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Panel restores job of former guard at youth prisons in Lincoln CountySubmitted: 09/18/2018
Panel restores job of former guard at youth prisons in Lincoln County
MADISON - A former prison guard who falsely claimed she had checked on a suicidal teen inmate has her job back.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the state Employment Relations Commission decided Wednesday to reinstate guard Rosemary Esterholm with $29,000 in back pay.

Esterholm and other guards left Sydni Briggs alone in a cell in Wisconsin's youth prison in 2015. They didn't check on her for 40 minutes and later discovered she had hanged herself.

Esterholm completed paperwork claiming she checked Briggs five times even though Esterholm wasn't on duty in Briggs' unit at those times.

Briggs survived and won a $19 million settlement. Esterholm was fired in March after she acknowledged in a deposition she didn't check Briggs.

The commission accepted her explanation that she mistakenly filled out the paperwork during a chaotic day and deserved only a one day suspension

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 10/16/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:


We'll tell you about a petition from a group of Crandon business owners who want the DOT to pay for work on sidewalks the businesses believe are flawed, and we'll get a response from the DOT.

We'll show you a new training program from Nicolet College designed to help local fire stations recruit more volunteers.

And we'll bring you a preview of a series on the 34th Never Forgotten Honor Flight where several veterans from our area tell about their wonderful experiences on the trip.


We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MERRILL - Someone stole the tires and rims off nine vehicles at a dealership near Merrill this week.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office reports the thefts happened early Monday morning at Stark Automotive along Highway 51.  Surveillance footage shows a white cargo van going into the lot around 1 a.m. on Oct. 15.  The suspects used a device to raise the trucks off the ground.

One of the vehicles slipped off the device, hit the van's bumper, and may have caused damage.

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BARRON - Update:

Authorities say a Wisconsin teenager who has been missing since her parents were found dead in their home isn't a runaway and that they think she's in danger.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said during a media briefing Tuesday that he can't reveal why authorities believe 13-year-old Jayme Closs is in danger because it could compromise the investigation. But he repeated his plea for the public's help in finding her.

Deputies responding to a 911 call found the bodies of 56-year-old James Closs and 46-year-old Denise Closs at around 1 a.m. Monday in their home in the western Wisconsin town of Barron. No cause of death has been released but authorities said gunshots had been fired.

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PHELPS - Fourth grader Brandon Creye didn't expect his Monday to look like this. 

"I'm pretty excited," said Creye. "I think we going to test like water samples to see if they're ok." 

Creye and 60 other fourth graders got out of the classroom Monday. Eagle River Elementary teacher Nicole Musial took them to Deerskin Creek in Phelps to learn science.

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RHINELANDER - People living in Rhinelander will see something new waiting at their curbs this winter.  It's a big change for garbage and recycling that the provider expects everyone to love.

Rhinelander awarded Eagle Waste and Recycling the city's new solid waste disposal contract on Oct. 8.  Forty-eight-gallon garbage bins and 96-gallon recycling bins replace the Advanced Disposal bins on January 1, 2019.  

Rhinelander is the 75th municipality the Eagle River-based company will manage.

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RHINELANDER - Students' art work will begin lining the walls of the Oneida County Land and Water Conservation office in Rhinelander.

Conservation members are starting to collect posters from students for the Invasive Species Poster Contest.

Students in 18 counties from fourth to eighth grade can participate.

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RHINELANDER - Sears expects to close 142 stores around the country by the end of the year. That doesn't mean the Sears name is going to completely disappear. The manager of the Sears Hometown store in Rhinelander says his store is here to stay.

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