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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/24/2018
- We kick-off our Long Summer Weekend for another year. Today we're live in Merrill to bring you the following stories:


We show you some new equipment that the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office is having its deputies use, and we talk with a Lieutenant and an area Chiropractor about why the equipment protects the officers' backs.

We'll show you the progress of a renovation project in a popular Merrill Park.

And we take you to a Merrill strawberry farm and ask the owner why he thinks the berry crops are behind this season causing berry pickers to wait a bit longer than usual.

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





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 LOCAL NEWS

MERRILL - In the upper-right corner of a concrete slab, LeRoy Fischer looks with pride and awe at his name etched in stone next to family and friends.

"I never thought it would get this big," Fischer said.

Nearly 1,000 paver stones with names of veterans from all across Lincoln County form the basis of a memorial in St. Francis' section of Merrill's Memorial Cemetery dedicated to anyone who served.

"We're all one and united," Fischer said of all veterans, whether they served in wartime or not.

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RHINELANDER - As he suited up with a bit of swagger and his aviator sunglasses, all eyes were on Greg Fiss and his airplane Wednesday morning.  However, Fiss was quick to deflect the fame on the people watching him.

"They're the rock stars, we're just more visible," Fiss said of ground-based firefighters through his thick southern accent.

Fiss filled up his single-engine air tanker, or SEAT, with 800 gallons of water to show a group of DNR firefighters at Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport how he can help.  The native Kansan has flown a SEAT for 14 years, transitioning from agriculture crop dusting.

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HURLEY - Wayne Valliere, Sr. called Wednesday morning "a little battle" that was won. A judge found there's enough evidence to move forward in his son's homicide case. 
 
On New Year's Day, police found the body of Wayne Valliere, Jr. in a remote part of Iron County. 

Richard Allen, Joseph and James Lussier, Evan Oungst and Curtis Wolfe are all facing murder charges in the death of Wayne Valliere, Jr. 

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU -
Tuesday afternoon Tribal Police confirmed Antonio Monserrate Roche is the man found deceased last week in Pokegama Lake.

Once the Coroner's office determines the official cause of death, the Tribal Police Department will issue an update.

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RHINELANDER - If you pop into the YMCA during the winter or walk past a tennis court in the spring or summer, you're bound to see a group playing pickleball. 

A paddle, a ball, a court, and some friends are all you need to play. 

The game first came onto Marilyn Duschl's radar about four years ago. 

"A lady came to me and said you should play pickle ball at the YMCA and I said 'what is pickle ball?'" said Duschl, the Active Older Adult Coordinator at the YMCA of the Northwoods. 

In fact, the game was a mystery to many people who have become dedicated players.

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RHINELANDER - The combination of a hot grill and some ice-cold refreshment tempted hungry healthcare workers outside Ascension St. Mary's Hospital in Rhinelander late Tuesday morning.

"It feels great to have somebody appreciate the work that you do," Oneida County EMT Leah Foster said.

The Ascension Spirit team cooked up a free brat lunch (with donated Trig's Somkehouse brats) for any emergency medical service workers who wanted to eat.  Spirit's lunch was part of National EMS week, giving the medical transport provider the chance to say 'thank you' to the workers they call heroes.

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MINOCQUA - A big tour bus with C-SPAN's logo on the side pulled into Lakeland Union High School on Tuesday.

The public affairs network arrived to help celebrate the work of students at the school. Four students were recognized for their winning projects in C-SPAN's Student Cam contest.

That contest drew 3,000 video entries.

"The fact that we had two groups of students winning here from Lakeland Union High School is pretty much a big deal," said C-SPAN Marketing Representative Shannon Augustus. "We're super happy to be here in Wisconsin."

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