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NEWS STORIES

New Cell Phone LawSubmitted: 11/01/2012

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WISCONSIN - Teens in Wisconsin now have one more reason to put down the cell phone when they get behind the wheel.

The law is written to stop drivers with an instruction permit or probationary license from using their phone, unless it's an emergency.

Sergeant Rich Reichenberger of the State Patrol, says, "Basically it's new drivers. Anyone, if you get your license at the age of 16, it extends out at least until you're 19-years-old. That also effects new drivers to the state who have been on a probationary license in another state. Also, drivers from another country as well."

You can still use the phone if you pull over to the side of the road and turn on your flashers, but the goal is to keep drivers focused on the task at hand, the road, Reichenberger says, "Basically the law is in effect because, as being a new driver, there's a lot of things going on that you have to get used to. Your attention is divided anyway, watching other vehicles and things like that. Adding that cell phone and talking on the cell phone, you get kind of caught up in your conversation."

As a reminder no one of any age or with any license is allowed to text and drive.

Wisconsin ranks among the highest in the nation for fatal accidents involving young people and police hope this will drive us towards zero deaths in Wisconsin.

Story By: Michael Crusan

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Record breaking snowfall knocks the power out Submitted: 04/17/2014

RHINELANDER - Our record breaking snow storm left more than 6,000 people across the Northwoods without power.

WPS had to rely on 20 extra crews from Green Bay, Wausau and Menominee to get the job done.

But getting to the outages was a challenge.

A representative for WPS says workers are expected even more outages to be reported.

"Not all of the back roads are plowed yet and that's where a lot of outages are located," said Leah Van Zile, WPS Community Relations leader. "Throughout the day as the temperatures warm, we expect to receive additional calls due to the unloading of snow off of the tree branches."

Eagle River had one of the highest number of customers affected by the outages.

Representatives for WPS say this was one of the hardest winters they've had to deal with.

"We've had some really really severe wind chills which has really made the temperatures below zero. Typically, only in emergencies do we work in those conditions," said Van Zile. "But pretty much any other time, whether it's a rain storm, a snow storm, a wind storm, our guys are out there working, getting that power back on."

The number of outages dropped below 4,000 since earlier today.

If you're still without power to call 1800-450-7240.

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Rhinelander food pantry volunteers Submitted: 04/17/2014

RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Area Food Pantry relies heavily on volunteers. Here is a look inside the operation.

(Click the video to watch)

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Asian Lady Beetles come out after winteringSubmitted: 04/17/2014

ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Do bugs seem to be everywhere in your home, even though there's snow outside? One type of bug in Wisconsin spends the winter inside our houses! They look like Lady Bugs, but they are actually not native to this country.

"They're actually called a multi-colored Asian Lady Beetle. They can be anywhere from a pale yellow to a darker orange and they have black spots on them but you'll see some that don't have spots," says Kerri Ison, UW Oneida County Extension.

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New suit filed over gay marriage banSubmitted: 04/17/2014

MADISON - A same-sex couple wants the Wisconsin Supreme Court to strike down the state's gay marriage ban.

The couple filed a lawsuit directly with the high court Wednesday, bypassing the trial and appellate courts.

The lawsuit says the pair lives in Milwaukee County and married in San Diego.

They claim Wisconsin's gay marriage ban denies them federal rights afforded to opposite-sex married couples.

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Students could move to high school earlier Submitted: 04/16/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - A Northwoods school district could move students to middle and high school earlier than usual.

The Northland Pines school district is considering moving 5th graders to the middle school.

They might also move 7th and 8th graders to the high school.

If passed, the plan would take place in two phases over the next two school years.

The first phase would move 5th graders from Land O' Lakes and St. Germain Elementary schools to Eagle River Elementary starting during the 2014-2015 school year.

The school hopes this would improve students' education.

5th graders at Land O' Lakes and St. Germain Elementary schools have one 5th grader teacher teaching all subjects.

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Meet Minocqua's newly appointed Chief of Police Submitted: 04/16/2014

MINOCQUA - The Minocqua police department could have a new police chief in early May. David Jeager has been the acting chief of police since October.

He will undergo a background check, drug screening, and psychological exam before he is named the current chief of police. He would be replacing former Police Chief Andy Gee. Jeager is excited about what the future may bring.

"I'm extremely excited," says Minocqua acting Police Chief David Jeager. "I believe that this department has great potential and we have a great group of people working for this department,” says Jeager.

“We have great officers, we have great dispatchers, we have great administration.I feel that we can really provide a service to this community that's second to none,” says Jeager.

Jeager has worked in law enforcement for more than 20 years. He's worked at the Minocqua Police Department for 6 years.

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Rare opportunity; old Rhinelander pictures shown Submitted: 04/16/2014

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RHINELANDER - You can find historical pictures of Rhinelander at a library or at a museum.

But there are some pictures people haven't see in more than a decade.

Those pictures were released Thursday.

The Rhinelander Historical Society showed old pictures of Rhinelander at ArtStart Thursday night.

More than 50 people saw what Rhinelander looked like in the late 1800's and early 1900's.

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