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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 07/07/2015
- The Wisconsin State Senate has passed two measures raising state trooper wages and compensation for state workers. The chamber will address the budget this afternoon. We'll have the latest and tell you what the budget could mean for you tonight on Newswatch 12.

- Plus, well take a look at the impact of the early crowd at the Hodag Country Festival.

We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.




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 LOCAL NEWS

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EAGLE RIVER - Most of northern Wisconsin's forest didn't survive the cut-over from a century ago. However, some pockets did make it, and experts call those areas old growth. Now, the Northwoods Land Trust in Eagle River wants to figure out how much old growth sits on private land in Vilas County.

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MERRILL - Merrill will need to decide just how friendly it wants to be to bicyclists and walkers. A new plan could take away lanes of traffic on some main roads to benefit bikers.

The city approved a new bike and pedestrian plan last week that calls for painting bike lanes on roads, marking bike routes around the city, and widening sidewalks.

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MERRILL - Some people think all firefighters do is battle flames in heavy gear and drive around in bulky trucks.

In attempt to fight that public perception and show people the full range of a firefighter's duties, the Merrill Fire Department will host its first Citizens Fire Academy this fall.

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ANTIGO - Setting off illegal fireworks can put wildlife in the Northwoods at risk. The Raptor Education Group in Antigo took in many animals this past weekend, including a bald eagle hit by a firework.

"The symbol of America shouldn't look [this hurt] the day after the Fourth of July," says Marge Gibson, the executive director of Raptor Education Group.

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 REGIONAL NEWS

MADISON - The state Senate has approved a raise for state troopers and a new compensation plan for other state workers but has delayed debate on the state budget.



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MADISON - Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says Gov. Scott Walker's office had a hand in crafting a budget amendment scaling back the state's open records law.

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MADISON - The Wisconsin Senate will take up the state budget, a six percent raise for state troopers, and a new compensation plan for thousands of other state workers that contains no general wage increases on Tuesday.

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MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee County medical examiner's office says it has investigated 16 probable heroin-related deaths in the past week.

Twelve of the deaths occurred in Milwaukee County, and four happened in neighboring counties. A final cause of death for each case is pending further toxicology results.

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