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Over 90% seat belt use in WisconsinSubmitted: 08/21/2019
Over 90% seat belt use in Wisconsin
Story By Newswatch 12 Team

WISCONSIN DELLS - Gov. Tony Evers announced this morning that Wisconsin's seat belt use has reached over 90 percent.

Evers addressed over 400 people working in road safety at today's annual Governor's Conference on Highway Safety in Wisconsin Dells.

This year is the 10-year anniversary of the state's primary seat belt law.

Wisconsin is finally catching up to other Midwest states where seat belt use rates are already above 90%.

Wisconsin's primary seat belt law allows police to stop and cite motorists solely for not being buckled up.

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WAUSAU - When the snow melts, it has to go somewhere. That has "National Weather Service" meteorologists and dam operators concerned.

"Last year was actually the wettest year on record for us and the data we got going back to 1890," said Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company Vice President of Operations Peter Hansen. "So we knew that this winter that we got quite a bite of snow would be a concern in the spring."

The Northwoods hasn't hit that melting phase yet, but officials are paying close attention.

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RHINELANDER - Being bullied as a child can leave a lasting impact. It's a problem that affects students around the world.

Mother of three Mindy Boyer has seen the damage bullying causes locally.

"We're starting to learn how to deal with this and I didn't want her missing out on any more school," said Boyer about her five-year-old daughter Willow.

Willow is a student at Pelican Elementary in Rhinelander. In a cell phone video, Boyer captured Willow in tears at home after she asked her daughter about school.

"He calls me disgusting," Willow cried in the video. "I don't like when he calls me disgusting."

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STEVENS POINT - Volunteers in Stevens Point hope to pack 100,000 meals this weekend for kids in need across the globe.

Friday and Saturday, nearly 500 people will pour into an empty airplane hangar at the Stevens Point airport for the Feed my Starving Children mobile packing event.

University of Wisconsin Stevens Point senior Christian Kamrath helped recruit volunteers for the event through UWSP's Health Care Organization.

He says it's a rewarding experience and he loves coming back every year. 

"I could be at home sitting on the couch watching TV but instead we're changing lives," said Kamrath. "You see not only the new members that say this is my first time, but it's so cool to see all the people who say this is my second, third time."

In two-hour shifts throughout the day, volunteers filled meal packs with rice, soy, dried vegetables and mineral powder. The packs will ultimately be shipped to over 70 countries around the world. Each pack holds six meals and costs as little as 88 cents to produce.

"The volunteer aspect is important to us as an organization," said Maddy Mowrey with Feed my Starving Children. "It's important for us to be able to work with the community and encourage their spirits as well as feed hungry bodies."

The organization is still aiming meet its more than $26,000 fundraising goal.

To donate to Feed My Starving Children, visit the following website. 

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ONEIDA COUNTY - According to the DNR, nearly a quarter of those involved in a hunting-related accidents last year had not completed a hunter safety education course. 

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GREEN BAY - The daughter of a Wisconsin state lawmaker has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for providing drugs that killed a pregnant woman. 

Thirty-year-old Cassie Nygren was sentenced Thursday after she was found guilty in the June 2017 death of 31-year-old Jennifer Skeen. 

Skeen was six months pregnant when she overdosed on heroin laced with fentanyl. 

WLUK-TV reports Nygren also was sentenced to 17 years of extended supervision. 

Nygren told the judge heroin was at the root of her choices. 

Nygren is the daughter of Rep. John Nygren of Marinette, who has been public about his daughter's struggle with drugs.


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MILWAUKEE - A former Franklin business owner has been sentenced to 72 years in prison for killing his two employees and burning their bodies. 

Forty-four-year-old Matthew Neumann maintained his innocence at his sentencing Thursday. 

Neumann denied responsibility for the deaths of 40-year-old Robert Hajduk of Racine and 35-year-old Richard Conklin of Milwaukee. Conklin's remains have not been positively identified. 

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the judge told Neumann that the character he's shown in the case "is not human." 

Neumann was convicted in December of two counts each of first-degree reckless homicide and hiding a corpse. 

The victims worked at Neumann's commercial cleaning business and disappeared in January 2019.


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LAKE TOMAHAWK - People in Lake Tomahawk could soon see ATVs and UTVs on town roads if a new survey convinces the town board.

Last week, the town board authorized that survey, asking residents their views regarding ATV/UTV use on all town roads. 

Town Chairman George Demet said the Lake Towmhawk planning commission is still in the process of drafting the survey. 

The discussion surrounding the issue began last December when the Lake Tomahawk ATV Club requested 2.6 miles of Lakewood Rd be opened to ATV/UTV traffic. The proposal would have connected existing trails for the Nokomis ATV Club and Lakeland ATV Club.

Demet said he does not support the measure citing four ATV/UTV deaths on town roads in Oneida County last year. 
 
After the survey is conducted, Demet said the town board does not have to adopt an ordinance in accordance with survey results.

In the county, more than 76 miles of town roads are open to ATVs and UTVs.

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