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Gov. Walker surveys northwestern Wisconsin wildfire damageSubmitted: 05/16/2013
Story By CNN

Gov. Walker surveys northwestern Wisconsin wildfire damage
DOUGLAS COUNTY - We spent the last few nights taking in the sheer destruction a massive wildfire in Northwestern Wisconsin created.

Thursday, Governor Scott Walker got a first-hand look at the damage caused by a massive wildfire.

The governor and local officials toured the damaged areas in Douglas and Bayfield counties by helicopter.

The fire scorched some 9,000 acres and destroyed 47 buildings, including at least 17 homes.

But the governor made sure to point out the number of buildings saved.

"Seventy-seven structures were saved," Walker said. "Seventy-seven structures. When you look at this from an aerial shot, when you look at the map it is phenomenal particularly when you see the ashes literally yards away from homes and properties and you realize it was the fire service there making sure and it was the DNR crews making sure that those properties were protected, it's just phenomenal."

The fire is completely out as of Thursday night.

The DNR says this is the largest fire in northern Wisconsin in 33 years.

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

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

A Crandon mother reports her sixth-grade son had a knife and gun pulled on him by another student at a high school football game. Now, she's saying she wants justice for her son. We'll bring you the details.

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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MADISON - It would be a felony to have sex with an animal in Wisconsin under a bill circulating in the Legislature.

Under current law, having sex with an animal is a misdemeanor.

Republican state Rep. Andre Jacque, of De Pere, circulated a bill Thursday to increase the penalty. He referenced a case from the Town of Eaton involving a man who faces misdemeanor charges of animal abuse after an incident in February involving a horse.

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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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RHINELANDER - Inside any large fabrication company, you'll find a lot of machinery. Those machines prompt plenty of safety measures inside Rhinelander's Charter NEX Films. 

"Safety is number one and you'll know that when you walk through our door," said Safety Coordinator Ted Towle. 

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RHINELANDER - Tammy Walters works to fight for veterans' rights and benefits every day.

The Oneida County Veterans Service Officer will now do that on an even bigger scale.

Walters was elected as the president of the County Veterans Service Officers Association of Wisconsin.

"I'm a retired Senior Chief from the Navy, so I'm used to being a leader," she said. "It was just an opportunity for me to kind of do what I did in the military and take a leadership position."

The state association closely monitors the state legislature on veterans issues. It gives input on bills and brings concerns to the attention of lawmakers.

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