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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/20/2017
- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

Mild temperatures are expected for this weekend's World Championships Snowmobile Derby in Eagle River. Tonight we talk to the derby president to see how the warmer weather effects the event.

We'll show you how the Tomahawk Public Works Department determines when it would be required for residents to keep their water running in cold weather.

We'll take you to a Merrill restaurant that has a special menu for Inauguration Day.

And tonight on Friday Night Blitz we'll bring you scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following games:

College Hockey:

UW-Eau Claire vs. UW-Stevens Point


Boys Basketball:

Lakeland vs. Rhinelander

Florence vs. Crandon

Mosinee vs. Tomahawk


Girls Basketball:

Lakeland vs. Rhinelander


That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.

We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.




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 LOCAL NEWS

RHINELANDER - Dozens of Rhinelander students called in sick, forcing the district to shut down early last month. But
teachers weren't immune either. It got so bad that there weren't enough substitute teachers on hand to
fill in for the sick staff. The district is now recruiting more subs to be better prepared for another
outbreak. Rhinelander schools went into the year with what they thought was a solid plan. But directors
of instructions, Terri Maney says nature had other plans. "The pertussis did not only affect students, it
affected staff," says Maney. Students and teachers started getting sick in mid-December. Maney says
they went into this school year with more substitute teachers than ever before. But they never planned
for a pertussis outbreak. At one point, 1 in 5 students contacted the disease along with teachers calling
in too. 

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WAUSAU - The Wausau Police Department welcomed three new officers to the force Friday. 

City Hall was full of city workers, police officers, fire fighters, and friends and family for the swearing-in ceremony. The officers are all excited to start serving the community, and in some cases, fulfill a lifelong dream.

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RHINELANDER - A lot of people turn to antibiotics to get better but a Veterans Affairs clinic nurse wants elderly patients to avoid getting sick completely.

Coughing into your arm and not your hands in addition to keeping your hands clean stops the spread of droplets. 

These precautions are especially important for older adults. 

"[They're] at a higher risk for contracting community acquired pneumonia," said Nurse Christina Paris who works at the Veterans Affairs Clinic office in Rhinelander. 

"If you do have a cold or flu and you're not as active those fluids and secretions can kind of buildup in your lungs and can trigger old bacterial infections as your immune system is weakened."

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SUGAR CAMP - On Friday, we will officially call Donald Trump the President of the United States.

One Sugar Camp bar owner has been counting down the days on a sign outside his bar.

"We had people stopping by and taking pictures and coming in and giving me a thumbs up," says Gator's Landing owner, Frank Pirolo.

Pirolo has owned the bar for 12 years and has lived in the Northwoods for 18 years.

"People have been noticing my Obama countdown sign," Pirolo said. "I been doing that since there was 89 days to go. Haven't missed a day."

Pirolo is excited to see President Elect Donald Trump take office. He takes on a straightforwardness not unlike the man he voted for.

"I'm kind of outspoken," Pirolo said. "I've been kind of referred to as the Archie Bunker of Sugar Camp."

He also has a sign outside of his bar that advertises his burgers, but people likely flock to his bar because he's frank.

"I see something on the news that bothers me, I'll come up with a quip and maybe put it out there," Pirolo says.

But that doesn't discourage him.

"I see good things going to happen," Pirolo said. "A lot of people say he's arrogant. My wife and I for the first time in 44 years have agreed on a political person." 

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RHINELANDER - Rejection can be difficult for anyone to handle.

A Rhinelander woman faced rejection four times already. But Dawn Knudsen plans to try again a fifth time.

"I'm not going to give up in life," said Knudsen.

This is the fifth time she'll be auditioning for NBC's The Voice. The reality show is a singing competition with celebrity judges

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WAUSAU - Caitlin Harris recently began her family medicine residency at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. She is originally from California.

"A lot of people say 'what are you doing out here in Wausau' and 'can you handle the winters?'" said Harris. 

You would think that someone who grew up Los Angeles would want to be closer to the hustle and bustle of city life. Not Caitlin.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - The Northwoods Transit Connections gave more than 2,000 rides to people last month. 

That's a big jump for the Oneida and Vilas county bus service.

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