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Murdered taxi driver had met his accused killer beforeSubmitted: 06/17/2014
Story By Associated Press

LA CROSSE - Prosecutors say the man accused of killing a taxi driver in Grant County had stiffed the victim for a $90 cab fare last year.

Timmy Johnson Jr. is accused of robbing and fatally stabbing 79-year-old Merle Forbes last Thursday, just hours after Johnson was released from jail. Officers say they found Forbes in the trunk of his cab after Johnson led them on a chase through La Crosse County that ended in a crash. He has not been formally charged.

The La Crosse Tribune (http://bit.ly/1jwfEdH ) reports Forbes picked up Johnson in Darlington last August and took him to Boscobel. Court records say Johnson told Forbes he needed to retrieve the $90 cab fare from an apartment, but failed to return with the money. Forbes called police.

La Crosse County Circuit Judge Todd Bjerke set bond for Johnson Monday at $500,000 cash.

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WAUSAU - A 43-year-old Marathon County man will go to prison for more than a decade for incest after being convicted in Marathon County court Friday.

Micheal Mayville was originally charged with multiple charges of incest and 2nd degree sexual assault in two separate cases. Those assault charges were ultimately dismissed.

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RHINELANDER - North Brown Street is now open and parking is also available. It has parallel parking spots and angled spots. Restaurants have already noticed an increase in business after the street opened late last week.

"We had very good business this weekend. We were very glad that before Friday they were opened. They opened the roads so our Friday Fishfry was back to its normal pace," said Bucketheads server Ashley Hull.

"Last weekend when it opened up, of course it was packed out front. Everyone's using it and I think everyone's getting used to the new parallel and angled parking. I know it was a big shock for everyone that it was going to happen, but everyone's embracing it and getting used to it," said Rhinelander Café & Bar co-owner Brooke Johnson.

The Davenport Street Bridge is still closed, but it's getting closer to opening. Once that happens, downtown will be even easier to access for people coming from the west side of town.

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ANTIGO - World-class athletes hope to etch their names into the history books during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. But all the hard work isn't done by the athletes alone.

"I'm just going to focus on what I'm there for and that's to do the best I can for my athletes," said Antigo native Dr. Curt Draeger.

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ANTIGO - When the Kretz family started the Kretz Lumber Company here in Antigo in 1929, they built part of the original saw mill with hemlock that grew near the property.  Now, a piece of hemlock far older than that serves as a bit of the company's rich history.  

On the south side of the property outside the so-called "Cabin" stands an eight-foot-tall hemlock log.  A ginseng farmer in Bryant dug it up while plowing a field and thought it looked old.

UW-Madison carbon dated the log and discovered it's 1,200 to 1,600 years old.  That's from about the time the Vikings started raiding Europe.

"A lot of people go back in their mind and they try to think back through history and what it would've been like," Kretz Lumber President Troy Brown said.  "So that's kind of the fun part and it brings up conversations like that."

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CRANDON - Nearly 200 vendors will make their way to Crandon this weekend for the annual Kentuck Day Festival.

Among them is a former nationally ranked snow-cross racer turned peanut brittle chef.

22-year-old Stephanie Schmidt used to race snowmobiles competitively.

Now, she uses ingredients like sugar and peanuts to land her in the winner's circle.

"The younger generation doesn't know what it is and it's really good," said Schmidt. "It's a shame that people don't know what it is and it's really fun to make."

She has spent the last couple of days preparing her famous peanut brittle to sell at the festival.
 
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All the money Stephanie makes from the peanut brittle goes towards her history graduate degree at UW-Milwaukee.

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U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman in Milwaukee issued a preliminary injunction this month allowing people who haven't been able to obtain IDs to vote in the Nov. 8 election if they sign an affidavit explaining why they couldn't get the identification.

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