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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/19/2018
- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

DNR wardens will start increasing patrols on snowmobile trails in the Northwoods, especially in Iron and Price counties. We talk to a warden supervisor about the number of accidents the last two weeks and how the wardens plan to minimize the accidents.

We'll show you how a new tool for the Woodruff Fire Department will help extinguish a fire even before firefighters arrive at the scene.

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 basketball games:

Girls:

Crandon vs. Laona-Wabeno

D.C. Everest vs. Merrill

Mosinee vs. Rhinelander


Boys:

Rhinelander vs. Mosinee



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

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




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RHINELANDER - These days, it can feel like physical stores get overshadowed by online shopping. But that's not completely true in Rhinelander.

A new women's clothing boutique opened today in downtown Rhinelander.

Oak Tree Boutique owner and Rhinelander native Amber Bellile remembers a time from her childhood when downtown flourished.

"Over the years once I moved away and would come back I noticed businesses were shutting down," said Bellile. 

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EAGLE RIVER - Some kindergarteners got a glimpse of the World Championship Snowmobile Derby Friday.

Snowmobile racer Jordan Grabowski stopped by the Eagle River Elementary School to talk to some kindergarteners about snowmobile safety.

"It's kind of a dying out sport and I want to keep it going. [I] try to get them to realize that it's not okay to ride without a helmet on and our safety gear on and that it is dangerous if you do ride it without because you could get hurt," said Grabowski.

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PHILLIPS - When students go to Phillips Elementary School, their classroom might be heated to only 60 degrees. It could also be 80 degrees.

The heating system is old enough that consistency is nearly impossible, and fixes are tough.

"We can't get parts [anymore] for a lot of the heating systems," said Principal Dave Scholz.

Underneath the school on Thursday, he pointed to the support structure.

"You can see all of the floor joists," he said. "Most of them are rotting right out. A lot of breaking off."

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MEDFORD - Wednesday night, police spent nearly five hours trying to talk down a man who had a gun and barricaded himself inside of a home in Medford.

Jake Wendt, 31, recently moved to Medford from Rhinelander. He was living with his girlfriend and her child.

Police went to that home just before 5 p.m. after receiving a call about a man with a gun. According to a press release, the caller said a man (who turned out to be Wendt) had a handgun with two women and a child inside a home on Medford's east side.

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EAGLE RIVER - If you want to get an good understanding of what makes Eagle River tick in the winter time, the first stop should be the ice castle.

At a structure made of thousands of blocks of ice, about 55 Eagle River Elementary fourth-grade students learned how the decades-old idea comes together each year.

"They're actually a little warm because this is a heat wave for us," teacher Nicole Musial said of her students.  "These are the future members of our community. When they grow up, they re going to do something incredible."

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THREE LAKES - A public library will do just about anything to help out its loyal patrons. But what happens when the library needs help?

The Demmer Memorial Library in Three Lakes needs help storing books during an upcoming renovation. Over 3,000 books need to be cleared out of the library during the construction period and library card holders will get the chance to check out up to 100 books for an entire year.

The idea of book babysitting made perfect sense to library director, Erica Brewster.

"If we could get a hundred people to check out 100 books, that would be a third of our collection that we wouldn't have to physically pickup and move and put in a new location," said Brewster. 

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EAGLE RIVER - The 2012 and 2017 World Snowmobile Derby Champion and Tomahawk native plans to use his fame to give back.

Nick Van Strydonk will give away his racing helmet, jacket and pants in a raffle.

Each ticket is $5.00 and he hopes to sell enough to send three members of Tomahawk's VFW to this year's honor flight.

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