RHINELANDER - The Marathon-Oneida Bomb Squad takes action only once in a while.
But it's often involved in the most critical situations in the Northwoods.
The squad serves 28 counties across the northern part of the state.
It's often on the scene for not only bomb threats, but also hazardous spills, hostage situations, and other dangerous assignments.
"There are other threats to our communities beyond what we always had visualized in the past, and this is a response to that," says Lt. Chad Billeb of the Marathon County Sheriff's Department.
A critical team member of the bomb squad isn't a person - it's a $400,000 robot.
The robot is remote controlled, and can see, hear, and even speak through a microphone.
"What the robot does is it allows emergency responders, not just law enforcement but firefighters, hazardous materials teams, to go in and check out a scene or a situation without risking human life," Billeb says.
Dep. Dan Semmerling Oneida County Sheriff's Department Â»
"The safety there is, we're sending a machine down where we can stay remote, operate that, and stay at a safe distance," says Oneida County Deputy Dan Semmerling.
But the bomb squad is much more than just the robot.
MERRILL - When you think of movies you probably think of Hollywood, but one man from Northcentral Wisconsin is bringing his feature film to the local screen.
Wausau’s Jarrod Crooks not only makes movies, but he also stars in them.
His latest film, "Dispatched" is based off the Elvis Presley movie, “Girl Happy,” says filmmaker Jarrod Crooks. “My character Jake is sent to go watch my bosses daughter while she’s on vacation with a friend. Then an old enemy is kind of after him while he’s on vacation, so some things happen.”
Crooks made, "Dispatched" on a $5,000 budget and it’s full of romance, action, and comedy.
“My buddy would joke with me, ‘why don’t you just pick one genre man and then just go with it'," says Crooks. "I’m like because I want to make this movie how I want to make It'." "I actually like romantic comedies, I think they’re kind of fun, and I think they’re cute. I like action films because I’m a guy, and I like comedy because Jim Carey is great.”
Crooks is only 28 and has already made 4 feature films. His passion started when he was 12 years old.
“I went over to my friend’s house and he had a video camera. I was like oh we should make a movie, and at that time I was really into, “Wishbone,” says Crooks.
“We’d always remake our own literature pieces. Then I saw my first Jackie Chan movie and I’m like, alright it’s settled we’re doing action films from now on," says Crooks. “From then on it was just a love affair with the filmmaking.”
His latest film will be shown at the Cosmo Theatre in Merrill on Saturday at 5pm.
“The fact that I’m bringing it to central Wisconsin is great because this is where I grew up," says Crooks. "All my family and friends get to see it, so I’m very excited about that and you get to see yourself on the big screen what’s better than that.”
Wisconsin court to decide on testing drunk drivers
MADISON - The Wisconsin Supreme Court is set to decide whether police can legally draw suspected drunken drivers' blood without a warrant or driver consent.
The court said it would hear three drunken driving cases, two of which involved a homicide. That announcement came nearly a year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a Missouri case that could call into question Wisconsin's law.
Wisconsin since 1993 has granted police authority to draw drunken driving suspects' blood without a warrant or consent.
About 5,000 people refused to comply with police tests in 2011 and 2012.
The eventual rulings in the three cases are expected to clarify how law enforcement can gather evidence in some Wisconsin drunken driving cases.
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