RHINELANDER - Nearly one year ago in August 2019, Sean Holtslander was riding his motorcycle in Sugar Camp before he was struck by a truck driven by Jeffrey Liebscher. Instead of calling 911, Liebscher fled the scene.
Jeffrey Liebscher appeared in person at the Oneida County courthouse Thursday to receive his sentencing. Liebscher will serve three years in jail.
Sean's mom, Dororthy Holtslander spoke directly at Jeffrey Liebscher Thursday morning, saying he's never showed remorse for his actions.
She asked Judge Patrick O'Melia to send Liebscher to prison for 23 years, the same amount of years Sean was alive.
"Judge O'Melia, I plead with you for justice for Sean," said Dorothy Holtslander. "Jeffrey Liebscher does not deserve mercy, for he showed none. He is a man who lives without showing mercy to anyone."
Attorney Gary Cirilli painted his client Liebscher as an upstanding citizen who made a critical mistake the evening of Sean's death.
Liebscher's friend Nathan Shrock echoed Cirilli.
"Jeff Liebscher is a good man, a good friend," said Shrock.
And Liebscher himself pointed to his clean record before last August.
"I've always been a very active and productive member of our schools, our communities and our society," said Liebscher.
He added that he would help the Holtslander family in any way while they grieve.
"I am truly sorry for everything that has happened," said Liebscher.
Judge Patrick O'Melia gave a statement as well - calling out when Liebscher broke his bail earlier this year by refusing a breathalyzer test, and when, on the night Sean Holtslander's death, Liebscher tried to cover up his involvement.
"We have you fleeing, lying at every step of the way, hiding the vehicle, hiding yourself," said O'Melia.
Through a plea deal, Liebscher was charged with a single count of felony hit-and-run causing death. Judge O'Melia sentenced Liebscher to three years in prison and seven years of probation.
As Liebscher left the courtroom he could be seen giving a thumbs up to the people who showed up to support him.
RHINELANDER - Traffic slowed to a stand-still on Highway 8 West out of Rhinelander but not because of any accident or construction.
NATH and The Good News Project partnered for the third year in a row to host an e-cycling fundraiser.
"There's still a huge line of cars waiting to drop off their things and that's been going on since before we opened at 8. It's been a very busy and very successful fundraiser," say Rick Covin, Board Member for the Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing.
NATH operates Frederick's Place in Rhinelander. This is their third year partnering with The Good News Project out of Wausau to host the electronics recycling event.
"We're having anyone from the area able to bring their electronics, even vacuum cleaners, stereo systems, computers, TVs, monitors, and for a small fee which is much less than you would have to pay at the dump," says Covin.
A portion of the proceeds will go toward helping fund the shelter's operation. COVID and other complications forced NATH to cancel many of their successful fundraising events, like the Harvest Hoedown normally scheduled for October.
"While our expenses have not gone down, even gone up some, our income, which is fundraising grants, and gifts, has gone down," says Covin.
If you didn't make it Friday, don't worry! You can stop by from 9 to noon Saturady.
"We'll all be here ready to take their recyclables and all that stuff that's been gathering dust in their basement, closet, and garage, gather that up, those old electronics you have to pay through the nose to get rid of at the dump, bring 'em here, and we'll give rid of em for a small fee and it'll go to a good cause," says Covin.
KENOSHA - A Kenosha police officer wounded in a shootout last week while investigating a vehicle break-in has been released from a hospital, Wisconsin Department of Justice officials said Friday.
A release by the department's Division of Criminal Investigation identified the officer as Justin Pruett, who has been with the Kenosha police force for two years. He suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen, the Kenosha News reported.
The walleye population in Minocqua's Chain of Lakes has been struggling. The Wisconsin DNR has placed strict policies on walleye fishing in the area which has put a strain on anglers.
Because of that, fishing guides in Minocqua have had to suggest new alternatives to tourists in order to protect the walleye population.
"Numbers just skyrocketing," said Kurt's Island Sport Shop's Alec Steinberger on the surge of new fishermen.
But, with the walleye population struggling to reproduce naturally, fishing guides have had to direct new fishermen to different species.
"I recommend you go out and catch crappies and panfish and bass and have a good time," Steinberger said.
While the Wisconsin DNR has placed a strict "catch and release" restriction on walleye in Minocqua, it doesn't mean that anglers can't bring in those fish from other lakes.
"All the rest of the lakes don't have that restriction. So, you can still go out and fish and catch walleyes on a lot of lakes and come back with your limits everyday," said Dewey Catchem and How Owner, Jeff Bolander.
He knows better than anyone else that this summer has been especially busy for fishing.
"You've got the normal people that fish who are fishing more often," Bolander said, "You've got the people that don't normally fish are taking it up and finding out either they like it or they don't."
And Steinberger realizes these new anglers can cause a strain on an already low population.
"When you've got people coming up and taking walleyes out of the chain that aren't being naturally reproduced, you're actually taking out more fish than can be reproduced into the lake," he said.
The DNR is hoping that by next summer the walleye population in Minocqua can return to normal levels and fisherman can resume catching the fish without the strict policy.
MADISON - The University of Wisconsin-Madison has received less than 1% of the money that Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group pledged to it two years ago amid the electronics giant's expansion plans in Wisconsin.
In August 2018, Foxconn committed $100 million to the university to help fund an engineering building and for company-related research. It gave the school $700,000 in the first year of a 5-year agreement and records show the school has received no additional money over the past year.
RHINELANDER - After over 50 years of staying open, Hodag Lanes in Rhinelander has officially closed its doors.
"I mean COVID has hit the bowling business really, really hard no matter where your bowling center is," said Sharon Cline, bowling manager at Hodag Lanes.
And with the construction on Stevens Street, the bowling alley was in a tough situation.
"The construction was also a big play for us because with all the construction out here it was tough for anybody to get through," Cline said.
A lot of memories were created in the bowling alley for various citizens in the city.
"I probably started bowling in the early '80s on the Wednesday night women's league," said Sherri Schilleman, Rhinelander resident. "We had the 9 o'clock slot I believe back then."
For her and many families in Rhinelander, bowling was very popular.
"Bowling is actually a big sport in Rhinelander," said Schilleman. "And I think in the last couple of years bowling was actually starting to make another comeback. So it's sad because people are gonna have to find something else to do."
But Cline is hoping that this won't be the end for Hodag Lanes.
"It is costly to have a bowling center but we're just hoping again that we can get up and running again," said Cline.
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