LANGLADE CO. - Elizabeth Gebert often feels like she's two people.
The truth is, the Langlade Co. District Attorney often has to act like two people.
Her office is so understaffed, her workload is more than what two lawyers should be taking on, according to a state study.
It means she works 80 hours a week. Cases stack up. She can't meet personally with many crime victims.
"The most common feeling that I hear expressed by crime victims is frustration with how long it takes to get their case going, get their case moving," Gebert said.
But that should change soon. In December, the Langlade Co. Board unanimously approved funding for an additional full-time prosecutor. It's something Gebert has badly wanted ever since an effort by state lawmakers came up short.
State Rep. Andre Jacque (R-De Pere) is now a Senator-elect. In 2017, as a member of the Assembly, he proposed a bill to add prosecutors to many county offices.
"Across the entire state, we have a critical understaffing of our district attorneys offices," Jacque said. "It's really in every corner of the state. It's something that, I think, significantly damages our public safety in a lot of different ways."
But Jacque's bill died, prompting Gebert into action in Langlade Co. seeking more help.
Now, with a new prosecutor coming, Gebert says she can help more people in Langlade Co., even if they've never been in the criminal justice system before.
"The harsh reality is you can be a victim of a crime any day," she said. "When that happens, all of a sudden, you will see and appreciate being able to talk to the prosecutor, being able to meet face-to-face with the prosecutor."
Gebert also hopes to spend more time outside of the courtroom once she hires another prosecutor. She wants to bring attention to the county's meth epidemic. The move by the board will give her that flexibility.
"It's an overwhelming vote of confidence that the county board gave me," she said. "It is so wonderful that they did that. It's encouraging to me. It gives me hope."
Langlade Co.'s count of felony cases increased from 314 in 2017 to more than 350 in 2018.
That's largely due to the meth problems in the county.
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander man could face prison time after police arrested him in an online underage sex sting. Oneida County prosecutors charged Adam Van Roy with three felonies on Monday.
A Wisconsin Department of Justice Special Agent working with the Oneida County Sheriff's Office posed as a 19-year-old woman named 'Julia G' on several social media applications March 13-15. Van Roy, 36, started talking with 'Julia' during that time.
'Julia' soon told Van Roy she was actually only 15 years old.
The agent's notes show Van Roy asked 'Julia' for pictures, including nude images, and asked her "what do you like in the bedroom?"
CRANDON - Recently, flooding closed roads and frustrated communities from Rhinelander to Plover. A bad combination of rain and melting snow led to days of flood warnings. As those warnings go away, a related risk could do a lot more than frustrate you - it could make you sick. Flooding can cause contamination in wells, but the Northwoods is lucky to have a world-class water testing facility.
RT Krueger's Northern Lake Service in Crandon has about 50 specialized machines that test drinking water for half of the municipalities in Wisconsin. Krueger tests Rhinelander's water three times a week. Every year 65,000 water samples flow in and out of this lab.
"The safe drinking water testing for the city of Madison is being performed up in little tiny Crandon," said Krueger.
Many people have their own wells, which are not tested regularly like municipal water. If your well is submerged due to flooding, filtered groundwater mixes with potentially harmful surface water.
"You're introducing the bacteria and all the compounds and organisms that are normally above the water that you're drawing," said Krueger.
(Suspects identified clockwise, beginning with upper-left: Robert Daniels, Andrew Phillips, Richard Harris, Geraldine Dubray, Allyssa Wamego, Tammy Mann)
A report of a noisy house party and fight near Crandon led to six drug-related arrests earlier this month. Officers eventually found heroin, cocaine, and guns along with other drug items inside, but getting there took some extra work.
According to a release from the Forest County Sheriff's Office, police responded to a home at 7840 Love Knot Lane in the Town of Lincoln, which is east of Crandon, on March 7 around 7:15 p.m.
MILWAUKEE - Officials say a man shot by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee police on campus is hospitalized in stable condition.
University Police Chief Joe LeMire said at a news conference Tuesday two officers found the man, armed with a gun, sleeping on a bench in the Fine Arts Complex building around 7 a.m., an altercation occurred and he was shot. The police officers were treated for minor injuries.
We talk to a snowplow driver in Lincoln County who says he was attacked with a baseball bat after accidently knocking down a mailbox.
We'll take you to the ribbon cutting for a new utility garage in Stevens Point and show you some sustainable design features that are part of the facility including the largest solar array in Central Wisconsin.
And we'll speak with a water testing specialist in Crandon to go over the importance of testing groundwater especially after there has been flooding in the area.
We'll bring you this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.
PARK FALLS - Shopko announced it would close all of its stores Monday. That leaves many towns and cities across the Northwoods wondering what, if anything, can fill the gap that will create within their local economies.
Some groups in Park Falls plan to try to capitalize on a unique federal tax incentive program. The Park Falls Area Community Development Corporation and area Chamber of Commerce already had a plan to educate people on a fairly new tax benefit program, one that will help create opportunity in the area.
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Rockfleet Broadcasting / Northland Television, Inc. and By Request Web Designs shall not be held responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, or misprints.