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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/27/2016
- The highways will be busy this weekend with people traveling for Memorial Day.  We'll tell you what to expect if you're heading out on the roads.

- Plus, turtles start laying their eggs this time of year, and based on where they like to do so, it's a dangerous time for the reptiles.  We'll tell you why tonight.

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

MINOCQUA - Memorial Day weekend traditionally kicks off the boating season in Wisconsin.

The Safe Boating Council has designated this week as National Safe Boating Week.

The Wisconsin DNR is charged with enforcing the boating laws of the state.

They typically issue tickets for three common offenses.

"Not enough life jackets on board for everybody on board. Everybody has to have one wearable per person and then if your boat is 16' or over then you have to have one throwable type either a cushion or a round as well." Says DNR Conservation Warden David Walz.

Registration issues rank high on the list.

"And then some registration issues usually earlier in the season people forget about it. There's a lot of different opportunities for people to get their boat registered. Whether it's online or go to a DNR office, they can do it through a registration site as well," says Walz.

Most boats require a registration.

Walz says "In Wisconsin everything that has a motor on it, whether it's a trolling motor or a gas powered motor then the boat is required to be registered with the DNR.

Speed and distance violations round out the top three.

"And then probably the other one is what we call speed and distance laws. You have to go slow no wake within a certain distance. Like on lakes it's the shoreline, docks, rafts and piers where you have to go slow no wake as well," explains Walz.

Walz says some boats require a fire extinguisher. "Any boat considered closed construction is required to have a fire extinguisher. So if you have a false floor on the boat, you know if there's any type of compartments that can trap gas vapors."

Did you know that life jackets are required on paddle boards?

"Some people weren't aware of the law that requires them to have a life jacket available when they are on a paddle board. They don't have to wear it, but it's still a good idea to wear it but they also are required to have one," says Walz

The Wisconsin DNR wants you to have fun, but do so responsibly.

"We always recommend the best time to be drinking is when you're done driving for the day. If you are going to be out in a boat, make sure, just like a car that you have a sober driver," says Walz.

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RHINELANDER - Every kid deserves a safe and comfortable place to sleep, but many parents can't afford to buy their children proper beds.

That's why Slumberland Furniture in Rhinelander is giving away 40 new twin size mattress sets and frames to families who need them. 

It's part of Slumberland's 40 Winks Foundation. Families in need were found through the local housing authority. It's a program Slumberland sees as a big benefit to the community.

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WAUSAU - During a national push to prescribe fewer painkillers, a new Wisconsin proposal appeared that it would let chiropractors prescribe prescription drugs, including painkillers.

After speaking with one of the bill's authors, that notion is not at all true. 

John Murray, the executive director of the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association, which supports the bill, said it was never the bill's intention to include narcotics, or any drugs not related to neuro-muscular skeletal healing. The bill is in its early stages, having had a co-sponsor hearing on Tuesday, and future drafts of the bill will not have that broad language.

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EAGLE RIVER - Inside a Northland Pines fitness room, the laughter comes a little easier than the exercises.

"By God, we have a good time," Denise Simon said with a laugh.

Twice weekly, more than a dozen women sweat, strain, and snicker their way through the Strong Women fitness program at the high school.  It's a lively atmosphere that Denise Simon says keeps her coming back.

"This is just as important physically and socially equally," Simon said.  "And then to be dropped into this group of women, there's where the gift is."

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MADISON - The Republican National Committee says it plans to add 250 additional staffers in battleground states, including Wisconsin.

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MERRILL - Wisconsin will now be the 11th state to join a lawsuit against the federal government over new bathroom rules for transgender students.

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PRENTICE/OGEMA - Prentice High School senior Aubrey Edinger likes making art with all different kinds of materials. She makes pottery, oil paintings, acrylic paintings, and drawings, among other works.

But it was a sculpture with polymer clay that earned her all-conference recognition in a recent Northwoods art show. Her "Fight Scene" piece was selected as one of the best in the Marawood Conference.

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