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NEWS STORIES

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

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.


Story By: Kaitlyn Howe

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Update-Man dead after being pulled from a Vilas County LakeSubmitted: 07/31/2014

CONOVER - We now know the man pulled from the water of a Vilas County lake Wednesday died.

The Sheriff's Department says the man was in Upper Buckatabon Lake in Conover.

They now say the man collapsed over the side of his boat before being rescued from the water.

The first call to the sheriff's department yesterday afternoon said it appeared the man was hit by his own boat.

The man was pulled from the water and C-P-R was immediately performed.

He was flown to Wausau Aspirus Hospital.

The man's name has not been released at this time.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds voter identification lawSubmitted: 07/31/2014

MADISON - The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Thursday morning voters can be required to show photo identification at the polls.

But that law remains blocked by a federal court decision.

The law was struck down in April by a federal judge in Milwaukee.

His ruling is under appeal.

A federal appeals court would have act for the voter I-D law to take effect.

Four lawsuits have been filed over the law passed in 2011.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court issued rulings in two cases on the question Thursday morning, concluding in both that the law was constitutional.

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Law limiting collective bargaining upheldSubmitted: 07/31/2014

MADISON - After protests, recall elections and lawsuits, a state supreme court decision came down Thursday morning on the law that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers.

The court has upheld the 2011 law in a split decision.

The court ruled 5-2 Thursday morning that the law is valid.

The decision came in a challenge filed by the Madison teachers union and a union representing Milwaukee public workers.

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Accused driver had received license only weeks before deadly crash, case moves forwardSubmitted: 07/31/2014

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CRANDON - The case against an 18-year-old Laona man will go ahead after a Forest County judge found enough evidence to move forward Wednesday.

Austin Ginter, 18, faces reckless homicide charges in Forest County after a car crash killed 15-year-old Chance Harcus. Another 16-year-old girl was also injured in the July 13th car crash on Old 8 Road west of Crandon.

New information from a preliminary hearing Wednesday shows that Ginter only had his driver's license for two weeks before the crash.

Wisconsin State Patrolman Justin Bender testified for the prosecution. He was the officer that reconstructed the car crash. He says the car was going at least 114 miles per hour when the driver lost control, but could have been going as fast as 126 miles per hour.

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Rock throwing case moves forward for one of the accusedSubmitted: 07/31/2014

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CRANDON - Prosecutors in Forest County accuse a group of four people of throwing rocks off of a bridge and damaging a car. Victims Wednesday described the sound like a bomb going off.

19-year-old Thomas Hines is one of four people facing charges for throwing rocks off of a Forest County bridge just after 3 a.m. June 3, 2014. The other three facing charges include 18 year-old Mariya Tuckwab, 20 year-old Ryan Kitchmaster, and 21-year-old Dillon Votis.

All four face multiple felony charges for recklessly endangering safety and criminal damage to property.

Prosecutors say those rocks hurt a woman inside of the car.

Hines was in court Wednesday for his preliminary hearing.

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Man sent to hospital after ATV crashSubmitted: 07/31/2014

TOMAHAWK - An ATV crash sent a Tomahawk man to the hospital last night.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's department tells us 49 year old Michael Van Strydonk was hurt around 11 last night just outside of Tomahawk.

His ATV had been going south on Cloverbelt road.

It rolled over as Van Strydonk approached the intersection with County D.

He was conscious and talking right after the crash, but was unresponsive by the time emergency personnel arrived.

Van Strydonk was taken to St. Joseph's hospital in Marshfield, where he was in stable condition Thursday morning.

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Campers help the communitySubmitted: 07/30/2014

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RHINELANDER - Many campers come to the Northwoods to enjoy outdoor activities, but for some, it's all about giving back to the community.

A group of 30 students from four-years old through high school age take a week of their summer to attend Crescent Lake Bible Camp.

While they're at camp, they spend their days working on different projects around Rhinelander. Today, they're using their vacation time to improve the pavilions at Hodag Park.

"Today we're prepping and painting the pavilions," says 16-year-old Tylor Hoople. "They have thousands of staples in them. We're pulling all the staples and we're repainting them to make them look a lot better for the park."

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