OSHKOSH - Winnebago County authorities are looking to community members for help with a growing heroin problem. And those directly impacted by the drug are stepping up to the task.
Travis Meyer has more than a passing interest in helping combat heroin abuse in Winnebago County.
"I started off smoking pot and then I got into the prescription pills at around 13 or 14," said Meyer.
And he quickly found heroin to be his drug of choice.
"Started off snorting it a little, but within a week was using needles and it got real bad real fast."
Now the 22-year-old from Fond du Lac says he has been clean for 70 days. And he's joining this community task force that met for the first time on Tuesday to do more than share his story.
"There really needs to be something done, too many people are dying, way to many people are dying."
By creating new methods of enforcement, treatment and prevention the task force will attempt to provide alternatives.
"We want to get to the people that want help and put them in a place where they can get help, but the problem is there isn't a lot of places to go," said Winnebago County Coroner Barry Busby.
Michelle Janssen is a recovering alcoholic and mother of three drug-addicted sons. She knows first hand how important addiction services can be.
"It has tore my family apart, but those are the choices of addiction. It's death institutions or jail."
In 2012, 27 people in Winnebago County died from drug overdoses. Busby says he hopes with the help of the community task force that number will go down. But Janssen says the only way that will happen is if everyone in the community does their part.
"We need to know about this, it's not happening in Chicago and Milwaukee, it's happening in our backyard," said Janssen.
The very reason more than 125 people turned out to say it's time to take a stand.
The task force groups are expected to meet again in a few months to try to begin implementing some of their ideas.
Firefighters are battling a house fire in Kewaunee County.
Wind, snow, cold and ice played a role as firefighters battled a fire in downtown Ripon Wednesday morning.
Outagamie County's second largest employer is expanding, and veterans are encouraged to apply.
The State Building Commission has approved $5 million to help build the Wisconsin Maritime Center of Excellence in Marinette.
Fond du Lac police have released more information about the weapons they found in the apartment of a man who was at the center of a five-hour standoff on Monday.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is announcing a public meeting has been scheduled to provide road closure and design information for the Velp Avenue interchange area.