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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 03/30/2017
- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

Every year, the federal government puts almost a half-billion dollars into public radio and television. But in his preliminary budget proposal earlier this month, President Trump pushed for cutting all of that funding. Tonight we talk to managers of public radio stations in Wausau and Rhinelander about how those cuts would affect their stations.

We'll tell you about a plan that would turn a former Rhinelander nursing home building into student housing.

And we talk to the Phelps Chamber of Commerce Director about new classes that will be a part of this Saturday's Maple Syrup Fest.

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

ONEIDA COUNTY - 65 species of native mammals call Wisconsin home.

The DNR wants help collecting data about all of them.

"Snapshot Wisconsin" is a statewide wildlife monitoring program. It relies on volunteers to host a trail camera throughout the year.

"We ask a volunteer to set the camera out for us and go out and check it periodically, change the camera chip, change the batteries. Then they upload the photos to a central site," said DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz.

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CRANDON - A woman charged with helping sneak prescription pills into the Forest County Jail will need several thousand dollars to get out of jail.

52-year-old Patricia Kirker had her initial appearance in Crandon on Thursday.  Police say she supplied 20 pills for an inmate on work release to sell in the jail.

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SCHOFIELD - A cloud of grief hung over part of Marathon County Wednesday. Underneath, were thousands of people who waited to pay their final respects to a man who died serving his dream job.

There were plenty of tears, emotions, and Green Bay Packers jerseys as services were held for 40-year-old Everest Metro Detective Jason Weiland, who was shot and killed last week.

A 21-gun salute represented a fallen man who leaves behind a family in every sense of the word. 

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RHINELANDER - You can watch fake doctors perform fake surgeries on TV almost any night of the week.  It's not every day you get to watch an actually surgery performed.

Students from the Northwoods learned their experience Wednesday was not for the faint of heart.

High school and college students filled the Nicolet College Theater in Rhinelander to watch a live stream of an open heart surgery.  Doctors, nurses, and other surgical staff from a hospital in Illinois were on camera and answered questions as they put in a left ventricular assistive device in a 37-year-old man's heart.

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MINOCQUA - Minocqua's Northwoods Zip line Adventure Tours added new attractions for the upcoming season in hopes of bringing more people to the Northwoods.

The Northwoods Zip Line Adventure Tours has been a travel destination for thrill seekers around the country.

Owner Josh Russart wanted to bring an extreme outdoor activity to the Northwoods.

"We have something for everyone," said Russart.

But Russart wasn't content with just zip lining. He added more attractions every year since he opened the canopy tours in 2014. Last summer he added an aerial adventure tour.

General manager Andrew Warner says it's a mix of an obstacle course and zip lining.

"Our aerial adventure is going to offer a little bit more of a challenge for people that maybe are a little bit more of a thrill seeker," said Warner.

But Warner says not to worry if you prefer to keep your feet on the ground

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CRESCENT - Once Eurasian Water Milfoil invades a lake, it likely won't ever leave a lake.

The invasive species has slowly been making its way into lakes here in the Northwoods.

It first occurred in Squash Lake in Oneida County in 2009. The Lake Association had luck containing the plant by using divers.

"We decided to use divers to pull Eurasian Water Milfoil. Over the years we've worked with divers to do that. It cost roughly $25,000 a year to do that," said Squash Lake Association Board Member Craig Zarley.

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VILAS COUNTY - Last August, a Vilas County man threatened to shoot or drown himself, leading to a standoff with police.

Wednesday, 49-year-old Mark Mayo pled guilty to intentionally firing a firearm at a law enforcement officer and operating a firearm while intoxicated.

Last August, Mayo called the Vilas County Sheriff's Office saying he had been drinking, taking prescription pills, and had a gun.

According to police, Mayo said if he saw officers, he would shoot them.

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