TOMAHAWK - A Northwoods restaurant gave all of today's profits to emergency responders. Tomahawk's bravest served customers at Tomahawk Family Restaurant. The restaurant was busy with customers through the lunch hour. People came in to eat and meet the fire and police crews. Restaurant owner Benny Shabani is donating all of today's profits to the fire and police departments.
"This is the first year, first time and I am hoping to do it every year, just to help them," says Shabani.
Both customers and the departments enjoyed the day.
"I think it's a fun event. It gives us a chance to talk to the public," says John Peeters, Tomahawk Fire Chief.
"We had to come today just to support our wonderful Police Department and Fire Department. They are a bunch of great guys and hard working guys," says Dede, a regular customer.
The money will be split between the fire and police departments. Both departments have plans on how to use the funding. The fire department plans to use the funds to take to the water.
"For us, on the fire side of it, we're going to be looking at a new rescue boat. We've got ten divers on the fire department and our rescue boat is 35 years old. So we're looking at updating the rescue boat and the equipment in that rescue boat," says Peeters.
Meanwhile, the police department wants to add more members to their service. They hope to start a canine unit with the money.
"A canine unit is a rather expensive venture and any money that we can get to put us closer to the unit being deployed is awesome. Any help we can get is appreciated," says Al Elvins, Tomahawk Chief Police Officer.
EAGLE RIVER - Snowmobile trails open at 6 p.m. in most of Vilas County.
Local businesses that cater to snowmobilers look forward to a successful season.
The trails already have a lot more snow than they did last year at this time.
"Anytime you bring people to the Northwoods, whether it's just the snowmobilers, it's not only helping our business, it helps everybody. They bring family up so they'll go to the Children's Museum, or the downtown and restaraunts. They utilize all the area businesses," said Greg Cook from Track Side in Eagle River.
RHINELANDER - When you’re celebrating the holidays that often means drinking.
Because of that, there are more alcohol-related accidents and deaths this time of year.
But the Oneida County Sheriff’s office wants to prevent as many as accidents as it can.
The Booze and Belts campaign runs through December 21. The campaign is part of the OWI enforcement grant the sheriff's office received in October.
Throughout the campaign, you’ll see three extra squads on patrol looking out for drunk drivers and people who are not wearing their seat belts.
Lloyd Gauthier, Oneida County Patrol lieutenant, says it's all about making the right choices after you've been drinking.
"We really want people to come and enjoy the holiday season, it's Christmas time here in the Northwoods. Whether it's a family coming to one of the resorts that we have here in the area, or just enjoying the different things that we offer," said Gauthier." "We just want people to make good decisions. And you realize that if you don't make good decision, that can affect other people."
Booze and Belts is a statewide program.
It puts more officers on the streets before the holidays.
The Department of Transportation reports that's when the most accidents happen. Lieutenant Gauthier says your choices can have a range of impact.
Gauthier thinks that's because of early celebrations like office Christmas parties and private gatherings.
"Whether it's a traffic crash where you end up killing someone because you're intoxicated, or you seriously injure somebody else, a family member, or yourself," said Gauthier. "Also driving too fast, with the winter conditions roads can change rapidly."
The Sheriff's department says more officers patrolling for OWI's will keep everyone safe.
The Department of Transportation reports most accidents happen between 7pm and 3am.
Vilas county is also participating in the Booze and Belts campaign.
ACROSS WISCONSIN - Gov. Scott Walker has signed into law a Republican-sponsored bill that gives landlords more power over tenants.
The bill Walker signed privately Thursday allows landlords to dispose of any property an evicted tenant leaves behind, immediately tow parked vehicles and toss tenants out if a crime occurs on the property and the tenant was in a position to prevent it.
Democrats who opposed the measure argued that it strips tenants of their rights and limits local governments' control over property in their jurisdiction.
The bill was opposed by the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the cities of Milwaukee and Madison as well as the League of Wisconsin Municipalities and others.
RHINELANDER - People don't want their pipes to freeze this time of year. That's why the city of Rhinelander will start their water credit program on Monday.
The program allows about 400 businesses and homes to run their water 24 hours a day. That prevents pipes and sewers from freezing. The city gives them a credit on their water bill.
“If it freezes up with either have the water utility coming out here and thawing it out again,” says Joe Brauer, Rhinelander Airport Director. “It's very inconvenient it's the traveling public that uses Rhinelander flying service such like that too again we had to put porta-potties out there the first winter we went through like that and was very, very inconvenient for our customers.”
Places like the Rhinelander airport have dealt with pipes freezing in the past. Right now the frost level is 2 feet underground. This means if your pipes are buried less than 2 feet underground they could be at risk for freezing.
“When you turn the water on to keep a steady flow of water that's going through your sewer pipes and such like that so they don't freeze up, because if you don't do that what will end up happening is the frost drives down and such like that or it will freeze it up so it's very important just to have a trickle of water to have a constant flow of water going through your sewer system,” says Brauer.
The water credit program can cost the city between 50 to 100 thousand dollars.
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