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Rusk County News



A mostly sunny sky today though at least some mid and high level clouds may push through with a clipper passing by to our north. Southwest breezes will again increase some during the day, leading to a milder afternoon with highs in the mid 30’s expected. It will still feel a bit colder though with a 10-15 mph breeze. Another “milder” night is then likely as more clouds begin to arrive from the west and we should be starting off Friday morning around 20 degrees. These clouds will be increasing more Friday and into Saturday as milder air also arrives in the mid levels of the atmosphere but it will remain dry. Our peak temperatures with this latest thaw will likely come during this time with highs near 40 Friday and still well in the 30’s Saturday. These conditions will lead to at least some snow melt, but for those having the itch to get out and not freeze while enjoying Wisconsin winter recreation, you will certainly benefit. The Silver Mine Invitational is this Friday and Saturday here in Eau Claire, and for those going this year, you will be in for a real treat with temperatures mostly in the 30’s so you won’t have to be huddling inside the whole time just trying to stay warm.

While we enjoy the thaw into this weekend, we will also be closely watching a developing winter storm in the Southern Plains. Forecast models have been indicating for days now that this could be a potentially big snow-maker for some of us here in the Upper Midwest, but as is typical being so far out still, specifics vary from day to day. At this point confidence is high that a winter storm will be impacting us in some shape or form by late Sunday and through Monday, but we will just have to wait another few days to be able to start nailing down the expected impacts. This is the type of system however that can drop a foot of snow on the favored northwest side of the low track, and by far the largest and strongest system we have seen showing up on the modeling so far this winter. The track in the last day or so has been shifting closer to our area and this would put the heaviest snow threat up to our north and west, but again this will likely continue to change some until we get closer to its arrival. For now it appears we could start to see a wintry mix of snow/ice/rain develop sometime on Sunday, transitioning to snow on Monday as colder air starts to work into the system. Keep checking in with us through the end of this week for the latest information!

Wednesday evening Ladysmith Police while investigating a different case, was in contact with Kevin R. Kriz, JR., 19. While investigating, it was Kriz who admitted to stealing a prepaid Cell Phone from Walmart. Kriz was arrested for the offense and the cell phone was recovered.

Ladysmith Police at about 10;20 Wednesday night, while investigating a different LPD case, Gary A. Gleason, 57, was found to be in violation of a Rusk County Bond (no drink) when Officers attempted to take him into custody, Gleason had a large wooden cane in his hands and would not put it down. A Taser was deployed on Gleason as a result of his actions. He was arrested for Resisting or Obstructing an Officer.


At approximately 4:54 p.m. the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office received the report of a male individual who had armed himself with a 38 caliber hand gun and bullets. The caller also stated that two adult females and a seven year old child were at the residence.

Taylor County Officers responded to the residence located on Allman Ave just east of the city of Medford. As officers approached the residence shots were fired from inside the house. Officers further radioed that numerous shots had been fired by the suspect. Taylor County Deputies along with Medford Police Department officers secured the immediate  area. A code Red was broadcast to nearby residence to avoid the area and stay sheltered at home. Taylor County Ambulance was notified and stood by as well as the Medford Fire Department who provided help closing down the road by the suspect residence. Taylor and Clark County SWAT teams also responded.

Phone contact was eventually established with the suspect who threatened to shoot officers if they approached the house. A lengthy phone negotiation process took place between the suspect and a Taylor County Sheriff’s Office negotiator. The suspect eventually agreed to come out of the residence unarmed and was taken into custody without harm.

The suspect taken into custody is 31 year old Jake M. Wendt of Medford formerly a Rhinelander resident. The incident remains under investigation but there is no threat to the community.

On behalf of the Salvation Army of Rusk County, the Holiday season has ended for 2017, and we are now beginning a new year. We wish to thank all who volunteered their time to ring the bells, those who graciously displayed the small Red Kettles in their place of business, and those that gave to this campaign either by the Red Kettle, or by sending your donations by mail.

These funds will help many of our citizens that are in need, remembering that 86 cents of every dollar donated stays right here in Rusk County. Thank You again for a successful 2017 campaign.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Preliminary estimates show unemployment in Wisconsin reached a record low in December.

The state Department of Workforce Development released figures Thursday that show the unemployment rate in December was 3 percent. That’s a record for December and matches the lowest rate on record.

The rate was down 0.2 percentage points from November. The national unemployment rate in December was 4.1 percent.

The state added 1,300 private-sector jobs between November and December, including 1,200 construction jobs.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker is calling on the Wisconsin Legislature to pass a welfare overhaul package this year that includes tougher work requirements, additional drug testing and a new photo identification requirement for food stamp recipients.

Walker unveiled the proposals Thursday. They are backed by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and state Sen. Chris Kapenga.

Many of the proposals have been discussed or proposed for years and several would require federal approval before they could be implemented.

Walker says the measures would make it easier for people on public assistance to get a job. Opponents have argued that work requirements and drug tests are counter-productive and make it more difficult for people to get off welfare.

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    Larry E. Bowers, 78, of Ladysmith, died Sunday, January 14th, at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire.  He is survived by his wife, Thelma, brother, Danny of Sandwich, IL., sister, Patricia Anne Hutter of El Paso, TX., 1/2 sister, Constance Campbell of Clermont, FL. Funeral Services for Larry Bowers will be Tuesday, January 23rd, at […]