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Jeffrey Liebscher sentenced to three years in prison for a hit-and-run causing deathSubmitted: 07/30/2020
Dan Hagen
Dan Hagen
Reporter/Anchor
dhagen@wjfw.com

Jeffrey Liebscher sentenced to three years in prison for a hit-and-run causing death
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.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Hodag Lanes Closing Submitted: 08/14/2020

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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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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.

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MINNEAPOLIS - President Donald Trump's campaign on Friday announced details of his visits on Monday to Minnesota and Wisconsin, two Midwestern states that he's counting on winning.

The campaign says Trump will highlight "Joe Biden's failures on jobs and the economy" during his two airport events.

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NATH hosts e-cycling fundraiserSubmitted: 08/14/2020

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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.

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KINGSTON, MO - Attorneys for a Missouri man accused of killing two brothers from Wisconsin are seeking to have two charges of abandoning a corpse dismissed in the case.

Garland Nelson, of Braymer, is facing the death penalty in the deaths of 24-year-old Justin Diemel and 35-year-old Nicholas Diemel, of Shawano County, Wisconsin. They disappeared after visiting Nelson's farm in July 2019 and their burned remains were later found in Missouri and Nebraska.

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MILWAUKEE -  Milwaukee's former police chief, who was demoted to captain in part for using tear gas against protesters demonstrating over George Floyd's death, has chosen to retire instead of staying with the department. 

The city's Fire and Police Commission voted unanimously last week to demote Chief Alfonso Morales.

 Commissioners criticized how Morales handled multiple incidents involving Black people, including the arrest of Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown. 

Speaking Wednesday on WTMJ-AM, Morales said he's retiring because if he returned as a captain it would be at a reduced salary and would negatively impact his pension payments. 

Morales also defended his record as chief. 

His attorney says he and Morales are exploring a range of legal action, including filing a claim for damages.

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CRANDON - Tens of thousands of fans come to the Crandon International Raceway track every year, where racers reach speeds of over one hundred miles an hour.

And unlike so many events in the Northwoods, the races are still on.

The raceway's president Cliff Flannery said the team is going the extra mile to make sure it's safe.

"Everythings a go, I mean there's no stopping us. But we're still going to be really cautious of what's going on here," said Flannery.

But the decision to continue the events was not spur-of-the-moment.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, event organizers discussed it with the county board, the sheriff, lawyers, and the health department.

"We talked to a lot of people before we did it," Flannery said.

Just like every other year, Cliff and his team are prepping the 400 acres for use.

Putting up lights, cutting the grass, and setting up the hundreds of campsites.

Except this year they have a few more tasks.

"It's a totally different deal," he said.

Building signs of all kinds, and buying new equipment.

"This covid has taken us a lot of time, and it's costing us a lot of money," said Flannery.

They had to buy new ticket machines for more convenience, adapting the food stands, and bought over 10 thousand face masks.

Flannery says the masks will be available everywhere.

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