolSubmitted: 08/30/2014

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The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office says Zay-Vun Mooreland of Milwaukee died Friday night at the Rodeway Inn & Suites.

A message left with the hotel manager was not immediately returned Saturday.

The medical examiner's report says Mooreland could not swim. He was in the pool with his siblings and a cousin when his older brother went into deep water with Mooreland on his back. The brother began to struggle in the deep water.

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