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NEWS STORIES

All-Terrain Wheelchair Helps Whitewater Student Track WolvesSubmitted: 01/04/2012
Story By Lex Gray

TOMAHAWK - This week, a group of UW-Whitewater students is at Treehaven learning to track wolves and other rare animals.

They're giving up part of their winter break to help the DNR with a wolf survey.

Many seem enthusiastic and dedicated to the course, but none more so than Meg Lynch, who's keeping up with her classmates in a wheelchair.

"I call myself Megatron when I'm in the chair," says Lynch.

It's no ordinary chair the four-wheel-drive, all-terrain wheelchair powers through brush and snow so Lynch can keep up with UW Whitewater's biology curriculum.

"I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I like to try new things," Lynch says.

UW-Whitewater prides itself on being accessible to all students.

The chair, made possible by a grant, brings that accessibility beyond campus and classroom.

After three years in wheelchairs and walkers that can't get through this kind of terrain, Lynch says it's a good buy.

"I'm grateful to have this chair, because I wouldn't be here without this chair," she says.

Lynch's professor, Dr. George Clokey, agrees. He believes the chair will build her confidence and help her realize what he calls great potential.

This week's hands-on course will do the same for everyone here, giving every participants a chance to get out and put their classroom knowledge to use.

They're learning from Dr. Clokey and wolf expert Dr. Jim Halfpenny, who came from Yellowstone to teach and help the Wisconsin DNR.

"Here at Treehaven, we have a nice selection of animals to work with grey fox, otter, fisher, deer. That allows the students to gain a lot of practice," says Halfpenny.

Today, students learned how to identify and preserve animal tracks. They started by analyzing a dog's different gaits.

After classroom and field training here, the class will head farther north to Cable, where they'll help the DNR estimate how many wolves are in Wisconsin.

"It's certainly nice to have a young bunch of students from the University working on these. As we do go forward to delisting wolves, we know we'll have a cadre of trained people out there," says Halfpenny.

Although Lynch isn't sure if she'll pursue field work after college, she's grateful for this opportunity.

"I'm just trying everything I possibly can. I'm thankful for being here," she says.

This summer, Lynch hopes to be Megatron once again, heading to Yellowstone for a similar field ecology course.


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 09/22/2014

- The Wausau Police Department will hold a press conference this afternoon to discuss the recovery of the body of a 22-year-old woman that had been missing for nearly four years. Stephanie Low went missing from her Wausau apartment in October of 2010. Wausau Police Chief Jeff Hardel says the press conference will be at 4 p.m today. We will update you with this story.

- Plus, you can expect to see two Northwoods authors in Rhinelander tonight. Judith Norling Carlson and Ann M. Andrashie will be at the Rhinelander Public Library from 6:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. They will share their writing experiences and discuss their books. Find out about their experiences on Newswatch 12 at 10.

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

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Updated-Name released in deadly UTV crashSubmitted: 09/22/2014

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The Oneida County Sheriff's Department tells us 52-year-old Richard Johnson died from injuries he suffered in the crash. Johnson apparently missed a curve and left the road.

It happened after 10:40 p.m. on Saturday.

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Man charged in woman's knife death, girl's injurySubmitted: 09/22/2014

HOUGHTON, MI - An ex-con has been charged with murder and attempted murder on accusations that he fatally stabbed a 48-year-old woman and wounded her 14-year-old daughter at an Upper Peninsula home.

The Daily Mining Gazette says that 42-year-old Paul Moilanen was arraigned Monday in Houghton district court. Judge Mark Wisti set his bond at $2.5 million and scheduled a probable cause hearing Oct. 6.

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Volunteer fire departments need more volunteersSubmitted: 09/22/2014

RHINELANDER - Rural areas rely on volunteer fire departments to respond to emergencies.

That's the case in Oneida County.

The Rhinelander Fire Department is the only paid full time department in the County.

But it can be difficult for fire departments to draw more volunteers.

The Crescent Fire Department in Oneida County relies on 25 volunteers for an area that serves about 2,800 people.

They need more people to help.

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Michelle Obama to campaign in Wisconsin for Burke, Chris Christie to campaign for WalkerSubmitted: 09/22/2014

WISCONSIN - Michelle Obama is coming to Milwaukee next week to campaign for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke.

The visit on Sept. 29 comes the same day that Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is to be campaigning across the state in Hudson, near the Minnesota border, for Gov. Scott Walker.

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Liberal group says Wisconsin voters can't get IDsSubmitted: 09/22/2014

MADISON - A liberal group is telling federal judges that Wisconsin driver's license offices aren't open enough to produce enough IDs for would-be voters before the Nov. 4 election.

The law has been dormant since February 2012 pending legal challenges. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, however, reinstated the photo ID requirement Sept. 12 while it ponders the merits of arguments against the law.

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Woman accused of driving drunk with kids in the carSubmitted: 09/22/2014

MARATHON COUNTY - Police accuse a woman in Marathon County of driving drunk with kids in the car.

A Wausau trooper from Wisconsin State Patrol arrested 35 year old Jessica Poetsch from Waukesha for her 4th OWI. It happened Sunday night, around 8 in the evening. There were 2 children in the car at the time of her arrest.

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