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Highway 53 chase ends at spikes

David Wangerin

A fleeing suspect led police on a northbound car chase last weekend that stretched for 9 miles on Hwy. 53 and reached upwards of 100 mph.

The criminal complaint filed Oct. 7 states a Chetek police officer attempted to pull a vehicle over for a defective driver's side tail lamp around 11:15 p.m. on Saturday.

The driver, David W. Wangerin of Superior, did not pull over on Hwy. I but instead merged onto Hwy. 53 at mile marker 127 and accelerated.

According to court documents, the police car had its lights flashing and was traveling 96 mph by mile marker 131 to keep pace with the suspect.

A Cameron police officer and a Barron County Sheriff's Department deputy both placed separate spike strips near the Hwy. 53 overpass of Hwy. 8.

The vehicles hit 100 mph as they approached the overpass.

The Chetek officer behind the fleeing vehicle began decelerating as flashing police squad lights became visible near mile marker 135.

The suspect's vehicle hit both sets of spikes, and its tires deflated. The driver pulled over near mile marker 136.

The Chetek officer made it past the first set of spikes, but not the second.

Both the suspect's car and the officer's squad had to be towed from the scene.

According to police, Wangerin said he had just wanted to go home and just hadn't wanted to pull over.

The complaint states Wangerin, 43, did not perform well on the field sobriety tests and blew a blood alcohol test of .115.

Wangerin was charged with felony fleeing in a vehicle from police and misdemeanor third offense operating while intoxicated.

The felony is punishable by a fine of less than $10,000, up to 3 years and 6 months imprisonment or both.

Wangerin is being held on a $1,000 cash bond.

Diners skip out on check

Three Rice Lake residents face felony charges after allegedly dining and dashing at Nancy's Northside Restaurant during the Oct. 2 lunch rush.

Charging documents state that Christina M. Gilles, 40, Naomi E. Paternoga, 23, and John E. Ackerman Jr., 34, finished their food, and, after the $37.35 bill was delivered, Ackerman came to the counter to pay with a debit card.

The employee at the counter said the restaurant does not take cards and showed him the building's ATM.

The complaint states Ackerman went back to the table and then outside. Paternoga and Gilles followed him out.

The employee followed and told them they had to pay. Paternoga told her they had to go to the bank to get money. After the employee asked for IDs, all three stated they did not have any. Paternoga said they had to go to the bank and figure this out.

The employee said there was nothing to figure out, and they needed to pay. Police caught up with the three shortly afterwards.

All three were charged with misdemeanor fraud for nonpayment, along with varied felony bail jumping charges: one for Ackerman, two for Gilles and six for Paternoga.


Read all about it: RL library reopens

The Rice Lake Public Library reopened its doors on Marshall Street on Monday morning to eager patrons waiting to enter at both the new Main Street entrance and the familiar Marshall Street entrance to the remodeled facility.

Visitor numbers multiplied quickly as books were returned and curious folks perused the spacious new aisles.

According to library director Katherine Elchert, the library had 145 visitors in the first 2 hours of the reopening.

The library's 9-month renovation at the corner of Main and Marshall streets began in March and was completed on time and under the original $1.8 million budget. The library had been closed for 2 weeks prior to the reopening to move from its temporary location in the former Heritage Manor building on West Newton Street.

Patrons will be able to see a variety of major changes at the remodeled library, including:

• New main floor fireplace

• Large community room for meetings, groups or individual patron use during business hours

• Increased access with two entrances— one on Main Street and one on Marshall Street

• Entire adult selection housed on the main floor

• Centrally located circulation desks on both first and second floors

• Larger second floor play area

• Cordoned area for teens on second floor

• More outlets on both floors for patrons to use

• More ambient light from larger windows

• Updated heating/ventilation/cooling system to keep temperatures better regulated.

New shelving and furniture were included in the initial $1.8 million budget but got cut in the developing process. Due to the $1.5 million final project cost, shelving and furniture will be purchased soon, according to Elchert.

Shelving and furniture should be switched out in spring 2020 before the library's official grand opening celebration in April during National Library Week.

Scheduled programs begin again this

month with a visit from New York Times Bestselling author, William Kent Krueger on Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. Regular programming including story times will resume Sunday, Oct. 20.

Director Elchert asks those who are fostering books to keep them until the Nov. 11 due date.

Library book drops are now located at City Hall (drive-up) and at the 2 E. Marshall Street entrance at the library.

Library hours remain 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

RLPL has frequent updates on Facebook, or see RLPL.org or call 715-234-4861 for more information.

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