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Hartland teen calls out fake reporter

Nov. 19, 2012

A man has been posing as a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel journalist using the alias "Mike Clark" to lure area high school athletes to off-campus interviews and photo shoots.

Gary Medrow, 68, of Greenfield, has been charged in Ozaukee County Circuit Court with two counts each of unlawful use of a phone and disorderly conduct in connection with similar incidents involving Cedarburg High School girls. He is also suspected in similar incidents, including one involving an Arrowhead girl.

According to reports, a man called a 16-year-old Arrowhead girl just after 9 p.m. Nov. 13, identifying himself as Clark, a reporter with the Journal Sentinel. He asked the girl if she would be available for a photo shoot with a friend and teammate. She told police that she became suspicious when the caller asked if she would be able to hold her teammate on her back, stressing it would be necessary for up to three minutes.

The girl reportedly hung up on the caller and searched online, finding recent articles citing similar incidents in which a man posting as a journalist called local athletes to schedule these photo shoots.

Hartland Police Department officers responded to the girl's home, then redialed the number, according to their report. After identifying themselves and explaining the complaint, the man admitted to contacting the girl and said he has a problem which he was seeking treatment for, according to the report. The man refused to identify himself, though, and he referred the officers to his attorney.

The Journal Sentinel reported Thursday that similar reports have been filed in Milwaukee, Franklin, Cedarburg, Germantown and Verona. So far, many of the students targeted seem to be young women who are athletic standouts and have already had their pictures in newspapers and other publications.

The Hartland Police Department is working to identify the man. They are also working with Arrowhead High School to educate their student athletes in case they were contacted by "Mike Clark" or anybody else attempting to entice children, attempting interviews or to set up photo shoots by using a ruse. Anyone with questions contact either the Hartland Police Department or the Arrowhead School District.

A letter sent to parents by Superintendent Craig Jefson states, "The media routinely works through the school or a head coach/adviser and do not contact students directly when they are interested in reporting on a student or athlete. As the district was made aware of this matter, we felt it was important to share this information with parents and ask that you communicate with your child as you feel is appropriate."

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Country Christmas Outdoor Drive-through Lights Display: Nov. 27-30, Dec. 5-31. Country Springs Hotel, 2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee. Wisconsin’s largest drive-through holiday lights event features more than a million holiday lights along a mile-long trail that winds through the woods, Includes animated figures and holiday scenes. Call (262) 970-5398 for details. $15-$25. $15 per carload, $25 limo, mini-coach or large van. www.thecountrychristmas.com

 World’s Greatest Cookie Sale: Noon-4 p.m.  Nov. 28, Country Springs Hotel, 2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee. Sale features homemade holiday cookies and baked goods in many varieties. Entertainment includes magic shows, cookie and cupcake decorating, face painting, holiday coloring contest and Santa and Mrs. Claus. Sale ends at 4 p.m. For more information on the World’s Greatest Cookie Sale, call Country Springs, (262) 547-0201 or visit thecountrychristmas.com/cookiesale. Free.

 German Christmas Market: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Nov. 28, 29 and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 30, Downtown Oconomowoc, 100 E. Wisconsin Ave., Oconomowoc. Celebrate Wisconsin’s heritage at this family festival that features heated tents, German beer, music, live bands, authentic German food, vendors, Santa and more. Free http://www.germanchristmasmarket.org. 

 Oconomowoc Winter Farmers Market: 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 30, Oconomowoc Landscape Supply & Garden Center, County Road K, Oconomowoc. Features local seasonally grown produce and artisan food products.  www.oconomowoc.org.

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