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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 10/17/2017
- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

A large building in Laona that used to be a store hasn't been used for several years. Now 2 men want to put the building on the National Register of Historic Places. We talk to the men about the big plans they have for the building.

We'll show you how professionals in the heavy machinery industry are showing people in Merrill different opportunities in the field by giving them hands-on experience.

And we talk to a Rhinelander firefighter about how to stay safe while trying to keep warm this winter.

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




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LAONA - Lumber, logging, and the Connor family make up a lot of Laona's history. But some people say the rural town could be losing a lot of its history.

A group of people want to preserve that history and it's starting with one building.   

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MADISON - Rhinelander's former police chief just finished the FBI's "crown jewel" of training.  Mike Steffes -- who is now the Deputy Administrator of the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Law Enforcement Services --completed the three-week "National Executive Institute" in September.

The academy is designed for executives that lead more than 500 sworn officers and serve populations of 250,000 or more.

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RHINELANDER - Chris Sandstrom knows that, like hockey, his task is all about precision.

"Trying to guess this doesn't work too well," said Sandstrom, kneeling on the ground at Rhinelander Ice Arena on Tuesday morning.

Sandstrom and a small crew have spent the last two days carefully preparing every inch of the rink.

"You can't make a mistake. If you make a mistake, it can't be redone," he said.

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MERRILL - The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the demand for heavy equipment operators to increase 10 percent in the next 10 years. 
 
Industry professionals are always trying to find more qualified people to fill those positions.

They worked with Nicolet College to develop curriculum for the basic heavy equipment operator course. 

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RHINELANDER - The Tri County Council will hold a candlelight vigil on Friday to honor those who lost their lives to domestic violence in Wisconsin last year.

The statewide homicide report says 73 people were killed as a result of domestic violence in 2016. 

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RHINELANDER - Lawyers expect to call "a number" of expert witnesses in the Oneida County homicide case against Ellen Tran.

Finding and vetting those experts could take months, lawyers told a judge on Tuesday in court.

Tran is charged with causing the death of her 20-month-old stepson, Avery Edwards, at a Rhinelander home in April.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys will spend until February to identify those witnesses.

After that, the case could go to trial.

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MARATHON COUNTY - A horse in Marathon County has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

The Marathon County Health Department sent out word of the positive test.

The virus can be spread to humans, horses, birds and other animals during bites from infected mosquitoes.

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