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NEWS STORIES

Wisconsin Tests Severe Weather PreparednessSubmitted: 04/19/2013
Melissa Constanzer
Morning Meteorologist/Reporter
mconstanzer@wjfw.com

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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 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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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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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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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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RACINE - Gov. Scott Walker says he's planning trips soon to the important 2016 presidential primary states of South Carolina, Nevada and Florida.

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- More snow might not be the first item on your wish list. But it could get you a weekend getaway. As the snow piles up, so do your chances of winning a Northwoods sweepstakes.

Rhinelander's Chamber of Commerce is running the Snow Day Sweepstakes. Executive Director of Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce, Dana DeMet, said the chamber hopes the sweepstakes will offer another way for people to enjoy winter in the Northwoods. It could also help people stay excited about getting more snow this time of year.

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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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