NEWS STORIES

Merrill Public Safety Training Center reopens two years after tornadoSubmitted: 04/24/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com

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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
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 11/20/2014

- We'll show you how the loss of one event in the Rhinelander area has opened the door for a new one downtown.

- A central Wisconsin paper mill will transition to international ownership after being owned by an American company.

- And hundreds of kids in third world countries will get to open a Christmas gift this year. It's all thanks to people who donate a shoebox filled with supplies for kids. The boxes are part of a world-wide organization called Operation Christmas Child. Newswatch 12's Karolina Buczek went to the Rock Mission Center in Eagle River where volunteers are collecting boxes filled with toys, toothbrushes, and hope.

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

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Wisconsin mom accused of damaging son's earsSubmitted: 11/20/2014

MILWAUKEE - A 26-year-old Fond du Lac woman is charged with felony child abuse after she was caught on video jamming cotton swabs into her son's ears, causing them to bleed.

According to the complaint, Jenna Schumacher took her 15-month-old son to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin for treatment of chronic ear bleeding and perforated eardrums.

The complaint says doctors found no medical reason for the ear injuries, but discovered a piece of a cotton swab in the boy's ear.

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Bus driver cited for deadly crashSubmitted: 11/20/2014

SHAWANO COUNTY - A citation against a school bus driver claims his failure to yield at a stop sign caused a deadly crash in Shawano County.

75 year old James Mueller has been cited in a crash near Pulaski that killed one woman and injured members of a high school volleyball team.

A report from the Shawano County Sheriff's Department shows Mueller was cited for failure to yield at a stop sign -- resulting in death. He was also cited for causing injuries.

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Feds had fish shop in U.P. during undercover probeSubmitted: 11/20/2014

L'ANSE, MI - Agents working undercover ran a fish business in Michigan's Upper Peninsula while investigating illegal catches of lake trout.

The disclosure is in a document unsealed in Marquette federal court.

Since 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it's been investigating illegal catches of lake trout in the upper Great Lakes. The population has been affected by sea lampreys and excessive fishing.

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New projects for Lakeland AirportSubmitted: 11/19/2014

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ARBOR VITAE - The Lakeland Airport could see big changes in the next few years. That could include a make-over to their entire runway. The airport managers finished building their new maintenance building two weeks ago. The building cost more than $500,000 and that cost could mean fewer projects in the near future.

"Every year the airport receives $150,000 in federal money in what's called our entitlement money," explained Lakeland Airport Administrator Jon Schmitz. "So we used up every cent we had up to 2014 for the maintenance building. You can only retain it for three years, so you use it or lose it."

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High school students play role in hair product education videoSubmitted: 11/19/2014

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MERRILL - You might not think of Merrill when it comes to hair products, but a salon in the town sells more of a brand than any competing salon in the U.S., according to Cost Cutters Family Hair Salon Vice President/Co-Owner Thomas Christensen.

Stylists at Cost Cutters in Merrill can take credit for selling so much of the Piranha X brand. The company uses stylists and marketing to target young men.

"You got to speak their language, and so we really want to do that make sure that is important," Piranha X CEO Michael Vincent said. "And we want to do it with credibility so we are just not posing, we're actually really a part of that lifestyle."

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Chequamegon-Nicolet trails need workSubmitted: 11/19/2014

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NORTHWOODS - You may need to wait a little longer to go cross-country skiing on certain trails. Trails in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest are packed with snow, but they're not ready for skiers just yet.

"We found with the ground so warm, that all of the snow that we received in the last week really packed down to very little of a base," explained Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest Lands and Recreation Program Manager Jeff Mell. "We're really waiting for that base to build up where we can put a track on top of it at this time."

The trails are still open for hiking and snow-shoeing, but motorized trails won't be open until December. Forest Service leaders want people to be careful out on the hiking trails this weekend and the week following. The lands and recreation manager explains that most times, winter activities and firearm season don't overlap.

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