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NEWS STORIES

Economic Development the Goal of Better CoverageSubmitted: 04/03/2013
Story By Lex Gray

THREE LAKES - Three Lakes wants to bring more people to their town.

The draw is great technology.

That's the philosophy behind the town's push to provide high speed internet and cell phone coverage to all of its residents.

Town chairman Don Sidlowski has been working toward that goal for five years.

He hopes that better access will bring in more permanent residents.

"If you want to not only survive but thrive in the 21st century, you have to give people access to the tools they need, and that comes through the internet," Sidlowski said. "In order to have all the benefits of the city, you need access to that high speed internet."

Internet and cell phone coverage are a major part of what Sidlowski calls the "Three Lakes Model."

It's his plan for economic development - but it's not just for the benefit of future residents.

"The other part of it is because your citizens just deserve it," Sidlowski said. "They need to have the same kind of access that people can have from other places in the big cities, and that's really the underpinning for putting this technology into place."

Wisconsin Rural Partners awarded Three Lakes for their development of the network.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/28/2015

- Railroads across Wisconsin could start fining people who walk along railroad tracks. It's an effort to save lives after one of the most deadly years in the state's travel history. Eight people died in train-involved deaths in 2014. Newswatch 12's Karolina Buczek went to the Tomahawk Railway to find out why there are so many accidents and what can be done to stop them.

- Police departments can use social media to help their communities. But if it's used the wrong way it could be dangerous. A traffic app called Waze can be used to warn other drivers about where police are in the area. But some officers are worried it could be used to target police. Newswatch 12s Kaitlyn Howe will have more from a Northcentral Wisconsin police chief about how he feels about the app.

- And find out about the "Snow Days Sweepstakes" put on by the Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce.

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

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WASHINGTON, DC - The director of the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Tomah says he had already taken steps to address reports of overmedication of patients before federal officials announced a review of prescription practices at the Wisconsin facility.

Tomah VA director Mario DeSanctis says his staff began looking into the unusually high rate of opiate prescriptions in 2012. In an interview with the La Crosse Tribune (http://bit.ly/1BxJtoY ) this week, DeSanctis says steps to institute solutions to the problem have already been taken.

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TOMAHAWK - Railroads across Wisconsin have started fining people who walk along railroad tracks. The policy changed in an effort to save lives after one of the most deadly years in the state's travel history.

Eight people died in train-involved deaths in 2014, six more than in 2013. And 2015 already saw its first train-related death when a Milwaukee man was hit and killed on January 2.

Railroad experts say many accidents happen because trains can't stop fast enough.

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LANSING, MI - People will eventually be able to hike or bike from Ironwood, Michigan all the way to Belle Isle Park in Detroit.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced the plans for the trail in 2012, and just this week, the trail got its name. It will be called the Iron Belle Trail.

The Michigan DNR held a three-week trail naming contest this past fall. It got nearly 9,000 entries.

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Prep your trees this winterSubmitted: 01/28/2015

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NORTHWOODS - Caring for your trees now could help keep forest healthier this spring and summer. Tree experts say that pruning during the winter poses less risk to your trees than during spring or summer. It will also help the tree maintain growth come spring.

"Folks are going to prune trees, it should be restricted to that period in which trees are dormant," said Steigerwaldt Analysis Operations Director Forrest Gibeault. "That dormancy period essentially is the same time when insects are very inactive and fungal disease is not going to spread."

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Ford recalls 220,000 vehiclesSubmitted: 01/28/2015

NATIONWIDE - Ford announced on Wednesday it's recalling 220,000 cars for safety reasons.

But one local dealer Newswatch 12 spoke with says car owners likely won't be able to get their cars fixed until March.

That's because Ford needs to make the part to fix one of the issues and then send it to the dealers. Ford told the dealer Newswatch 12 spoke with that the parts won't be delivered until March.

The company is recalling certain 2010 to 2013 Ford Taurus, Lincoln MKS, and Ford Police Interceptor sedans.

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MERRILL - A social media app with over 50 million users could be dangerous to local police departments.

The app, called Waze, was designed to allow drivers to alert others about traffic jams and other problems on the road. But some people worry the app could be used to target police.

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