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Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Rep. Shankland visit UW-Stevens PointSubmitted: 02/11/2019
Angela Kim
Angela Kim
Reporter/Anchor
akim@wjfw.com

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Rep. Shankland visit UW-Stevens Point
STEVENS POINT - The Northwoods enjoys one of the highest concentrations of fresh water lakes in the entire world, yet many people across the state worry the water coming out of their faucets could be dirty.

Gov. Tony Evers is addressing that by calling 2019 the 'Year of Clean Drinking Water.'

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Rep. Katrina Shankland visited UW-Stevens Point Monday as part of that project. They toured water testing facilities on the campus to talk about how the statewide issue can be solved.

Barnes and Shankland also announced a new plan to help private well owners keep their water safe.

"That's why I've introduced bi-partisan legislation to create a first of its kind for [a] private well testing program that would provide grants to local governments to help homeowners test their private wells, so they can know what's in their drinking water," said Shankland.

Shankland's bill also increases how much money the state gives to homeowners to hook up to clean drinking water.

Barnes thinks Republicans will support the bill because clean drinking water is important for everyone.

"It is a wise investment," said Barnes. "I don't think there are too many people would see a problem with us making sure that we're prioritizing health and safety. Everybody drinks water every day. If you don't you should. Eight glasses. Well, we want to make sure those Eight glasses are free of contaminants."

The UW-SP water labs test water in 16 different counties.

Barnes and Shankland both want this kind of science to lead the way to clean water solutions.


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 04/23/2019

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:


The attorney for Robin Mendez today tried to convince the jury that another man, one who was upset with Mendez's wife, could have been the one who killed her back in 1982. You'll hear some of the testimony from a witness who may have seen that man the night of the murder.

Some Rhinelander residents have been without phone, internet and cable services for about 2 weeks, and they want some answers from Frontier. We'll bring you the details and talk with some of those frustrated customers.

And we'll talk to a Stevens Point state senator about a proposed bill that would ban what its authors are calling "selective abortions."


We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Robin Mendez's attorney tried to shift blame for Barbara Mendez's murder to another man Tuesday. 

Attorney Peter Prusinski called four final witnesses, some who saw a man at the credit union who may have been Thomas Boze on the night of the murder. 

Thomas Boze was at the Park City Credit Union the day Barbara Mendez was killed. Prosecutors don't dispute that. 

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MERCER - The five current and former Mercer school board members charged with class I felonies will not face jail time after their charges were dropped.

Denise Thompson, Kelly Kohegyi, Noel Brandt, Micki Holmstrom, and Deanna Pierpont all appeared in court for the first time and learned Monday that all of their charges were dismissed.

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PHILLIPS - A Northwoods organization that aims to help domestic abuse and sexual assault survivors now offers it's services online. Thanks to RAINN, a national anti-sexual assault group, Embrace can now host anonymous support groups for survivors.

Embrace serves Price, Rusk, Washburn, and Barron counties. Domestic Violence Program Coordinator Angela Frieze says it can be hard to get people to attend in-person support groups. 

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Robin Mendez's defense attorney argued there's not enough physical evidence to convict his client of murder. 

Mendez is on trial for killing his wife Barbara in 1982.

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RHINELANDER - One of the five Rhinelander employees who signed a letter of no confidence against City Administrator Daniel Guild submitted her letter of resignation on Monday.

Guild's assistant, Stephanie Rajnicek cited ongoing conflict, tension, and concerns about her future for resigning.

Her last day will be Friday, May 10th.

Rajnicek joined City Clerk Val Foley, Deputy Clerk Mary Stoll, Utility Billing Clerk Beth Mannikko, and Public Works Director Tim Kingman in signing the letter.  It was submitted during a city council meeting on March 11.

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RHINELANDER - An 18-year-old nursing assistant accused of sexually assaulting at least two elderly patients pleaded not guilty on Monday.

Jacob Schlosser was in Oneida County court for his arraignment, facing three 2nd-degree sexual assault felonies.

He was first charged with sexually assaulting an 80-year-old patient during bath time at Avanti in Minocqua last month.  Two days after police started their investigation, another patient came forward saying Schlosser assaulted them, too.

Schlosser is free on a $2,000 cash bond.

He faces up to 120 years in prison if convicted.

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