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NEWS STORIES

Bomb Squad Keeps Northwoods SafeSubmitted: 12/12/2012

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com

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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 ยป

"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.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 11/28/2014

- People in the Northwoods didn't let the chillier temperatures stop them from heading out for Black Friday this morning.

- Kids in Eagle River got a special treat at the Northwoods Children's Museum. The museum brought in two live turkeys for their annual Turkey and Traditions event. Every November, two turkeys are brought in to help teach kids about where their Thanksgiving meal comes from. Hear about the importance of the program coming up on Newswatch 12 tonight.

- If you're not in the Christmas spirit yet, a local model train show can help transport you to Santa's Village.

- And homemade pizzas turn into more than sauce and dough at one Eagle River household. We'll meet Gary Anderson tonight on Newswatch 12 and tell you how his pizza making turned into a fundraising tool to help people in the Northwoods.

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

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Funeral set for 3 children who died in U.P. crashSubmitted: 11/28/2014

DAGGETT, MI - A funeral has been scheduled for the three children killed in a weather-related crash in the Upper Peninsula.

TV station WBUP-WBKP reports (http://bit.ly/1vpSGy8 ) the funeral for Michael, Maxwell and Joelle McCue is set for Sunday at the Carney Free Church in the Menominee County community of Carney. The children ages 11 to 14 died Monday after their van smashed into a semi-truck on snowy U.S. 41 near Daggett.

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Lead found in City of Wausau drinking waterSubmitted: 11/27/2014

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WAUSAU - Wausau Water Works recently found elevated levels of lead in drinking water.

Now they're asking homeowners to be cautious when using that water.

The city stopped installing lead service lines in 1965.

They stopped using lead solder in 1986.

Today most pipes are made of either copper or plastic.

Any home with lead service lines could have lead in its water.

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Friendship House provides free Thanksgiving meal for the communitySubmitted: 11/27/2014

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RHINELANDER - Many local businesses want to pay it forward this Thanksgiving. That includes Friendship House in Rhinelander.

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Rhinelander residents can give input on city's futureSubmitted: 11/27/2014

RHINELANDER - People living in Rhinelander will find something extra with their tax bills this year.

They'll get a survey.

Cities are required by law to create a comprehensive plan.

They create a new plan every decade.

City leaders hope the survey results will help them plan for the city's future.

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Madison police question benefits of body camerasSubmitted: 11/27/2014

MADISON - As a growing number of police departments nationwide equip officers with body-worn cameras, Madison police are issuing a report that questions some benefits of the devices.

Police plan to present the report to the Madison City Council on Tuesday.

The report notes that studies have shown departments that use the cameras have seen fewer citizen complaints. But it also says more research is needed to see if the cameras actually bolster trust in officers.

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Bundle Up program aims to keep families warm; how you can helpSubmitted: 11/27/2014

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RHINELANDER - You can help families stay warm this winter by donating your extra winter clothing to the Big Bundle Up Campaign. Tourism groups across Wisconsin are looking for mittens, scarves, coats, and other winter gear.

"Those would be really helpful for a lot of people in the area," Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dana DeMet said. "And I think the biggest challenge in the Northwoods is that it's just not as visible, so it's a little harder sometimes to garner that support if you are not faced with it on the streets every day."

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