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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 07/07/2015
- The Wisconsin State Senate has passed two measures raising state trooper wages and compensation for state workers. The chamber will address the budget this afternoon. We'll have the latest and tell you what the budget could mean for you tonight on Newswatch 12.

- Plus, well take a look at the impact of the early crowd at the Hodag Country Festival.

We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.




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EAGLE RIVER - Most of northern Wisconsin's forest didn't survive the cut-over from a century ago. However, some pockets did make it, and experts call those areas old growth. Now, the Northwoods Land Trust in Eagle River wants to figure out how much old growth sits on private land in Vilas County.

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MERRILL - Merrill will need to decide just how friendly it wants to be to bicyclists and walkers. A new plan could take away lanes of traffic on some main roads to benefit bikers.

The city approved a new bike and pedestrian plan last week that calls for painting bike lanes on roads, marking bike routes around the city, and widening sidewalks.

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MERRILL - Some people think all firefighters do is battle flames in heavy gear and drive around in bulky trucks.

In attempt to fight that public perception and show people the full range of a firefighter's duties, the Merrill Fire Department will host its first Citizens Fire Academy this fall.

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ANTIGO - Setting off illegal fireworks can put wildlife in the Northwoods at risk. The Raptor Education Group in Antigo took in many animals this past weekend, including a bald eagle hit by a firework.

"The symbol of America shouldn't look [this hurt] the day after the Fourth of July," says Marge Gibson, the executive director of Raptor Education Group.

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LINCOLN COUNTY - Imagine cleaning out an old garage and finding a hand grenade.

It happened in Lincoln County.

A call came in to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.

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PARK FALLS - A man carrying a loaded rifle startled people watching during the Park Falls fireworks display Saturday night.

Several people called police around 10 p.m. reporting a man carrying a gun around the baseball field where the show took place.  When police arrived the man wasn't there.

Officers found 38-year-old Jason L. Straetz sitting outside a nearby apartment building.

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RHINELANDER - After all the Fourth of July events Saturday, hungry people were able to stop at the Oneida County Senior Center's fundraiser for a bite to eat.

The senior center sold walking tacos, drinks, and desserts for people to eat in or take out. It was the second year the center held the event.

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