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NEWS STORIES

Vilas County Sheriff Will Keep Drug Investigator Position, Even After Grant Runs OutSubmitted: 12/06/2012
Story By Matt Doyle

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EAGLE RIVER - The Vilas County Sheriff's Department feels it can't afford to lose a drug investigator position.

Grant funding runs out for the specific role on December 31st. The grant helps the department backfill positions.

Sheriff Frank Tomlanovich will continue to staff the drug investigator position because it's so important to the department.

"We can't not have this investigator," Tomlanovich said.

"Drug abuse, particularly prescription abuse, is such a problem in this county, it's a statewide problem, a national problem. Regardless of budget cuts or whatever problems we may face, we have to confront this problem."

The position is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Tribal Concerns Committee wanted to make it a permanent position but the County Board voted against it.

"There have been so many cuts in law enforcement subsidies and grants on the Federal level that it's becoming increasingly more difficult to fund these types of positions," Tomlanovich said.

Keeping this drug investigator position puts the department down one patrol deputy.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/29/2014

- Some parents think the Antigo School District's co-curricular code punishes students too harshly. Students can be banned from playing a sport or doing an extra-curricular activity if they break the code a few times. Newswatch 12's Karolina Buczek found out how the code works and why the district is standing behind it.

- People could sell Wisconsin wild ginseng root for as much as $1,000 per pound last year. Wisconsin's ginseng is known as some of the best in the world. Some believe it gives people energy and have other health benefits. It's seen an increase in popularity and demand. The state DNR wants to remind people to follow the rules during this year's wild ginseng harvest season.

- And the North Lakeland Discovery Center will welcome a new executive director. The center in Manitowish Waters focuses on connecting people with nature. That's how Azeal Meza first connected with the discovery center. Hear what opportunities he wants to fulfill at the center tonight on Newswatch 12.

We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12

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2014 numbers good for state banksSubmitted: 08/29/2014

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LAONA - Only one in twenty banks in Wisconsin lost money in the first half of 2014.

Industry leaders see that as a sign of success and progress.

Those numbers had been worse over the past few years, especially during the recession.

Wisconsin banks made about a half-billion dollars in the first six months of the year. Their total assets were above $100 billion.

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Firefighters and WPS workers work together for confined space trainingSubmitted: 08/29/2014

MERRILL - Firefighters put in a lot of work to help people in a variety of different crises.

They need to go through a lot of training to know how to do that.

The Merrill Fire Department got valuable training this week.

They got the chance to practice rescuing someone from a confined space at the hydro power plant in Merrill.

"I think it's a great opportunity for the Merrill Fire Department to partner with WPS. Anytime we can get realistic training it's very very valuable to us," says the captain in charge of training Mike Drury.

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North Lakeland Discovery Center welcomes a new executive directorSubmitted: 08/29/2014

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MANITOWISH WATERS - The North Lakeland Discovery Center will welcome a new executive director.

The center in Manitowish Waters focuses on connecting people with nature. That's how Azeal Meza first connected with the discovery center. He says he is excited to move forward as the executive director.

"I was immediately impressed with the organization," says Meza. "I have been part of the bird club for a while, and it's a nice place where I come here with my family to hike the trials, paddle, you name it."

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Gov. Walker warns Potawatomi it could lose gamesSubmitted: 08/29/2014

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker's administration has warned the Forest County Potawatomi tribe that it could lose about 2,000 slot machines if it succeeds in withholding its $25 million annual payment to the state.

The Potawatomi say they're withholding the money because the state may end up owing the tribe money if Walker approves the Menominee tribe's proposed Kenosha casino. The Potawatomi fear a Kenosha casino would significantly cut into their Milwaukee casino profits.

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Former deputy suspected of homicide due in courtSubmitted: 08/29/2014

- A former Dane County sheriff's deputy suspected of fatally shooting his wife and sister-in-law is due in court.

Andy Steele is scheduled for an appearance in Dane County Circuit Court Friday afternoon. Steele could be formally charged Friday in the deaths of 39-year-old Ashley Steele and her 38-year-old sister, Kacee Tollefsbol, of Lake Elmo Minnesota.

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Walker says GOP complacency a big concernSubmitted: 08/29/2014

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker says complacency and fatigue among Republican voters is one of his biggest concerns as he faces re-election in less than 10 weeks.

Walker addressed his concerns Friday on WTMJ-AM when asked about a poll released on Wednesday indicating that Democrats were more enthused about the upcoming election that Republicans. Walker calls that ``one of my biggest concerns.''

The Marquette University Law School poll showed the race between Walker and Democrat Mary Burke to be a dead heat, both among registered and likely voters.

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