|$18.9 million settlement for 2015 Lincoln Hills incident: Involves female youth who tried to hang herself
**UPDATE AS OF 5 P.M. TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 2018: The Wisconsin Department of Corrections Secretary Jon Litscher in a news release has announced an $18.9 million settlement in a November 2015 incident at Copper Lake School, Irma, involving a formerly incarcerated youth, Sydni Briggs.Tomahawk Leader 3-20-2018 issue
According to news stories, Briggs was sent to Copper Lake at age 16 after breaking into a liquor store and running away from group homes.
An incident report filed by Andrew Yorde indicates he noticed a few call lights in the lower hall of the Ida B. Wells living unit at about 7:30 a.m. Nov. 9, 2015. When he received no response from one of those rooms, room 6 (Briggs' room), he looked inside and saw her hanging from her door by what appeared to be multiple strands that had been ripped from her pink t-shirt. His body alarm was sounded and help was used to cut her down. News reports have said she had told a prison psychiatrist she had suicidal thoughts at least three weeks before the suicide attempt. Guards came under criticism for their handling of the attempted suicide and that she was not on special monitoring. A lawsuit was filed on behalf of the former inmate, who suffered severe brain damage. The settlement will be made in cash and future periodic payments to Briggs, by and through her guardian Keli Wendt.
"Outside counsel retained in connection with this case conducted a review of the Department's actions. During this review, information was brought to the attention of current leaders regarding the November 2015 incident which prompted us to question whether the Department's initial response was in line with existing policies. It became clear a proper investigation was not conducted at the time this tragic incident occurred," the statement from Department of Corrections Secretary Jon Litscher states.
"Further, this review raised questions as to whether employees responding to the incident followed policies, which resulted in our opening internal investigations for possible work rule violations as part of our efforts to maintain accountability. To date, these investigations have resulted in employee separations," it continues.
The full settlement releases all claims against Andrew Yorde, Stacey Daigle, James Larkin, Toni Moore, Darrell Stetzer, Cassandra Jennings, John Ourada, Lexington Insurance Company, Allied World Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Allie World Assurance Company Holdings, GMBH, the State of Wisconsin Department of Corrections, the State of Wisconsin and collectively their employees, officers and insurers.
"We have made dozens of changes to enhance CLS/LHS operations, including the hiring of a Juvenile Mental Health Director and new CLS/LHS chief psychologist; revamping the provision of mental health services and adding more licensed mental health professionals; requiring a seven-week pre-service academy for all DJC security staff; requiring staff to wear body cameras and record interactions with youth; and conducting a centralized review of all youth injuries, regardless of cause, with Department, Division, and CLS/LHS leadership," Litscher states.
"These changes have dramatically changed the culture and environment at CLS/LHS for the better. We remain devoted to continuing to identify and make changes that further increase safety and security for staff and youth at CLS/LHS and across the Department."
More information will be in the March 27, 2018, Tomahawk Leader.
Dr. Samundsen responds; letters continue
Dr. Paul Samundsen, who was removed by Ascension from his family practice position at the Tomahawk Medical Clinic, has comments in the March 20 Tomahawk Leader. He says he's not moving, and he reacts to the public response. Read what he has to say and see several more Letters to the Editor from patients. This is a hotly discussed topic in Tomahawk.Tomahawk Leader 3-20-2018 issue
2017 Year in Review: In pdf below
Take a look back at 2017 in our Year in Review. There were high points and low points along the way, and the Tomahawk Leader was there, covering many of the events in person. We are eager to show you how varied our news coverage is, and include you among the thousands who currently subscribe, either to the mailed newspaper itself or to our Online Edition available right here. It's our pleasure to serve you week after week.
Town Square Business Directory
The Town Square is a great place to check for places to stay, shop and dine while in the Tomahawk area. For information on adding your business link with web site, call 715-453-2151 or email email@example.com.
Typo on Facebook
Typo the Tomahawk Leader Office Cat is a regular columnist in the newspaper and a celebrity on Facebook. Become a friend today.
**Summaries of obituaries to be published in the March 27, 2018, Tomahawk Leader:Tomahawk Leader 3-20-2018 issue
**Brian "Beep" Joslin, 68, Tomahawk, born in Tomahawk, graduated from Tomahawk High School in 1967, U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War, formerly married to LaVerne Joslin, worked for State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation as an engineer, lived in Rhinelander before moving back to Nokomis area (died Sunday, March 18, 2018; memorial services Saturday, March 31 at 1 p.m. at Generations Funeral Home, Tomahawk, visitation will begin at 11 a.m.
**Dale F. Gerhardt, 70, born in Little Falls, N.Y., U.S. Army Vietnam veteran, married Carol Wagner, worked as an engineer for various companies including Caterpillar (died Sunday, March 18, 2018, funeral service with military honors Saturday, March 24 at 2 p.m. at St. Paul Ev. Lutheran Church, Brown Deer; Krueger Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Tomahawk, assisting).
**Henry Sylvester Renn, 86, born in Harrison/Gleason, was a farm hand in Kaukauna area, married Hermmina Schreiber, worked and and bought the family farm (Mass of Christian Burial Saturday, March 24 at 11 a.m. at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Darboy; visitation Friday, March 23 at Valley Funeral Home, Appleton, from 4-8 p.m. and Saturday at the church beginning at 9 a.m.; in lieu of flowers a memorial will be established).
**Summaries of obituaries published in the March 20, 2018, Tomahawk Leader:
PENDING: Brian Joslin, 68, Tomahawk (died Sunday, March 18, 2018; Generations Funeral Home & Crematory, Tomahawk, is handling arrangements).
**Beverly D. Borchardt (nee Utecht), 84, Tomahawk, born in Wausau, married Raymond Bancoch, he died in 1978, later married Dennis Borchardt, worked at Schneider Dairy, Marathon Lease Company and Bob Johnson Chevrolet, also a school bus driver in Wausau for the handicapped, couple owned Our place in Heafford Junction for 13 years, had worked for Barr Chiropractic, Tomahawk (died Sunday, March 18, 2018; Mass of Christian Burial Friday, March 23 at 11 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church, Tomahawk, visitation will be Thursday from 4-7 p.m. at Krueger Family Funeral Home, Tomahawk, and at the church Friday beginning at 10:30 a.m.)
**June A. Du Pont (nee Christensen), 96, Tomahawk, born in Wisconsin Rapids, married John C. Du Pont, lived in the Tomahawk area 93 years, attended Tomahawk High School (died Monday, March 12, 2018; memorial service Saturday, March 17 at 11:30 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, Tomahawk, visitation began at 11 a.m.; Krueger Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Tomahawk, assisted).
**Bernie Payne (nee Bordzinski), Tomahawk, born in Chicago, married Raymond G. Payne, worked at Oak Park Hospital in medical records department, couple moved to Tomahawk in 1990 (died Saturday, March 17, 2018; funeral services Thursday, March 22 at 11 a.m. at Krueger Family Funeral Home, Tomahawk; visitation Wednesday, March 21 from 4-7 p.m. and again Thursday beginning at 10 a.m.)
**Irene Kluck (nee Hench), 92, Tomahawk, born in Wausau, married Clarence Kluck (died Friday, March 16, 2018; funeral Mass Thursday, March 22 at 1:30 p.m. at St. Michael Catholic Church, Wausau; visitation will begin at 11:30 a.m.; Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Wausau, assisting).
**Darlene F. Mursett (nee Green), 80, St. Germain, born in Ludington, Wis., grew up in Elkhorn, 1956 graduate of Elkhorn High School, long-time resident of St. Germain, married to Herbert Mursett for 44 years (died Thursday, March 8, 2018; memorial service and hymn fest will be held later at Shepard of the Lake Lutheran Church, Sayner, memorials to Arbor Vitae (Dr. Kate Hospice) or Shepard of the Lake Lutheran Church; Generations Funeral Home & Crematory, Tomahawk, is handling arrangements).
**Gary Thelma, 79, Town of Newbold, born in Tomahawk, served in U.S. Army, worked in road construction for 42 years, married to Donna (died Thursday, March 15, 2018; no formal services. Carlson Funeral Home, Rhinelander, assisting).
**Vaugh J. Paxson, 75, Tomahawk, born in Chicago, served in U.S. Navy, earned bachelor's degree and master's, married Ann Spina (died Friday, Jan. 5, 2018; memorial service with military honors Sunday, March 24 at 11 a.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Tomahawk; visitation begins at 10 a.m.; Generations Funeral Home & Crematory, Tomahawk, assisting).
**Sara Webber Schmidt, 49, Appleton, born in Tomahawk, graduated from Florence High School, employed by the Performing Arts Center in Green Bay, Bright Star and Design Aire in Appleton (died Jan. 9, 2018; private gathering service Jan. 18 at Wichmann Funeral Home, Menasha, memorial service at The Stone Baptist Church, Lead Hill, Ark.
**Ioma R. Adams (nee Winter), 99, received nursing degree in Bloomington, Ill., in 1940, worked as surgical nurse and later in a nursing home facility for 28 years, lived in Tomahawk and Makesan (date of death not mentioned; funeral service Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 11 a.m. at Cornerstone Funeral & Cremation Services, Markesan, visitation begins at 10 a.m.)
**Ellen M. Dunbar (nee Peissig), 83, Brantwood, born in Stetsonville, 1952 graduate of Phillips High School, married to Robert Dunbar, lived in Pittsville, Wisconsin Rapids and Town of Emery for 58 years before moving to Tomahawk in 2016 on rural farm (died Thursday, March 8, 2018; memorial service Saturday, April 14 at 11:30 a.m. at Saint John Lutheran Church, Phillips, visitation begins at 10 a.m., memorials to the family for a donation to the Memory Care Unit at Tomahawk Health Services in Ellen's name; Generations Funeral Home & Crematory, Tomahawk, is assisting).
| Elementary school safety changes; parent/police chief concerns
Tomahawk Elementary School Principal Penny Antell last week held four, one-hour-long meetings with parents and staff to discuss safety measures in her building. Antell discussed new procedures for pick-up and drop-off of students. All measures are to prevent adult admission into the building unless circumstances require it, which would necessitate proper check-in procedures through the elementary office. She presented the "kiss and go" style of drop-off. "If parents are dropping off children, they need to kiss their children and pull off and go," she said. Antell explained new check-in and check-out procedures at the elementary school office. When visitors sign in, they will receive a large badge and lanyard. Visitors will be asked to leave their keys or their driver's license in the office. Also, if the elementary office staff is going to be temporarily unavailable, the office door will be locked, and a sign will be placed indicating a short return. Tomahawk Leader 3-20-2018 issue
**Terry Reynolds, Tomahawk School District superintendent, has scheduled three Safety Round Table sessions for parents and community members to discuss safety in the schools. Dates are Wednesday, March 21, Tuesday April 3 and Wednesday, April 4 at 6 p.m. in the Tomahawk High School library.
**We also have extensive coverage of the public comment portion of last week's School Board meeting. Some of the issues touched on rumors the school district does not want police in the schools; why parents were not contacted by the school district after the last gun threat; safety in the parking lot; and Police Chief Al Elvins' reaction to the school's policies, calling them "convoluted and they don't make sense."
To read more about the meetings, public input and concerns, pick up a newspaper on newsstands or order the paper through an Online Edition subscription right here.
$170,000 for school social worker, communications coordinator
Two new staff positions for the 2018-19 school year were approved by the Tomahawk School Board last week. One, a Social Worker/Behavioral Therapist, has been seen as a crucially need by many following previous staff cuts. The other, a Community Communications Coordinator, is a new concept for the district. The financial impact of both positions, including benefits, was approved up to $170,000: $90,000 for the social worker and up to $80,000 for the communications person. Read more in this week's story, available on newsstands and through an Online Edition subscription.Tomahawk Leader 3-20-2018 issue
NEWS UPDATES: News briefs
A summary of just some of the stories you'll find in this week's Tomahawk Leader:Tomahawk Leader 3-20-2018 issue
**This week's Tomahawk Leader includes a handy Business Card Directory. Be sure to get your copy.
**Tomahawk students unite during March 14 assembly to spread message of kindness. We have a picture of the commitment to Respect, Kindness and Compassion that high school students signed. The Leader also has an editorial about how we were not allowed to cover the Tomahawk event, and were actually escorted from the gym just as it was about to begin. The gathering was part of a national movement by students in reaction to the school killings in Florida.
**Jason Hake, Portage County senior financial manager, picked as Lincoln County's new administrative coordinator.
**Tomahawk native murdered by husband, who kills himself.
**League of Women voters hosting Oneida, Merrill candidate forums.
**TAIV helps others stay at home, serving Tomahawk area for 10 years. Has fundraiser with play on April 14.
**Northwoods Idol karaoke contest for adults, kids is fundraiser for cancer cause.
**Dorothy Kamrow celebrates 104th birthday.
**Members of the Tomahawk High School Class of 1948 will be celebrating their 70th anniversary this year and organizers are searching for the names and addresses of those who have left the area. A summer luncheon celebration is planned. For information or possible contacts, call Lucy Hodge at 715-453-3945, Nathalie Obey at 715-369-7528 or Lois Wise at 715-224-3246.
**Free Easter Dinner being planned.
** Free Income Tax assistance provided by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Foundation is available to people with low to moderate income, with special attention to those over age 60. Appointments are offered from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays and from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesdays at the Tomahawk Senior Center, 113 S. Tomahawk Ave. To make an appointment, call 715-453-5757.
ONLINE ADS: Ad Center link with Display, Classified Ads
Be sure to check our AD CENTER, along the left-hand column, for our CLASSIFIEDS and certain DISPLAY ads. Click on the ads for a direct link to the sites.Tomahawk Leader 3-20-2018 issue
**You could win one of 15 fun-filled Easter Baskets at businesses around town. Look for the full page ad in the Tomahawk Leader/Leader Extra, clip the eggs and enter. Good luck!
**Paws 2 Think says imagine being cold and without adequate shelter.
**Tomahawk Bus Service is looking for drivers. There's a $500 sign-on bonus.
**Great time to subscribe and/or renew. In fact you can buy a subscription at a great anniversary price and give one to a family member or friend for no extra cost. Plus, you're both eligible for a $50 prize. This includes E-edition subscriptions too. Look for the form or call 715-453-2151.
**The Leader has early deadlines due to the Easter holiday: 5 p.m. Thursday, March 29.
**The City of Tomahawk is holding PRAT Informational session March 29 from 10 a.m. to noon.
**Pine Crest Nursing Home is seeking bids for a remodeling project.
**Look for classifieds online, too.
**Some out of this world performances took place this past weekend as a large crowd packed the SARA Ice Arena to watch the Tomahawk Figure Skate Club and Lakeland/Tomahawk Northwoods Diamond Blade Figure Skating Team perform their Out of this World 2018 Ice Show. This week's Leader includes several photos taken at the thrilling show that included around 60 skaters performing to outer space inspired music. Tomahawk Leader 3-20-2018 issue
**Zach Flowers scored a first place finish in the high jump to help the Tomahawk co-ed boys' track team score 72 points and finish in third place at UW-Eau Claire Friday. The girls' team scored 46 points to secure a sixth place finish at the 11-team invite, which was up five spots from they finished last year in 11th place. The Tomahawk co-ed track team is back in action this Thursday, March 22 as they host Mercer and Prentice for a three-team invite at Hatchet Fieldhouse that begins at 4 p.m.
**The public is invited to the Lincoln County Deer Advisory Council's upcoming meeting on Wednesday, March 21 to continue discussions regarding chronic wasting disease testing in the county and setting the doe harvest totals for this fall's gun deer season. The meeting is being held at the Lincoln County Sports Club on Schultz Spur Road, Merrill and begins at 7 p.m. The questionnaire package for the 2018 Department of Natural Resources spring fish and wildlife hearing and annual Conservation Congress county meeting is now available for online viewing at dnr.gov and search for "spring hearings." The Lincoln County spring hearing will be held at the Merrill High School on Monday, April 9.Tomahawk Leader 3-20-2018 issue
**Snowmobiling season has come to a close.
**Look for Fishing Reports in the link at left, and in Nature Editor Jed Buelow's blog on the Message Board.
ONLINE EDITION Available 24/7: Get a subscription for the full paper
Remember, what appears here each week is only a small summary of what's in this week's newspaper. Get the complete Tomahawk Leader with an Online Edition subscription. It can be accessed 24-7; no waiting for the mail, which makes it a great option for former residents, college students, snowbirds and future residents. The e-Edition is offered through a special service purchased by the Tomahawk Leader. The annual subscription rate is similar to local rates ($36 per year), which means a substantial savings for out-of-area and out-of-state residents compared to a mailed copy. Click on the icon link immediately below for details.
A subscription to the Online Edition includes some new features: among them are handy flip pages and audio portions read right from the newspaper.
City Bike Trail Plan taking shape
After a nearly two-decade-long effort and several previous unsuccessful attempts, the city of Tomahawk announced it has acquired a strip of land from the railroad company Wisconsin Central LTD that will allow it to proceed with the Tomahawk Bike Trail Plan. The plan will allow the city to connect parks, business districts and different portions of the city to additional trail systems located around the community. The railroad portion will connect the Riverwalk Trail next to the Tomahawk Public Library to SARA Park and the Hiawatha/Bearskin Trail that runs to Minocqua and other trails located to the north. Work to begin connecting the trails is expected to begin this summer. Read more in the March 20 Tomahawk Leader.Tomahawk Leader 3-20-2018 issue
Chill Out; pdf here
Winter is upon us and rather than hibernate, check out the Tomahawk Leader Chill Out pocket guide for fun outdoor and indoor activities to enjoy in the wintertime. We have an extensive Calendar of Events, information about local snowmobiling, ice fishing, snowshoeing, skating, ice drags and much, much more. Look for the section in the pdf immediately below.
Then & Now history, progress section; pdf here
You'll find a wonderful 3-part-, 40-page special "Then & Now" history and progress section in the Oct. 31 Tomahawk Leader. Stop by the Leader office, 315 W. Wisconsin Ave. to pick up a copy. You'll be impressed, whether you're an old-timer or someone new to the community, we promise. We've also posted a pdf copy here.Tomahawk Leader 11-14-2017 issue
Click here for direct links to web sites related to stories in this week's Leader:
2017 Tomahawk Community-wide Rummage Sale
Lincoln County Supervisory Districts
Never Forgotten Honor Flight
Philippine Orphan blog
Tomahawk Area Directory of Voluntary Organizations