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Merrill Public Safety Training Center reopens two years after tornadoSubmitted: 04/24/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Merrill Public Safety Training Center reopens two years after tornado
MERRILL - Merrill's April 2011 tornado - ironically enough - flattened a campus that trained emergency workers and law enforcement.

Two years later, the Northcentral Technical College Public Safety Center is rebuilt.

It now offers an even higher level of training - with some of the coolest features around.

The new Public Safety Center will put what it offers against any training center in the state.

On Wednesday, we got our first look at the extensive Emergency Village and learning buildings that make up the NTC Merrill campus.

"I want you to know it's the only one in the entire technical college system. We have a unique opportunity to do some training that no other technical college has the opportunity to do - to put Merrill on the map," NTC President Dr. Lori Weyers told a crowd of over a hundred at the ribbon cutting.

Learners in fire, EMS, and criminal justice can use realistic scenarios to apply their classroom instruction.

But the Center's offerings aren't only targeted at NTC students.

The Merrill area community can take advantage as well.

"We'll be able to offer training for brand-new drivers, like a 16-year-old driver learning to do skid recovery, or for a person with a concealed carry permit, perhaps they want to learn how to use force and make decisions about use of force. In addition to just the public safety community that's out there, we'll offer a lot of classes that the general public will be able to enjoy," says NTC Dean of Public Safety Bryce Kolpack.

The Center plans to have almost 11,000 people use its services for learning every year.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

HAZELHURST -
You'll get the chance to catch a variety of theater shows this summer in Hazelhurst.

Tommy O's Playhouse kicks off its summer season Wednesday.

There is a wide mix of shows this year from an old-time country music show to plays written by locals.

"We try to revolve all of our shows within a week or so that if people are up here they can come see one show, then see another show," says Tommy Organiscak.

There are many new cast members this year.

One of them is Luke Funk all the way from New York City.

"Part of the reason why I wanted to come up here is because it's such a challenge to do the 'rep' theater, especially because I am doing four of the eight shows here," says Luke Funk.

Tommy O's Playhouse is one of just four revolving repertory theaters in the country.

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