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Merrill firefighters spend Thanksgiving working togetherSubmitted: 11/23/2017

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MERRILL - Most people enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner with family. But the Merrill firefighters spend their Thanksgiving at the station with their second family, their coworkers. Community members stepped in to make sure the firefighters still had a special Thanksgiving while they were working. 

It might be Thanksgiving, but for the Merrill Fire Department, it's just another day

But it is a day with more turkey, stuffing, and pies. 

"We had a couple of community organizations that dropped off meals for us which we're definitely grateful for," said firefighter and paramedic Bryson Cruise.

The job doesn't stop for firefighters and Thanksgiving is no exception. 

So Park City Credit Union and Hands of Hope wanted to thank the firefighters for their service with a home cooked Thanksgiving meal. 


The firefighters on call started their shift at 7:00 a.m. Thursday morning. They'll finish forty-eight hours later on Saturday morning. 

"We don't get to partake in the family fun and the joys and everybody getting together and people you don't see all year; we'll be at work," said firefighter and paramedic Chris Clabots. 

Sometimes the firefighters' families come to visit them and eat together, but this year it was just the five men on call. 

"It's just us, this is our second family just the fire department," said Clabots. 

And that second family knows they have to do whatever they can to keep the community safe. 

"Anybody in public service, we're here to take care of our citizens and do the best job we can," said Clabots. 


Story By: Rose McBride

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 LOCAL NEWS

PARK FALLS - Many families began their Thanksgiving Day with a run this morning. Topping off the holiday with a "trot" around town may not appeal to everyone, but for these families it was a way to spend time with one another.

"Trot now so we can pie later," said Steph Schultz, a runner in the Park Falls Turkey Trot.

Families used the Turkey Trot 5K in Park Falls as a way to bond.

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WOODRUFF - As Father Aaron Devett gave his Thanksgiving Day sermon at Holy Family Catholic Church in Woodruff Thursday morning, a service of a different kind was happening in the kitchen. 

"We kind of see these two feasts coming together," said Devett. 

Every year, volunteers cook, serve, and deliver meals to people for Thanksgiving. 

John Danner has been organizing the big meal for more than 20 years. When he first started, he was cooking for about 50 people, now it's nearly 600. 

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RHINELANDER - Many people spend Thanksgiving surrounded by friends, family and food.

But some people who work on the holiday don't get that opportunity.

Thursday morning, Grace Four Square Church in Rhinelander had volunteers lined up ready to serve up meals for people who can't be with their families for Thanksgiving.

"[The meals are for] those that are volunteering and working in our community, our elderly, our shut-ins," said Pastor Joseph Fehlen.

Fehlen says this is the tenth year volunteers have come together to help others in the community on Thanksgiving.

"We're doing 400 meals this year," said Fehlen.
About 100 volunteers pitched in to help prepare and deliver the meals.

"We have turkey, stuffing, real mashed potatoes not those flaky things, cranberries, buns and pumpkin pie," said Fehlen.

After the assembly line and food relay was complete, volunteers split up to deliver the meals throughout Rhinelander.

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RHINELANDER - Nineteen months ago, 10 police agencies surrounded the Tripoli home of Kenneth Welsh.

Police say Welsh caused a three-hour standoff, threatened to blow up his house, and threatened to kill his wife.

Later in court, he was convicted of two felonies and sentenced to three years in prison by Oneida County Judge Michael Bloom.

But now, those convictions and prison sentence have been erased. This month, while in prison, Welsh argued he didn't fully understand all the elements of one of the crimes to which he pleaded no contest, first-degree recklessly endangering safety. Welsh's motion put some of the blame on his defense attorney, Rod Streicher.

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 REGIONAL NEWS

ASHLAND - The Ashland School District suspended a teacher because of a social media post that followed the shooting death of a Native American student.

Ashland Superintendent Keith Hilts says the posts by Ojibwe language instructor Sandra Gokee were defamatory and inflammatory.

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DURAND - A conservation club in northwestern Wisconsin says it will mount an albino deer accidentally shot by a hunter and use it as a teaching tool.

The state Department of Natural Resources says the hunter who mistakenly shot the white deer contacted authorities after learning he had killed the protected animal in Pepin County.

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MADISON - Election season is starting early in Wisconsin.

Voters will fill three open seats in the Legislature over the next two months. Primaries are set for December 19th with the general elections scheduled for January 16th.

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MADISON - The authors of a Republican bill that would dramatically relax Wisconsin's air pollution rules say the regulations are placing an undue burden on businesses.

Representative Jesse Kremer and Senator Duey Stroebel told the Assembly's Committee on Federalism and Interstate Relations during a public hearing Tuesday that the state regulates scores of pollutants that the federal government doesn't and the rules need to be reviewed.

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