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Body cameras an important tool for Northwoods police departmentsSubmitted: 09/04/2015

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PHILLIPS - Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett wants all city police officers to wear body cameras by the end of next year. He made that proposal this week after tension between police and the public in places like Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Ferguson, Missouri.

One Northwoods police department has been using the cameras for years. Phillips police officers have worn body cameras since 2008. They turn them on while responding to many situations in the city.


"Let's say a serious call, like domestic, a burglary, a theft, something that's not like a vehicle lockout, they just turn the camera on," Phillips Police Chief Michael Hauschild said.

The police department says video recordings are most helpful when officers go to write reports. They can re-live the actual events that happened, instead of relying only on memory.

Recordings are also useful when citizens bring complaints against police officers. In fact, a person recently complained about his treatment by a Phillips police officer.

"In fact, when I reviewed the video, that was totally the opposite, so I invited the citizen in here, and we sat down and we watched the video. It spoke for itself. There was no complaint after that," Hauschild said.

Roughly half of the police departments in the Northwoods have their officers wear body cameras. Thousands of people signed an online petition asking Milwaukee police officers to get the cameras.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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 LOCAL NEWS

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WISCONSIN - Gogebic Taconite will no longer pursue mining in northern Wisconsin. The company scrapped its plans for a huge iron ore mine in Iron and Ashland Counties this spring.

But state Democrats aren't forgetting about the mining issue. They're proposing a bill which they say would close a loophole in the state's 2013 mining law. That law relaxed the permitting process for iron mines.

The Democrats' bill would make it illegal to fill or destroy the bed of a lake, stream, reservoir, or flowage to mine the materials underneath. Bill author Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire) said right now, mining could be done legally under flowages and reservoirs.

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WAUSAU - The First Thursday means more than just a day in Wausau. It's a chance for stores to stay open later, and bring people downtown. The theme for the fourth, 2015 installment focused on live art in the Wausau River District and 400 Block.

For Wausau's Valerie Berkely, it gave her the chance to get others in touch with art.

Berkely greeted people passing by with a "Hi, I teach painting here" during the occasion outside the Center for the Visual Arts in Wausau.

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RHINELANDER - This year the PotatoFest in Rhinelander will still have the favorites, like the French Fry Frenzy and Polka Sunday.

But there will also be a few new additions like a beanbag toss tournament, and potato pantyhose bowling.

"The pantyhose bowling that's where you wear a pantyhose on your head and it's filled with a potato, and then you have to swing your head to knock pins, or knock the ball down to knock the pins over," said DRI Executive Director Maggie Steffen.

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SUGAR CAMP - A one-car crash northwest of Sugar Camp sent a woman to the hospital Thursday.

A Chevy Silverado ran off Highway D not far from where it meets Highway H.  It happened just before noon.

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 REGIONAL NEWS

MADISON - Democrats in the Wisconsin Legislature are pushing a bill that is designed to prevent large increases in health insurance rates.

Democrats and supporters of President Barack Obama's federal health care law unveiled the measure on Thursday, but it's unlikely to gain traction in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

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FOX LAKE, IL - Authorities believe they've recovered video that will help the investigation into who killed a police officer in northern Illinois.

Lake County Major Crime Task Force Cmdr. George Filenko told reporters Thursday that a private resident came forward with the video from a home security system.

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TOMAH - The director of the Tomah VA Medical Center has been fired, becoming the second top official to depart amid reports of over-medication practices.

The La Crosse Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1NcpODu ) that acting director John Rohrer sent an email to employees Wednesday stating only that Mario Desanctis "is no longer employed" by the VA.

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ASHLAND, KY - A federal judge has ordered a defiant Kentucky clerk to jail after she refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning told Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis she would be jailed until she complied with his order to issue the licenses.

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