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NEWS STORIES

Convicted murderer finds out sentence for escapingSubmitted: 05/13/2014

Kaitlyn Howe
Reporter/Producer
khowe@wjfw.com

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RHINELANDER - The convicted murderer who walked away from his work release job found out how much time he'll serve for escaping. Todd Brecht is currently serving a life sentence for shooting and killing his brother in law in 1985.

Today he found out he got two more years added to that sentence. Because he's serving a life sentence he'll only serve those extra years if he gets released on parole.

Brecht went missing last September from his work release job at the St. Germain Golf Course. His lawyer spoke about Brecht's good behavior before the escape.

"Mr. Brecht is generally a person that can be productive he can also function effictively in normal social environments. And before he was incarcerated in 1985, did not have a serious criminal record either," says John Voorhees, Brecht's lawyer.

Brecht is up for parole in July. The Judge said the parole commission's decision will affect Brecht more than today's sentencing.

"Despite everything that has happened over the last 28 years at this point in time the Department of Corrections has reason to question whether they can trust you at this point," says Judge Michael Bloom.

Brecht did apologize at his sentencing today.

"I'd like to apologize to the people at St. Germain Golf Course. Because I did work up there for three years and I did enjoy my work. Almost three decades ago when I was incarcerated I fashioned myself that my main objective was to someday be released into society," says Brecht.

Brecht had been an inmate at the McNaughton Correctional Center in Lake Tomahawk. Police found him in Orlando, Florida a few days after escaping.


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 IN OTHER NEWS
Fashion show benefits Eagle River Memorial HospitalSubmitted: 08/19/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - Organizers hope a fashion show will bring in more customers and more money to the Eagle River Memorial Hospital Gift Shop and Thrift Shop.

The Partners-Auxiliary of Ministry Eagle River Memorial Hospital hosted the All Dolled Up Luncheon and Fashion Show in Eagle River Tuesday.

Auxiliary volunteers modeled clothes and accessories from both the shops.

They enable the Auxiliary to make big donations.

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First ever school Garden Symposium at TreehavenSubmitted: 08/19/2014

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TOMAHAWK - Treehaven in Tomahawk kicked off its first ever School Garden Symposium Tuesday.

Educators from schools all around the state were invited to attend. It's an opportunity for them to come and learn how to incorporate healthier habits into their schools.

"Some of them are new to gardening completely," said Jasmyn Schmidt, a presenter at the symposium. "So they're learning how to start a garden, what you have to do for a garden, and what supplies are needed to start a garden. Some of them are a year or two into their gardens and are looking to learn maintenance or funding strategies to keep those gardens going."

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Sen. Ron Johnson: Submitted: 08/19/2014

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FOREST COUNTY - Forest and timber leaders in Northern Wisconsin hosted Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) in Forest County Tuesday. The group of timber experts was touring areas of the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest (CNNF).

Both of Wisconsin's senators toured forests and forest industries in the north over the last two days.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) toured wood products businesses in Laona on Monday.

Foresters and timber experts were urging, to both senators, for more harvesting in the more than one million acres of national forest that covers Northern Wisconsin. The harvest this decade has been far below what it was in the 90s.

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Brand new Spudmobile hits the road in Wisconsin Submitted: 08/19/2014

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STEVENS POINT - The Spudmobile is Wisconsin's newest addition in potato education.

The Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association unveiled the Spudmobile at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in Stevens Point last week.

"It was a big project, 4 years of planning and development. It cost a lot of money and we don't want it to sit parked. We want to get it out there and get people touring through it and seeing it on the road," said Tamas Houlihan.

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Hunting stores seeing more crossbow interest as new season approachesSubmitted: 08/19/2014

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NORTHWOODS - More hunters will get to use crossbows during the upcoming bow season.

Workers at hunting stores see more customer interest in crossbow hunting.

The Natural Resource Board approved the new season last week. It will run at the same time as the archery season which runs from Sept. 13 - Jan. 4, 2015.

Businesses are seeing more people looking at crossbows as the season approaches.

"We've seen a definite spike in interest in this past year, and especially more now with the season in place for the fall," says Mitch Mode of Mel's Trading Post in Rhinelander.

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Cranberry harvest numbers may slide compared to last several years Submitted: 08/19/2014

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MANITOWISH WATERS - Cranberry growers in Wisconsin work hard every year to produce the fruit. But they may not be able to harvest as many berries this season.

Cranberry growers don't expect an overly large crop this year. This comes after several years of great harvests in the state.

The numbers might not be as high, but farmers say they won't be disappointed with this year's cranberry results.

"Overall I think it will be a decent crop," says Bob Winter, owner and manager of Vilas Cranberry Company. "There's been some hail in the southern part of the state and even in western Wisconsin, so that takes its toll, but cumulatively how much that really is remains to be seen. You never know until you get it all in the barn at the end of October."

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Price County Fair starts WednesdaySubmitted: 08/19/2014

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PHILLIPS - People come from as far away as Milwaukee and Green Bay every year for the Price County Fair.

This year's fair starts Wednesday.

The same fairgrounds area just outside of Phillips has hosted the fair for more than a century.

We caught up with organizers and helpers making some final preparations at the fair.

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