Lincoln Co. Sheriff's Office

A large drug bust in the city of Merrill.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and the Merrill Police Department executed a search warrant Tuesday.

More than $3000 cash was seized along with approximately three ounces of heroin with an estimated street value of $28,000.

23- year- old Jason Sly made his initial appearance in Lincoln County court Wednesday where he was charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin.  Sly was ordered held on $50,000 cash bond.


The Oneida County Board has approved joining a nationwide lawsuit sought against manufacturers of opiates.

The action is relatively new with Oneida county among early counties in the nation to join the pending suit. The suit alleges drug manufacturers were aware of the addiction risks but did not adequately inform the public.

County attorney Brian Desmond says the Wisconsin Counties Association is pushing members to get into the lawsuit now to increase the chances of recovering costs associated with battling the problem.

Dean S. Acheson photo

MINOCQUA -- Marshfield Clinic Health System’s efforts to reduce its opioid prescribing drew praise Friday, July 14 from Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who was at the clinic’s Minocqua center to co-chair the Governor’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse meeting.

“I was astounded by the numbers that you guys are putting out,” Kleefisch (R-Wisconsin) told Marshfield Clinic representatives in her opening remarks. “Your moving on the forefront of combating opioid abuse is significant.”


A Northwoods state Senator was disappointed an amendment she and another Senator introduced to make pharmaceutical companies answerable for the opioid crisis was not included in a measure passed by the Senate last week.

The bill that passed allows authorities to indefinitely confine and require treatment for habitual drug offenders.

Democrats Janet Bewley of Bayfield county and Dave Hansen of Green Bay introduced an amendment asking the Attorney General to consider joining two other states in a lawsuit against pharmaceutical firms selling opioids as they do.

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Thursday(3/9/17) was the first day for Drug Court in Forest County, a joint effort from the state court system at the Forest County Courthouse and Forest County Potawatomi Tribal Court to get persons convicted of drug offenses into treatment.

WXPR's Ken Krall spoke with Chief Judge of Tribal Court Eugene Whitefish and Wellness Court Coordinator Valerie Loduha about the program, designed to get people with addictions to change course. We hear first from Judge Whitefish...

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A Northwoods psychologist says an upcoming special session of the legislature to deal with Wisconsin's opioid addiction problem is a positive step. Ken Krall talks with Marshfield Clinic-Minocqua's  Dr. Michael Larson...


A member of the Forest County Potowatomi Community and a Northwoods State Senator have been named to a newly called Task Force to combat opioid abuse.

Governor Walker issued the Executive Order Tuesday.

Walker spokesperson Tom Evenson says the task force will work to gather data on the growing epidemic...

"...Gov. Walker, along with Rep. John Nygren from Marinette, have done a number of things most recently with the Hope agenda which outlines a number of issues and reforms we've taken to address this opioid epidemic...."

State Grant To Increase Area Services For Addicts

Jun 20, 2015

It will be a few weeks yet before its fully operating, but a new organization hopes to use $3.4 million in state funding over a five-year period to curb the Northwoods’ appetite  for heroin and other opiates ..

State officials and legislators met Friday in Minocqua with service providers from a five-county area to announce the initiative funded by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.


Fentanyl is a drug used as an anesthetic used to prevent pain after surgery or other medical procedures. The drug is being spiked into heroin and a DEA official says that combination can be lethal to users.

Christopher Hackbarth is the Drug Enforcement Agency Director in Wisconsin. He says Fentanyl mixed with heroin can be deadly...

"....the traffickers are mixing Fentanyl which can be from 30 to 100 times more powerful than the heroin itself, 30 to 50 times more powerful than morphine, to give (heroin) a higher kick..."


The heroin and opioid  addiction problems troubling many Wisconsin communities, including those here in the Northwoods,  has caught the attention of one health advocacy group.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is launching an initiative to increase access to effecting drug screening and intervention services for youth.

Citizen Action's Kevin Kane says they're looking at early intervention to stop greater, and more costly, problems later....

Oneida Co. Sheriff's Department

A Vilas county man will spend four years in prison for his role in the heroin death of a Rhinelander-area man in 2012.

28 year old Richard Lewis and co-defendant Jennifer Heiting , also of St. Germain, were arrested after the December, 2012 death of David Stahl. Stahl was found dead in a house in the town of Crescent from an overdose. A few weeks later Lewis and Heiting were arrested. Lewis pled guilty to First-Degree Reckless Homicide and drug delivery.


A St. Germain woman has been sentenced to prison for her role in the December, 2012 heroin overdose death of 29 year old David Stahl near Rhinelander.

27 year old Jennifer Heiting admitted to having heroin shipped here for herself and friends. Stahl died at his home in the town of Crescent. The drugs were allegedly traced back to Heiting and co-defendant Richard Lewis of St. Germain.

Oneida County D.A. Michael Schiek said Heiting admitted she was an addict , but that didn't relieve her of responsibility in Stahl's death, even if he was using...


State Representative John Nygren of Marinette nearly lost his daughter to a heroin overdose in 2009. The state Assembly last week overwhelmingly approved  measures making it easier for emergency responders to administer Narcan, a drug that counteracts heroin overdoses. 

The bills also enable callers to remain anonymous when calling in an overdose to medical personnel. Nygren talked to Ken Krall about how this move will save lives.