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TOP STORY

What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/28/2015
- Railroads across Wisconsin could start fining people who walk along railroad tracks. It's an effort to save lives after one of the most deadly years in the state's travel history. Eight people died in train-involved deaths in 2014. Newswatch 12's Karolina Buczek went to the Tomahawk Railway to find out why there are so many accidents and what can be done to stop them.

- Police departments can use social media to help their communities. But if it's used the wrong way it could be dangerous. A traffic app called Waze can be used to warn other drivers about where police are in the area. But some officers are worried it could be used to target police. Newswatch 12s Kaitlyn Howe will have more from a Northcentral Wisconsin police chief about how he feels about the app.

- And find out about the "Snow Days Sweepstakes" put on by the Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce.

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

MERRILL - A social media app called Waze could be dangerous to local police departments.

The app can be used to warn other drivers about where police are in the area.

But some officers are worried it could be used to target police.

"I think the potential for something like that to happen in a big city is better, or bigger. But that isn't to say that our officers should not be aware of their surroundings," says Merrill Police Chief Ken Neff.

50 million people use Waze.

Neff says officers in his department are safer because they're moving around a lot.

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- More snow might not be the first item on your wish list. But it could get you a weekend getaway. As the snow piles up, so do your chances of winning a Northwoods sweepstakes.

Rhinelander's Chamber of Commerce is running the Snow Day Sweepstakes. Executive Director of Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce, Dana DeMet, said the chamber hopes the sweepstakes will offer another way for people to enjoy winter in the Northwoods. It could also help people stay excited about getting more snow this time of year.

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TOMAHAWK - Railroads across Wisconsin could start fining people who walk along railroad tracks. It's an effort to save lives after one of the most deadly years in the state's travel history.

Eight people died in train-involved deaths in 2014. 2015 also became a deadly year for trains in Wisconsin just two days into the new year. A Milwaukee man was hit and killed by a train on January 2nd.

Railroad experts say many accidents happen because trains can't stop fast enough.

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MADISON - Update; 1/28 3:26pm

Gov. Scott Walker says he is not going to reconsider his decision to reject a new casino in Kenosha.

Walker commented Wednesday after a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, urged Walker to change his mind.

Walker reiterated that he believed approving the $800-million casino would put the state on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in losses due to terms of a compact with the Forest County Potawatomi Tribe.

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 REGIONAL NEWS

RACINE - Gov. Scott Walker says he's planning trips soon to the important 2016 presidential primary states of South Carolina, Nevada and Florida.

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LANSING, MI - People will eventually be able to hike or bike from Ironwood, Michigan all the way to Belle Isle Park in Detroit.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced the plans for the trail in 2012, and just this week, the trail got its name. It will be called the Iron Belle Trail.

The Michigan DNR held a three-week trail naming contest this past fall. It got nearly 9,000 entries.

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Ford recalls 220,000 vehiclesSubmitted: 01/28/2015

NATIONWIDE - Ford announced on Wednesday it's recalling 220,000 cars for safety reasons.

But one local dealer Newswatch 12 spoke with says car owners likely won't be able to get their cars fixed until March.

That's because Ford needs to make the part to fix one of the issues and then send it to the dealers. Ford told the dealer Newswatch 12 spoke with that the parts won't be delivered until March.

The company is recalling certain 2010 to 2013 Ford Taurus, Lincoln MKS, and Ford Police Interceptor sedans.

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WASHINGTON, DC - The director of the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Tomah says he had already taken steps to address reports of overmedication of patients before federal officials announced a review of prescription practices at the Wisconsin facility.

Tomah VA director Mario DeSanctis says his staff began looking into the unusually high rate of opiate prescriptions in 2012. In an interview with the La Crosse Tribune (http://bit.ly/1BxJtoY ) this week, DeSanctis says steps to institute solutions to the problem have already been taken.

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