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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/16/2017
- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos responds to harsh criticism from Rhinelander's Robert Kinney, a former member of the Ethics Commission who resigned a month ago saying the board "require(s) too much secrecy and too little transparency."

We'll tell you why it's important to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species even in winter.

We'll introduce you to a Land O' Lakes elementary student who didn't want anything for himself this Christmas but instead wanted help from the community so he could give to his classmates.

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




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 LOCAL NEWS

MINOCQUA - It takes a lot of guts to quit your day job and follow your passion. But one Minocqua woman has had success with her painting. And now she's sharing it with others.
Benson quit her job as a dental assistant three years ago to follow her passion as an artist.
"When I learned that I could make people happy with things I created…it was more of an encouragement for me to pursue it more," said Benson.
Now, she teaches others about how to step out of their comfort zones.
"Persuade you to take up something new or something you thought you couldn't do is always a good thing," said Benson.

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EAGLE RIVER - It took a couple years to come back, but lots of volunteers made sure Eagle River could get its ice castle back in time for the middle of winter.

The icy tradition took more than one-thousand hours to put together.

The Eagle River Fire Department and other volunteers stacked the 90 pound blocks over the last five days.

Each ice block is nearly uniform, so they fit together like legos. 

"It's a tedious process using those ice scrapers and getting that tight seam," said Fire Chief Michael Anderson.

Even though it took a lot of hours and manpower to get the job done, Anderson says they do it for the Eagle River community.

"I see it as an obligation for our community, to put it together because they like it so much and it brings so many tourists to the area," said Anderson. 

The castle will stay up as long as the weather stays cold. 

You can visit the castle at any time. It is near the railroad depot on Railroad Street in Eagle River.


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ANTIGO - In a week, the Christmas trees of Antigo will burn in a huge bonfire.

Community volunteers will burn the trees next Monday in the annual city event. This Monday, those trees disappeared from the streets.

City workers rounded up, crushed, and hauled away Christmas trees from the curb all across the city.

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LAND O' LAKES - Many kids asked for video games, iPads, or other toys for Christmas this year. But for one Land O' Lakes Elementary student, the holiday wasn't about what he could get, but what he could give back to his fellow classmates instead. 

Chris Hunt, a 9-year-old from Land O' Lakes, always has his nose in a book. But being able to read every night just wasn't enough.

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 REGIONAL NEWS

PHILLIPS - The Phillips School District covers 600 square miles. That means a lot of time on the bus for many students, and a lot in fuel costs. This year Phillips is trying something new, hoping that investing a little extra money now pays off down the road.

The Phillips School District bought two new buses for this school year. Both buses run entirely on propane, rather than diesel. 

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RICE LAKE - Police say a man in a small northwestern Wisconsin community was killed after he followed through on his threat to explode a bomb in his apartment building.

Rice Lake police say 12 to 14 residents were evacuated before the explosion and subsequent fire that destroyed the one-story building Sunday night.

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GREEN BAY - Green Bay police say local residents are being targeted by phone scammers who claim they're holding a loved one for ransom.

Police say they've been contacted by at least four residents in recent days who say they've been called by scammers trying to get money.

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JANESVILLE - Police chiefs from around the country have converged in Janesville to discuss ways to reduce the use of deadly force.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, who is from Janesville, hosted a listening session Monday focusing on a training program from the D.C.-based nonprofit Police Executive Research Forum.

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