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Equipment Purchase Helps with Backwoods RescuesSubmitted: 03/19/2013
Story By Lex Gray

Equipment Purchase Helps with Backwoods Rescues
RHINELANDER - The extra snow means extra, late-season snowmobiling.

In Arbor Vitae, this year has been a little safer than years past.

The Arbor Vitae Fire Department bought a John Deere Gator. They've been using it since mid-December.

The Gator can easily climb snow banks and drive through deep snow.

It will help rescuers reach people faster, even if they're deep in the woods.

"We have miles and miles of snowmobile trails up here, accidents can happen anywhere from one mile off of a highway up to about 20 miles off into the woods," said first responder Ben Woynich. "Vehicles like this give us the accessibility, give us safety and comfort on the way out there, we have great communication abilities with it."

Rescue Chief Stan Lewis used the gator to save a man's life in February.

A snowmobiler rolled into a ravine, and his sled landed on top of him while he was driving about a mile and a half off Highway 70.

It took the department just 20 minutes to reach him after they got the call.

"I was definitely glad, all the time and effort putting into researching and finding out what machine we wanted, and what we wanted the bed to look like," Lewis said. "It made me happy to finally use it and see that it does work and that we're able to use it in practical situations."

The gator cost $30,000. The department used money they get from responding to crashes on state highways.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/23/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll show you what happened in the trial for a man accused of three felonies tied to an alleged attempted armed robbery and shooting in 2011 near Three Lakes.

In light of recent arrests, the Eagle River Police Department is teaming up with an organization dedicated to fighting human trafficking. We'll tell you about an upcoming event the two groups are hosting to discuss the topic with the public.

And we'll tell you why it's important to make sure your mail carrier has a clear path through the snow to your mailbox.

We'll bring you this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.


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MADISON - A person who hits age 15 might soon be able to work as a lifeguard in Wisconsin.

The state Senate considers a bill to allow it Tuesday.

Current rules prohibit those ages 14 and 15 from working as lifeguards.

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MADISON - The Senate will put the finishing touches on a bill to help Wisconsin homeowners cover the cost of replacing lead pipes.

It would let public water utilities and local governments provide grants and loans to property owners.

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MADISON - The Wisconsin Senate has rejected confirmation of the leaders of the Elections and Ethics commission, despite unanimous bipartisan support from the boards that hired them.

The Senate voted 18-13 Tuesday against confirming Elections administrator Michael Haas and Ethics administrator Brian Bell.

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RHINELANDER - The Oneida County Sheriff says that being in jail is a constant battle with boredom. Inmates can watch TV, play cards, and message their families but that's about it. Now, thanks to a new program, inmates can work towards getting a high school education.

The Oneida County jail recently paired up with Nicolet Technical College to create a GED certification program for some of its inmates. The program is designed to set inmates up for success once they are released from jail.

A teacher from Nicolet College comes to the jail four times a week for about an hour to teach nine state inmates. Although the program is open to county and state inmates, there are only state inmates involved at this time.

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Heavy snow great for ski slopesSubmitted: 01/22/2018

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WAUSAU - Heavy snowfall may make for bad road conditions, but it makes for great ski slopes.

Granite Peak Ski Area in Rib Mountain hasn't needed to make artificial snow since December 31.

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EAGLE RIVER - Even with the snow falling down Monday, some people can't take a snow day.

Taxi drivers in the Northwoods can help people who can't drive make it to doctor's appointments, grocery stores and even lend a hand when their car breaks down.

Eagle River Taxi Service driver Kurt Schels says the snow is just another part of his job.

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