Richie Vue faces charges for killing his girlfriend, Kou Thao for shooting, beheading, and disemembering a man.
We've told you about these three stories before - they happened in Marathon County, but they have more in common than that.
All three involve opiate drug abuse and represent a much bigger problem in the community.
Today, law encorcement and other groups launched the "Pushback Against Drug Abuse" campaign in Wausau.
Community leaders want people to know that drugs like heroin, meth, and oxycontin don't affect just the user - they affect EVERYONE.
"Overall as we compare and track our service calls, we are about 14 percent ahead compared to last year," Wausau Police Chief Jeff Hardel said. "So it's just generated so much more work for all of our officers and detectives. It's hard too keep up at this point."
Hardel says competition among drug dealers is increasing.
They're buying or stealing guns to intimidate each other.
That's why responding to a "shots fired" call is now common for Wausau Police.
"We've had so many of our high profile cases, homicides, aggravated assaults, robberies, etc., that have a very strong drug influence," Hardel said. "In other words, they're committing a crime because of their drug addiction."
The Pushback Against Drug Abuse campaign will continue at a June 4 meeting.
RHINELANDER - Oneida County needs more foster care homes. Right now, there are nine licensed foster homes in the area, most of which are full according to the county's social services department.
Foster Care Coordinator Rachel Nelson says that in Oneida County there are 24 children currently living in foster homes. The department participated in a statewide foster care recruitment project last fall, and discovered just how great the need is.
RHINELANDER - A snow storm caught Hanson's Garden Village in Rhinelander off guard last weekend and collapsed a greenhouse. Now that spring weather is here, Hanson's is ready to move forward by making some adjustments. "We got by for 25 years doing what we were doing," said Hanson's Garden Village Co-owner Brent Hanson. Last weekend's spring snow storm set back Hanson's. "We thought we were ahead of schedule having that greenhouse nice and filled," said Hanson's Manager Beth Hanson.
"One bad storm and there you go. Things happen," said Brent. The storm collapsed a greenhouse holding thousands of plants. "For years we've gotten by with these lighter cheaper green houses," said Brent. "We'll be down a greenhouse for a little bit here," said Beth. Now Hanson's will only use sturdier and solid greenhouses so that collapses don't become a pattern.
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