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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/16/2018
- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll update you on a fire at Dolhun Field in Lake Tomahawk last night that required eight different fire departments and destroyed a storage hangar.

We talk to a council member of a Merrill church about their pastor who was seriously injured in a semi-truck/pickup truck accident on Highway 8 near Rhinelander Friday afternoon, and we'll update you on the pastor's condition.

And the Town of Presque Isle is now grooming their cross country ski trails that they hope will bring more people into town.

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

MERRILL - Lincoln County Sheriff Jeff Jaeger will retire.

Jaeger announced Thursday morning he will not run for re-election, and will step down at the end of this year.

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - A fire in Lake Tomahawk's Dolhun Field Monday night left a storage hangar destroyed. About eight different fire departments worked for hours to put out the flames.

Lake Tomahawk Fire Chief Doug Rehm says the department was called to the fire just before 8 p.m.

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VILAS COUNTY - The Vilas County Safe Ride program completed its first month at the beginning of January. The program started on December 4. 

Vilas County Safe Ride coordinator Dan Ullsperger said the first month went well. 

"Having 15 in the first month I think is very, very successful. We're looking forward to having more in January and February. I think it will just keep growing and growing," said Ullsperger. 

He hopes to have 30 to 40 rides per month in the future. 
 
The Safe Ride program is meant to eliminate drunk drivers from the roads. A bar has to join the Vilas County tavern league. Then it can buy vouchers for the rides to hand out to customers who need a way to get home. 

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Cars in ditches and fender benders littered Northwoods roads this weekend.

Icy conditions meant many drivers lost traction.

Tow truck operators have been working around the clock to help people who crashed or spun off the road.
 
"You eat dinner when you can, you don't know how long you're going to be out. I mean us guys can do 12, 18 hour days. It gets a little tough sometimes," said tow truck operator Sean Hobena. 

Hobena got six calls Monday, which he said is mild compared to previous days. He covers areas in Oneida, Vilas, and Price counties. 

He advises drivers to be careful when driving.

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 REGIONAL NEWS

MADISON - Governor Scott Walker wants to close Wisconsin's youth prisons in Lincoln County earlier than first planned.

Walker is urging the Legislature to adopt his plan to close the Lincoln Hills-Copper Lake juvenile facility at Irma this spring, rather than 18 months from now.

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MILWAUKEE - Wisconsin farmers produced smaller corn and soybean crops last year than in 2016, while potato production was up slightly.

The Agriculture Department reports that the state's soybean production was down 6 percent and grain corn production was down 11 percent. Alfalfa hay production was down 19 percent.

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MADISON - A bill moving through the Wisconsin Legislature would clarify protections for Indian burial mounds.

The bill would detail when the Wisconsin Historical Society can protect a burial site.

It would also spell out how a landowner can challenge the protections.

In addition, the bill proposes increasing the setback from burial locations from 5 feet to 10 feet.

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CHIPPEWA FALLS - Hundreds of people gathered in Chippewa Falls to remember a Wisconsin native who died in a charter plane crash in Costa Rica.

33 year old Amanda Geissler was one of 10 Americans killed in the December 31st crash.

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