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NEWS STORIES

Deputies think man threatened group of tubers at gunpointSubmitted: 08/10/2014
Story By Newswatch 12 Team

FLORENCE COUNTY - Florence County prosecutors could file charges against a man police believe threatened a group of people at gunpoint.

The Florence County Sheriff's Office got a call from a man who was threatened while he was tubing with his family and friends on the Pine River Oxbow. The man told deputies a man appeared from shore. He said the man told his party that the river belonged to him and that he was "King of America." The man told deputies the suspect pointed a shotgun at the tubing group as they floated by.

Deputies think the man also confronted other groups of tubers that came by.

Deputies secured the area and helped five groups of tubers get out of the river safely.

The Oneida County and Marinette County swat team helped Florence County deputies find the man. The 70-year-old man was taken into custody. Deputies found a loaded rifle and a shotgun along with 280 rounds of ammunition at the scene.

The man was taken to the Florence County Jail. His name has not yet been released.


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MERRILL - The Community Warming Center in Merrill finished up its first winter season a few weeks ago. The center provides a place to stay for people in need from November through April.

The guest's ages ranged from 22 to 45 years old. The center is run through the Merrill United Way. The Warming Center's director said its first year went much better than expected.

"It's kind of like building the field of dreams and not knowing if anyone will come to play, or to stay in our case," said Merrill United Way Executive Director Dee Olsen. "But what ended up happening was the community was responsive and we ended up with 11 guests throughout the season with 90 user nights."

The center is already preparing for the next season. They have new blankets and pillows ready for their next year.

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Workers chopped down a stand of phragmites on Monday. It stood on Highway 8 just west of Rhinelander. It had been chemically treated in the fall. Hopefully, that will help control the spread of the species.

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Teachers watch carefully for possible allergic reactions, especially at recess and on field trips.

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"Ms. Swaney showed us a presentation about the bats with a speaker and now we're building them," said 7th grader Jackie Wells.

"They have predators and it will kind of keep them safe in their little bat homes," said 7th Grader Connor Lund.

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