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Wisconsin Tests Severe Weather PreparednessSubmitted: 04/19/2013
Story By Melissa Constanzer

WISCONSIN - It may not look anything like tornado season outside but the state still wants to make sure you'll be ready when it is. The National Weather service issued a tornado watch at 1:00 and tornado warning at 1:45 today.

"Taking these warnings and issues seriously is very important. If you do hear a tornado siren or your weather radio goes off, at least go to safety and find out what exactly is happening," says Ken Kortenhof, Oneida Emergency Management Director.

In today's world, it is important to be prepared for all types of emergencies. There are tools to help with that.

"One of the best things you can do for your family is buy a weather radio. The weather radio basically give you the information right as the National Weather Service is broadcasting it. So that's a very good tool for your family," says Ken Kortenhof.

With weather emergencies, there is some warning time to get ready. Weather forecasts can give us an idea of if something should happen during the day or night.

"The biggest thing is to be aware of the conditions. If there's a tornado watch or a severe thunderstorm watch be aware that that is, in fact, going on. That the weather conditions are right for severe weather to develop," says Ken Kortenhof.

No matter where you are, you should always have a plan for severe weather. That way you can always stay safe when the weather changes quickly.

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"I'm just happy they get to see law enforcement and [the] fire department in a positive light," said Rhinelander Police Officer Chad Brown.

 "That's all I care about."

Officer Brown started "Shop With a Cop" in Rhinelander eight years ago. 

He wanted to show kids that they always had support, not just when something was going wrong.

"It's amazing to us to interact with people when it's not a time of crisis," said Brown.

Bright and early Saturday morning, 17 kids boarded a bus. 

The kids got a tour of the police department and had breakfast with officers to get energy for a day of holiday shopping. 

"It's fun to be able to joke around and laugh because we don't get that every day," said Brown. 

8- year- old Dariyon Catchings waited for this day, ever since his brother got chosen for "Shop With a Cop" last year.

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RHINELANDER - New technology can cost a lot for schools. One elementary school just got some help from a nearby grocery store.

Gayle Daniel has been principal of Crescent Elementary School for just over a week, but she already has a lot to celebrate.

 After entering a contest for school spirit, Crescent Elementary School won $2,000 from Trigs in Rhinelander.

"Our students have a lot of spirit they also follow what we call our "Four B's," for our positive behavior intervention," said Daniel.  

"They're being safe, they're being respectful they're being responsible and they're being here."

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WOODRUFF - Gov. Scott Walker won't spend much time away from pieces of the Northwoods while in Madison this Christmas season.

The State Capitol Christmas tree came from Eagle River. Meanwhile, JJ's Acres of Woodruff decorated the outside of the Governor's Mansion with pine roping and wreaths.

The garden center also helped with holiday decorations at the mansion in 2013.

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RHIENLANDER - Nearly 200 individual clay tiles will soon cover a wall in Rhinelander's James Williams Middle School. 

When Josh Calhoun decided to have his art students start a new project, he saw a bigger picture. 

"We're one big team with a goal in mind," said Calhoun. 

"You've got [to] do this piece of the puzzle and you're a part of it."

Calhoun decided to create a mural that will hang in James Williams Middle school.

"It's something that everyone has a piece of," said Calhoun.

 "They all have to work together to make this mural."

The mural's theme is surrounded around the four seasons featuring Wisconsin animals to represent the student's home town. 

The students will work on 182 induvial tiles that will come together as one. 

'"They're all unique they're made from our classmates," said 12- year- old Haylee Connor.

To get the students ready Calhoun even had them train in the gym with team building activities.

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RHINELANDER - Several thousand people living around Rhinelander could get another high-speed internet access option. But first, Oneida County needs to figure out how to actually permit the tower.

The Town of Crescent approved building a 180-foot tower earlier in 2016.  The tower would offer high-speed internet service to most of the 2,000 people who live in the community.

Oneida County needs to approve a permit for the tower, but Town Supervisor Steve Richardson says county leaders still need to figure out what permit to use.

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