Case Continues for Wausau Man Facing Drug Charges in Lincoln County Published on 10/11/2018 under News
The case will continue for a Wausau man facing drug charges in Lincoln County.

Justin Zastrow was back in Lincoln County Court for his preliminary hearing and arraignment yesterday. The 35 year old is facing charges of manufacturing/delivering methamphetamine, possession with intent to deliver, possession of material to manufacture methamphetamine, and nine counts of felony bail jumping.

The charges are the result of a drug investigation in July.

According to court records, Zastrow waived his preliminary hearing, and Judge Jay Tlusty ruled there is enough evidence for the case to proceed. Not guilty pleas were then entered.

Zastrow requested a bond modification which will be heard later this month.

In Other News

Voters Easily Approve Northland Pines Referendum
Published on 02/20/2019 under News Residents of the Northwoods continue to support additional funding for their local schools. Yesterday, on a primary day that was relatively light on races, voters in the Northland Pines School District easily passed a referendum by a nearly 2:1 margin. The district was asking for $4.6 million each of the next three years. That, coupled with additional spending cuts, were to address a projected $5 million budget shortfall. The preliminary vote totals show the measure passing 1,230 to 635. The district was in the final year of a referendum passed in 2016 at $3.9 million annually. School referendums are nothing new here in the Northwoods. In addition to Pines, Tomahawk, Rhinelander, and Merrill are also operating under referendums passed by their voters.
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Update: Victims Identified in Monday's Crash in Oneida County
Published on 02/20/2019 under News Officials have provided additional details on a fatal two vehicle accident in Oneida County Monday night. The Oneida County Sheriff's Office says they were called to that accident at shortly before 5pm on Highway 45 south of Three Lakes. A northbound van crossed the center-line striking a southbound SUV. The driver of the van was pronounced dead at the scene. She has now been identified as 53 year old Judy Miller of Pepin County. Both occupants of the southbound vehicle were airlifted for further treatment. The passenger later died as a result of her injuries. She has been identified as 18 year old Kelsey Bellman of Eagle River. No update was provided for the driver, an 18 year old Conover woman. The crash remains under investigation.
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Lincoln County Board Approves Funding for Jail Surveillance System Upgrades
Published on 02/20/2019 under News The Lincoln County Jail surveillance system will likely be getting an upgrade. The $240,000 project came before the Lincoln County Board last evening for approval. The resolution noted that the current jail camera surveillance system is negatively impacting the daily operations of the jail and increasing liability during failures. While Chief Deputy Nate Walrath was on hand to field questions from the supervisors, most were directed towards IT director David Smith. He noted this project would overhaul the cameras, wiring and servers which would allow for most cost efficient upgrades in the future. When asked if if the project could be pushed down the line, Smith noted that the equipment is already past its life-cycle. Supervisor Jeremy Ratliff noted that the current surveillance system was the same analog system from the initial jail construction. The request was included in the 2019 capital improvements budget. At times the supervisors conversation strayed into a greater discussion on the county's reliance on technology. Ultimately, the board voted unanimously to allocate up $240,000 for the project which next heads out to bid.
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Former Lincoln County Sheriff, County Board Supervisor Passes
Published on 02/20/2019 under News A man who served more than two decades as Lincoln County Sheriff has passed away. At Tuesday night's County Board meeting, the supervisors recognized Ron Krueger for his service to the community. Overall, Krueger served Lincoln County for more than 4 decades in various roles, most prominently as Sheriff from 1974 until his retirement in 1997. He began his law enforcement career 1969. Following his retirement, Krueger also served as a supervisor on the Lincoln County Board from 1998 until 2011. Members of the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office announced that their Honor Guard will be present at Thursday's public visitation in tribute to Ron's many years of service.
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Lincoln County Board Recap
Published on 02/20/2019 under News It was a relatively routine February County Board meeting. As they do each month, the supervisor recognized employment milestones including: 10 years for Heather Marheine in the Highway Department and Timothy Kurtz in the Sheriff's Office. The Board also memorialized the passing of Former Sheriff and Supervisor Ron Krueger. With January being the first month of the county's fiscal year, Finance Director Dan Leydet's monthly report was relatively short. He did caution oversight committees to watch budgets carefully, particularly with additional spending. In his report, County Administrator Jason Hake briefly spoke about the operational deficit at Lincoln Industries over the past two years. He says they will work with North Central Healthcare to explore a more sustainable operation. In resolutions, the board unanimously approved taking 12 tax delinquent properties. All were empty lots in the Harrison Hills area. They all came from the same owners which had previously been tied up in bankruptcy. The board tabled a resolution on zoning amendments in the Town of Pine River. Rather than utilizing county zoning, the township handles the duty on their own. Bill Zeitz, whose district includes the township, questioned both the process the resolution came to the board and whether the resolution needed to come to the board at all. The supervisors had additional details for corporation counsel Nancy Bergstrom who was unable to attend the meeting. The Board voted 19-1 to table the resolution until those questions could be answered. After a brief presentation from Highway Commissioner John Hanz, the board approved designating the week of April 8 as Work Zone Awareness week. This is part of a statewide awareness effort. The final item on the agenda expanded two economic support specialist positions in Social Services from 36 hours per week to 40 hours. Director Renee Krueger noted that this was part of a long term plan and shouldn't affect this year's budget.
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Green Bay Man Receives 7 Years in Sexual Assault of Lincoln County Teen
Published on 02/20/2019 under News A Green Bay man accused of sexually assaulting a Lincoln County teen has been sentenced to seven years of prison. Anthony McWhorter was back in Marathon County Court for that hearing yesterday. According to court records, the 28 year old pleaded guilty to a single count of 2nd degree sexual assault of a child back in December. In exchange, three other charges were dismissed, but will be considered during sentencing. McWhorter, a National Guard Sergeant at the time, was arrested in August following an investigation. A family member of the victim contacted authorities after noting a change in the boy's behavior. The complaint says McWhorter contacted the 15 year old from Lincoln County through the Snapchat social media app. He met with the boy at a hotel in Wausau providing him with video games and cash in exchange for sexual contact. In addition to the prison time McWhorter also received 6 years of extended supervision. He's not allowed contact with minors or use of social media. He was credited with 199 days of time served.
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Hatchet Boys Basketball Team Loses to Athens
Published on 02/20/2019 under Sports The Tomahawk Hatchet Boys Basketball Team hosted Athens on Tuesday night at the Fieldhouse in non-conference action.  Athens wins it, 78-73. The Bluejays led 34-32 at the half. Tomahawk gained a 73-72 with a late second half run after trailing by seven points.  Athens then made two free throws to gain a 74-73 lead.  Tomahawk was unable to score on their end of the floor and was forced to foul.  Again the Bluejays converted from the free throw to seal the non-conference win. Drew Bolder led Tomahawk with 23 and Jared Leverance had 18 points. Tomahawk will travel to Medford on Thursday night for the Great Northern Conference finale.  The opening tip is at 7:15 pm.
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Hatchet Girls Basketball Team Loses in Regional Quarter
Published on 02/20/2019 under Sports The Tomahawk Hatchet Girls Basketball Team had their season come to an end on Tuesday night, with a 59-34 loss at Octonto Falls in WIAA Regional Quarter Final action. Oconto Falls led 30-8 at the half. Sierra Graeber led Tomahawk with 18 points.  Jennifer DuPlayee had five points.
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Two Dead in 2 Vehicle Crash on Hwy 45 in Oneida County
Published on 02/19/2019 under News Two people died in a two vehicle accident in Oneida County last evening. That crash happened at shortly before 5pm on Highway 45 south of Three Lakes. Investigators said a northbound vehicle left the lane of traffic striking an oncoming southbound vehicle. The northbound driver was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger in the southbound vehicle was brought to an area hospital where she later died. The southbound driver was also hospitalized with no update on her condition. Names of the victims were not immediately released. According to the DoT, traffic was rerouted for nearly 5 hours.
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Update: Victims Identified in Lincoln County Shooting
Published on 02/19/2019 under News The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office has now released the names of two individuals involved a fatal shooting incident last week. Back on Thursday deputies went to a home in the Town of Pine River for a welfare check. That's where they found a 77 year old woman dead from a gunshot. She has now been identified as Barbara Renken. Her husband, 78 year old John Renken, was found critically injured at the home and remains hospitalized. The Sheriff's Office is continuing to treat the case as a homicide investigation. As of yesterday afternoon's update, they said that no charges have been filed.
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