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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/16/2018
- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll update you on a fire at Dolhun Field in Lake Tomahawk last night that required eight different fire departments and destroyed a storage hangar.

We talk to a council member of a Merrill church about their pastor who was seriously injured in a semi-truck/pickup truck accident on Highway 8 near Rhinelander Friday afternoon, and we'll update you on the pastor's condition.

And the Town of Presque Isle is now grooming their cross country ski trails that they hope will bring more people into town.

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

WOODRUFF - It took 12 fire departments, 200,000 gallons of water, and seven hours to put out a destructive fire in Woodruff on Monday night.

On Tuesday afternoon, the State Fire Marshal and Woodruff Fire Department ruled the cause and origin of the fire "undetermined."

No one was hurt in the fire, but it burned millions of dollars worth of boats, RVs, cars, and snowmobiles in winter storage there.

The fire took out a building next to Dolhun Field, a private airstrip. The building isn't owned by the airport.

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MERRILL - Lincoln County Sheriff Jeff Jaeger will retire.

Jaeger announced Thursday morning he will not run for re-election, and will step down at the end of this year.

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - A fire in Lake Tomahawk's Dolhun Field Monday night left a storage hangar destroyed. About eight different fire departments worked for hours to put out the flames.

Lake Tomahawk Fire Chief Doug Rehm says the department was called to the fire just before 8 p.m.

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VILAS COUNTY - The Vilas County Safe Ride program completed its first month at the beginning of January. The program started on December 4. 

Vilas County Safe Ride coordinator Dan Ullsperger said the first month went well. 

"Having 15 in the first month I think is very, very successful. We're looking forward to having more in January and February. I think it will just keep growing and growing," said Ullsperger. 

He hopes to have 30 to 40 rides per month in the future. 
 
The Safe Ride program is meant to eliminate drunk drivers from the roads. A bar has to join the Vilas County tavern league. Then it can buy vouchers for the rides to hand out to customers who need a way to get home. 

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Cars in ditches and fender benders littered Northwoods roads this weekend.

Icy conditions meant many drivers lost traction.

Tow truck operators have been working around the clock to help people who crashed or spun off the road.
 
"You eat dinner when you can, you don't know how long you're going to be out. I mean us guys can do 12, 18 hour days. It gets a little tough sometimes," said tow truck operator Sean Hobena. 

Hobena got six calls Monday, which he said is mild compared to previous days. He covers areas in Oneida, Vilas, and Price counties. 

He advises drivers to be careful when driving.

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ANTIGO - Usually people just throw out Christmas trees after the holiday season. But in Antigo, people burn some of them.

Dozens gathered at Antigo High School on Monday for the Christmas tree burn. It's hosted by the Antigo Optimist Club each year. Organizers say it's a great family event with years of history. 

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MOLE LAKE - You don't find too many people hanging around the Lake George boat launch in mid-January, but Rollie Woltjen wants to see plenty of his workers there all summer long.

"It's so important for us to have those people at the landing," Woltjen said.

The Rhinelander-area lake association president has had a home on Lake George since the late 1980s, but only lately has the fight to stop aquatic invasive species been top of mind.  Woltjen and Scott Campbell work hard to find people to check boats for AIS and keep Lake George clear of eurasian watermilfoil.

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