What We're Workng On Submitted: 06/29/2015

- Kids who use wheelchairs or have other disabilities can't use most playgrounds. One Wausau family wants to change that. The family plans on building a new accessible playground with state of the art equipment that every child can use. Newswatch 12's Karolina Buczek went to the future site of JoJo's Jungle to learn more about the playground plans and the boy who inspired it all.

- Plus, find out how a new walking/biking trail between Rhinelander and Nicolet College could help keep drivers and bicyclists safe.

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

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Proposed bill could increase fines for people without ignition interlock devices Submitted: 06/29/2015

WISCONSIN - A court can require a person to install an ignition interlock device, or IID, into their car, after multiple OWI offenses.

A person has to blow into the IID to check their blood-alcohol level to start their car. Now, a new proposed law hopes to increase fines for people who don't install the device.

Under current law, a person found without a required IID can be fined between $150 to $600 for the first offense. But the new law wants to increase these fines to between $500 to $1,200 for the first offense, and up to $2,000 for the second.

Police in the Northwoods say people driving without an IID has been a problem in the past.

"Last year, we've had 54 registered vehicles come in to our agency as having the ignition interlock device in it, and we've actually had nine people cited for either altering it or not having it installed when they were supposed to," said Oneida County Sheriff's Office Captain Terri Hook.

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Wausau family working to bring new inclusive park to North Central Wisconsin Submitted: 06/29/2015

WAUSAU - Kids who use wheelchairs or have other disabilities can't use most playgrounds. One Wausau family wants to change that.

The Hoerter family has big plans for Wausau's new accessible playground. The 30,000 to 50,000 square foot play area called JoJo's Jungle will give every child the opportunity to play.

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REST LAKE DAM: State legislature could take control over controversial Vilas County dam Submitted: 06/29/2015

MANITOWISH WATERS - For years people in Vilas and Iron counties fought over how to manage water levels on the Manitowish River and the Manitowish Chain of Lakes.

The Rest Lake Dam controls how much water fills several lakes, rivers, and the Turtle Flambeau Flowage.

Now, legislators in Madison might be the ones to decide where the water goes.

The current Rest Lake Dam was built in 1926.

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Name of victim released in Wausau fight death Submitted: 06/29/2015

WAUSAU - Update---One man died after a fight in Wausau.

Now the man who survived is in jail. 

43-year-old George Diver of Wausau was found dead the day after the fight.  

40-year-old Jerry Schnabl was arrested for reckless homicide and taken to the Marathon County Jail.

Witnesses say the fight happened on Friday night and was about a girl that both men wanted to date.

Police got a call around 1:30 in the afternoon Saturday to an apartment on 2nd street in Wausau where Diver had stopped breathing.

Witnesses told police Diver had been hurt in the fight, but did not seek medical attention.

He went to bed, and was found dead Saturday afternoon by a woman who lived in the apartment with Diver.

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17-year-old double homicide suspect pleads not guilty by reason of mental defect Submitted: 06/29/2015


An expert will decide whether a 17-year-old is mentally fit to stand trial for allegedly killing her mother and stepfather. That's after the she plead not guilty by reason of mental defect Monday.

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Protect yourself and your kids from the sun Submitted: 06/29/2015

RHINELANDER - With July 4th just around the corner, many people plan their summer BBQ's. As you head out to the yard or beach, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Sun can cause serious harm to your skin. Be sure to reapply sunscreen throughout the day.

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Local Hi-Tech Company, Microscopy Innovations, gets international attention for novel technology Submitted: 06/28/2015

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MARSHFIELD - A Hi-Tech company in Marshfield makes products to handle things that are very, very small. Microscopy Innovations gets big attention for its life science technology inventions. Microscopy Innovation was founded in 2007. Since that time, the company's received six patents on their life science technology inventions.

"Microscopy is a fancy word for the art and science of using microscopes to look at things in fine detail," said Microscopy Innovations President Mark T. Nelson.

Microscopy Innovations has customers throughout the world and U-S, including the National Institutes of Health, and NASA. Their new mPrep System is useful for a large variety of microscopy samples like tissue samples. The company's president is from Marshfield. Mark Nelson, decided to put the company in his hometown. So far, the decision's been a good one.

"Guess where many of our sources are, they're in the Northwoods and Central Wisconsin. People who do world class plastic molding of this patented product are here in Central and Northern Wisconsin," said Nelson.

The mPrep System uses two capsule designs. One is for preparing the sample when it comes in. The second capsule design is for handling flat copper discs called grids. These grids are easy to break, and traditional microscopy handles them at every step.

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A Northwoods-style gift shop celebrates grand opening Submitted: 06/28/2015

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RHINELANDER - It's not always easy to turn a hobby into a job. One Northwoods woman has done just that. By opening her own one-of-a-kind gift shop, called A Step In Time. Her grand opening was this weekend. The store's motto is unique.

"I like to take, not really 'really old' furniture, but just wood furniture that's good quality and make it look older," said Helen Johnson, owner of A Step In Time. "I try to carry unique things. I don't want to have a lot of one thing. Like my pieces of furniture, you'll never have another one or see another one just like it."

Helen has had a passion for wood working and working with furniture for a long time.

"It's just something I've always been interested in," says Johnson. "I was born and raised on a farm. And at the time you don't appreciate the old furniture and you always want new. But now my whole house is full of it."

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President Obama to travel to La Crosse for economic event Submitted: 06/28/2015

LA CROSSE - President Barack Obama is coming to Wisconsin this week.

The White House confirmed the visit Saturday night, saying only that Obama will visit the La Crosse area Thursday ``for an event on the economy.'' Additional details are expected to be released later this week.

The La Crosse Tribune (http://bit.ly/1FIEPn8 ) reports it is Obama's first visit to La Crosse since being elected president and the city's first presidential appearance in more than a decade.

Obama last was in La Crosse on Oct. 1, 2008, during his first presidential campaign. He spoke to an estimated 15,000 people gathered on the streets outside the La Crosse Center.

This will be the first time a sitting president has been in La Crosse since 2004, when George W. Bush made two campaign appearances.

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