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Construction and Lawsuit Move ForwardSubmitted: 05/16/2013
Story By Lex Gray

Construction and Lawsuit Move Forward
MERRILL - Major road construction near Merrill moved forward this week, and so did a legal battle from a local business owner trying to stop it.

Construction at Highway 51 and County Road C began three days ago.

Raj Bhandari owns the Citgo gas station at the intersection.

He says business has already slowed down and will eventually stop.

The state DOT's plan to build an overpass would cut off access to Bhandari's gas station.

Bhandari filed a suit in federal court late last month.

He says Wisconsin planned to use federal funds until he protested.

Then the DOT switched to state funds, which it wasn't allowed to do.

On May 8, a judge denied the state's motion to dismiss the case.

A hearing is scheduled for May 31.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 10/19/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

Merrill Police are looking into several acts of vandalism that happened earlier this week. We talk to the police captain and a man whose garage was vandalized.

And we introduce you to a woman in the Rhinelander area who keeps an eye on homes of people who are gone for the winter to make sure they're safe.

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

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RHINELANDER - One Rhinelander man's love for drumming started in 6th grade.

That passion led him to start making his own drums.

Northland Music Center owner Will Roffers recently started hand-building custom snare drums.

Some of the shells he works with are pre-made, but his "stave" shells are shaped and sanded.

He used to build and race stock cars, so he knew how to weld and mold, but drum making was a bit more challenging.

"Working with wood is tough for me. You cut something wrong and there's not putting it back together ," says Will.

Will eventually wants to hand-build snare drums to sell to the public.

In the meantime, he restores and customizes sets for customers.

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MADISON - The Senate judiciary committee is set to vote on four bills that would impose tougher drunken driving penalties.

The Republican proposals would create a five-year minimum prison sentence for homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and raise the minimum incarceration period for fifth and sixth offenses from six months to 18 months.

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APPLETON - At about 100 feet when fully extended, climbing to the top of the Merrill Fire Department's new ladder truck isn't for the faint of heart.

"It's a pretty cool feeling," firefighter Rick Sparks said.

But both standing 100 feet in the air and flat on the ground, Sparks was happy to look at his new truck from all sides.

"From the first ideas of a new ladder to seeing it here today and being able to go up on that platform was pretty neat," Sparks said.

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ANTIGO - You won't find any pesticide sprays at one Antigo apple orchard, but you will find pigs.

Grandview Orchard and Nursery Stock sits on the highest point in Langlade County.

Lisa Rettinger bought the orchard two years ago with the plan to manage it naturally.

She's still in the transition process of going organic, but she doesn't use chemical pesticides.

Orchard pigs do some grazing and eat wind-fallen apples.

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RHINELANDER - Dixie Mathews doesn't have the biggest frame or biggest car, but her heart and trunk are full of love this week.

"This is just part of who we are," Mathews said.

Wednesday morning, Mathews and a handful of First United Methodist church members loaded up cleaning supplies and personal items into the back of her SUV in Rhinelander.  Dixie and the supplies are headed for a relief item distribution center in central Illinois.

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COLEMAN - Authorities have arrested a suspect in a threat that shut down a school in Coleman.

The 24-year-old Coleman man is accused of making a threat that prompted the evacuation of the school and the cancellation of classes Monday. The Marinette County Sheriff's Office didn't say what the threat was.

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