MERRILL - Morgan Leaf Meadows didn't always go by that name.
"It wasn't that I didn't love that name. It's just that the name associates a certain power to those that used that name," said Meadows.
Meadows was born Netha Edna Mason, but the change helped her escape a terrible past.
"I am a survivor of domestic violence and human trafficking," Meadows said.
Her birth mother and stepfather were responsible for the trafficking. Her mom was a substance abuser. Her stepdad was in the Navy.
"Pornographic photography would the label for what happened to me in the beginning," said Meadows. "Being completely naked...in a room with other people, cameras, filming, and other children were present."
The photography later grew into sexual encounters that Meadows' parents, mainly her stepfather, received money for.
The abuse didn't stop until an arranged marriage at the age of 17. Then she lived a life of domestic and sexual abuse until she broke free at 29.
"I guess you can call it a self-rescue," she said. "But someone asked me the question, 'What would help me to be happy?' and I said I need help getting away from him."
Meadows, who lives in Door County, now teams up with advocates like Sister Celine Goessl in Merrill. They want to stop human trafficking throughout the state.
"Primarily, in the state of Wisconsin, the victims and the survivors of human trafficking are our own people," said Goessl.
Goessl is proud to stand behind Meadows as she tells her story and gains support for the cause.
"Morgan is a brave person," said Goessl. "She is ready to do what she can to help humanity do what they can to help pull people in to help."
Meadows is working on presentations to teach others about the issue. She knows it's a lot of work, but she won't stop until human trafficking ends.
"I believe that we will eradicate trafficking. And I don't mean we as survivors," said Meadows. "I mean we as community members. We are the ones capable of doing this."
RHINELANDER - The first day of spring on Tuesday greeted us with snow and cold, but a handful of people across Rhinelander did their best to deliver some warm feelings.
Hometown Chiropractic employees stood outside the Rhinelander District Library starting at 12:30 p.m. with motivational signs. This is the third year the chiropractic office decided to do "Sunshine on the Street."
It was a simple half-hour commitment to spread joy.
RHINELANDER - Oneida County Supervisor Bob Mott felt sadness as he toured the Doctors Foster and Smith property in Rhinelander on Feb. 22. Mott knew he couldn't save the nearly 300 jobs that are disappearing after Petco announced in January it was closing most of the facility.
However, Mott is now pushing the county to look at a new option for the buildings and land that could generate money and create jobs.
At Tuesday's county board meeting, Mott submitted a resolution that would form a committee to look at Oneida County buying the property from Petco.
ANTIGO - A sandbag can serve as a cheap, easy tool to stop floodwater from reaching homes, businesses, and other buildings. In Antigo, city workers have seen their fair share of sandbags lately. The city made a thousand of them. It's something workers do every year, but hope to never use them.
"Every melting season," said Antigo Public Works Project Manager Charlie Brinkmeier. "We never know, the weather changes day to day."
Since the flooding that took place in 2004, the city of Antigo has been doing its best to stay prepared.
MERRILL - Dozens of people in Merrill considered who is representing them in city government. A group is pushing to recall five of the city's eight representatives and held a rally Tuesday night to make their case to their fellow taxpayers.
"It's now or never," said LaDonna Fermanich, one of the rally organizers.
The Recall Rally was held at Les and Jim's Lincoln Lanes less than a mile away from Merrill City Hall, where a common council meeting was taking place at the same time.
"This is nothing personal for the alderman. We believe you're all of good character," said Steve Sabatke, addressing the council. Sabatke plans to run for Merrill's 8th district seat.
RHINELANDER - By landing in New Zealand last week, Rhinelander's Darlene Machtan and her husband checked off another continent in their world travels. They landed and were confronted by huge national news.
"It's all people are talking about," Machtan said in a FaceTime interview.
Last Friday in Christchurch, New Zealand, a white supremacist started shooting at two mosques in a terrorist attack, killing 50 people.
Most years, the entire country has fewer than ten homicides with guns.
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