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RUSK COUNTY NEWS

WLDY-WJBL NEWS 1-14-20

The rest of today will be drying out though clouds may be tough to break much until later in the day. Breezes will increase from the west and southwest behind the departing low and may gust over 20 mph. Highs will be in the low 30s. Any clearing will be short-lived into the night as the next wave of low pressure quickly exits the Rockies and dives to our south. Clouds will again thicken into early Wednesday and more snow is forecast to develop through the day. Travel will again be impacted with daytime highs in the upper 20’s. This system will develop on the leading edge of arctic air that will be dropping down out of Canada with a large high pressure system. Temperatures will start to drop as the snow exits and depending on cloud cover, we will have a chance to dip below zero to start Thursday.

BARRON COUNTY – One person has died and two others were hurt after a crash in Barron County Monday afternoon. According to the Wisconsin State Patrol, at approximately 12:52 PM, a Ford Escape which was Westbound on County Highway I struck the rear of a semi unit which had been traveling Eastbound on County I and was turning Northbound onto 22 ¾ Street. A passenger in the right front passenger seat of the Escape, Robert J. Warnecke, 46 from Dallas, WI., received fatal injuries in the crash. The driver of the Escape, Edward Joseph Wakefield, 53 from Dallas, was transported by Lifelink 3 to Mayo Eau Claire for treatment of his injuries, but was later released. A passenger in the rear seat of the Explorer, Ashley L. Halpin, 33, from Chippewa Falls,was transported to a hospital in Barron for medical treatment and was later released as well. The driver of the semi unit, Shawn Charles Robbins, 42 of Rice Lake, was not injured in the crash. The cause of the crash remains under investigation be the Wisconsin State Patrol.

CHIPPEWA COUNTY – A man accused of defrauding a Chippewa Falls woman out of tens of thousands of dollars will spend time behind bars. Andrew Conklin, of Ladysmith, was charged with theft in Chippewa County. According to police he took advantage of the woman and talked her into buying him dozens of cell phones, electronics and jewelry. The woman said he promised to sell them and give her the proceeds. He also allegedly talked her into taking out loans for five vehicles totaling more than $119,000 and opening four credit cards which were allegedly maxed out. On Friday, Conklin pleaded no contest and was sentenced to eight months in kail with work release privileges as well as five years of probation. He is also ordered to pay more than @150,000 in restitution and write an apology letter to the victim.

RUSK COUNTY – At 5:25 AM Monday morning, the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office received a fire call. Little information was available, but the caller reported a fire in the woodchipper room at Jeld Wen in Hawkins. The Hawkins Fire Department and Hawkins ambulance responded to the scene. No injuries were reported, and the Hawkins Firemen were at the scene for about 30 minutes.

LADYSMITH – Ladysmith Police and Rusk County deputies responded to an address on East 8th Street South, Ladysmith, for a warrant service. According to the report, Officers were attempting to locate Kalin A. Croenne, 23, and David J. Garza, 32, who had been involved in a Rusk County theft complaint prior. Croenne and Garza were located along with Bandon Palmer, 25, and Ethan J. Jaworski, 18, who also had warrants. All 4 individuals were arrested and brought to the Rusk County jail. Jaworski submitted a PBT for jail staff and the results were .11 indicating that Jaworski had been drinking. He was issued a citation for underage drinking due to him being 18 years old.

LADYSMITH, Wis. (WEAU) — A couple in Ladysmith had the challenge of a lifetime when they brought home quadruplets from the hospital. But 16 years later an even bigger challenge is here; all 4 of their kids just got their driver’s licenses. The four teenagers, Zach, Rachel, Sara and Ellie are off an adventure. But their parents are also going for the ride of a lifetime. “Patience, a lot of patience,” said their mom, Angela Kostka. Patience has been the key word for Kostka ever since giving birth to her quadruplets 16 years ago. “My motto while they were younger was one mom, that’s it, they have to wait their turn or just be patient and I will get to them,” she said. She says things were chaotic at times, but nothing in the past has prepared her for dealing with 4 teenagers. “I will take the terrible twos over teens any day, any day,” Angela said. As for the teens, they are ready to start the next chapter of their lives together. “It was hard to figure out who was going to drive or even if mom would let us drive,” said Rachel Kostka, the oldest of the quadruplets. They have special seating arrangements each day. “We kind of have a little rotation, if Zach is driving, I am in the front seat and then we switch and if Sara is driving then Ellie is in the front seat and they switch,” Rachel said. That way everyone rotates and everyone gets a turn to drive. “We try to keep a schedule coming to school every day,” said Zach Kostka, the second oldest of the quadruplets. But they also make sure every day to buckle up, for good reason. “Two of them are not the best drivers ever so I did not like it at all,” Zach added. While, the four don’t always agree, there is one thing they can agree on, who is best behind the wheel? Zach and Rachel. They drive together every day and the day they took their drivers test was no exception. “It was kind of scary because if one of us failed then the others would probably make fun of you for it for a while until you passed,” Rachel said. But all four passed and now share one car. “They’ve actually been doing a very good job so far but we are only a couple weeks into it. But in the meantime, the group of quadruplets is heading out on their newest adventure. “It’s like a step of freedom, the first one we have taken so far,” Zach said.

OAKDALE, Wis. (WEAU)– One person was pronounced dead by officials after a garage fire broke out Monday around 11:41 a.m. in the town of Oakdale. Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says 49-year-old Richard Siess was found dead inside the garage shed. A caller reporter that her husband may have been in the shed when the fire initially broke out. Officials responded to the scene and found the shed fully engulfed with heavy smoke. The fire is still under investigation.

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