RHINELANDER - A man threatening to hurt himself and others with a knife sparked an hours-long standoff in Rhinelander Thursday.
Police were called to the home of 21-year-old Mathew Smith on Highway 8 just before 10 a.m. All afternoon, police tried talking to Smith who wouldn't come out of his home. Smith, along with other people, and a child were inside the home at first. Police say within the first half an hour, everyone expect Smith got out safely.
Oneida County Sheriff Grady Hartman said police believe drugs were a factor in this incident. The Oneida County Special Response Team spent nearly six hours trying to get Smith to come out of his home.
"[The] Special Response Team did deploy some gas into the residence. That's part of their protocol on getting a barricaded suspect out of a residence," said Hartman.
Smith was arrested for domestic violence disorderly conduct, failure to comply with an officer's attempt to take the person into custody, and multiple warrants. Other departments like the Rhinelander Police Department, Minocqua Police Department and the Langlade County Sheriff's Office also assisted.
"We give chances to surrender peacefully. We slowly ramp up our level of force until we get compliance," said Hartman.
Hartman said nobody was injured in this incident. He added his department along with other departments work together to make sure they follow a plan. Langlade County's special response team also worked with Oneida County.
- The U.S. headed into the Fourth of July weekend with many parades and fireworks displays canceled, beaches and bars closed, and health authorities warning that this will be a crucial test of Americans' self-control that could determine the trajectory of the surging coronavirus outbreak.
With confirmed cases climbing in 40 states, governors and local officials have ordered the wearing of masks in public, and families were urged to celebrate their independence at home. Even then, they were told to keep their backyard cookouts small.
CRANDON - The Forest County Humane Society works around the clock to help animals find forever homes. But taking care of those animals during their stay doesn't just take a lot of time; it takes a lot of money, too.
The shelter got a helping hand, thanks to a $35,000 grant from the ASPCA. It's part of an initiative to help brick-and-mortar shelters improve their animals' quality of life.
Shelter director Angie Schaefer says that money paid for 20 new cat-condos, fencing for two new dog yards, and several other much-needed supplies.
"We're small, we're in a small community, so to raise that kind of money to get these items would have been quite a task. For them to step in and do that for us is amazing," said Schaefer.
Schaefer said the extra yards will allow dogs to spend more time outside and socialize with each other.
If you're interested in volunteering or donating to the humane society, visit its website for more information.
MADISON, WI - Cigarette smoking rates have dropped since Wisconsin's Smoke-Free Indoor Air Law went into effect 10 years ago.
In 2008, before the law passed, 20% of Wisconsin adults smoked cigarettes. By 2018, the rate had dropped to 16%. High school youth cigarette smoking rates dropped from nearly 21% in 2008 to nearly 5% in 2018.
State cigarette taxes were also increased during this time period and contribute to this reduction.
"Wisconsin is breathing easier today thanks to this law, but we know there are many people in our state who still smoke," said DHS Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm. "We urge smokers to take advantage of the programs available to help them to quit, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people who smoke are believed to be more susceptible to the virus, and can become severely ill with it."
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