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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/23/2017
- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll show you a training course for Taylor County deputies and courthouse staff on how to respond with and active shooter in the courthouse.

We'll take you live to Shepard Park in Rhinelander, the site some residents hope will have sections set aside for a dog park. Monday the Parks committed approved the proposal.

And a Nicolet College club provides a safe space for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender students and allies to discuss personal issues. Now they want to get a group started outside the campus. We talk to a member of the Rainbow Hodags Club about his experiences with the group.

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

VILAS COUNTY - Many people love sightseeing on two wheels throughout the Northwoods.

Now, you can get a prize for doing it.

"Bike the Heart" encourages riders to explore the different communities along the Heart of Vilas County Trail.

The trail is more than 45 miles of paved path that connects Boulder Junction, Sayner, St. Germain and Manitowish Waters.

The goal of "Bike the Heart" is to stop at each Chamber of Commerce with a "pass card" to get a stamp.

You have until September to collect four stamps and send it in to one of the chambers to be entered for a prize worth more than $100.

"Bringing the bicyclists to this area is astronomical. We have inquiries from the entire Midwest and even the outlying states of California and New York," says executive director Penny Wiesmann of St. Germain Chamber of Commerce.

Mile markers and "fix-it" stations are the newest additions to the Heart of Vilas County Trail.

The stations have tools attached to the sides to help you make a quick fix on your bike.

"We're just really excited that people can come up and ride up the entire length of the trail, or if they want to take up some smaller portions they can do that to," says executive director Theresa Smith of Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce.



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RHINELANDER - If you wait long enough, you could see Rhinelander city workers mowing your front lawn. But it's not free, and it's not a service they necessarily want to provide.

Streets Superintendent Tony Gilman has been named "Weed Commissioner" for the fourth year.  That means he'll be on the lookout and taking calls for lawns with grass 12 inches or longer.  Gilman says he gets dozens of calls from fed-up people each year.

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RHINELANDER - Thousands of kids got a lot of joy out of a twisty slide at Pioneer Park in Rhinelander.  But after 20 years, that slide cracked, broke, and became unusable last fall.

Monday, work started to add some new fun to the park. Rhinelander Parks Department workers started tearing down the old slide. It's been blocked off since last fall and would cost up to $10,000 to fix the slide and structure itself.

Parks Director Jeremy Biolo reached out to a local service group to see if they could help.

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MERRILL - People who lost their homes in last week's tornado will get state help, but likely no federal dollars to rebuild.

Initial estimates from the Barron County Sheriff's Office put the damage from last week's tornado at $10 million.

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 REGIONAL NEWS

MADISON - The Legislature's budget committee has decided to put off votes on the University of Wisconsin System budget because Senate Republicans can't agree on what to do about tuition rates.

Gov. Scott Walker's budget calls for cutting tuition by 5 percent and giving the system $35 million to offset the lost revenue. It also would give the system $42.5 million in additional state aid. Campuses that do better on new performance standards would get bigger chunks of the funding.

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MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who says he's been appointed an assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security, has denied he plagiarized content in his master's thesis on homeland security.

The denial follows a CNN report Saturday saying Clarke, a strong supporter of President Donald Trump, failed to attribute sources at least 47 times in his 2013 thesis.

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MEDFORD - Powerful and versatile draft horses are being used in Wisconsin to help a cellphone company upgrade its towers among other jobs in the fields and forests.

Milwaukee Public Radio reports that draft horses can get in and out of spaces some vehicles can't because the animals are agile and lightweight.

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APPLETON - Authorities say a police officer fatally shot a person who had a gun at a bar in downtown Appleton.

An Appleton Police Department statement says officers on foot patrol got a report of a shooting inside Jack's Apple Pub just after 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

Officers saw people coming out. As one officer went in, the statement says, the officer "encountered a subject with a gun" and shot the individual. Other officers then went inside to aid the person who was shot by the officer. That person later died at a hospital.

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