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NEWS STORIES

New canine unit making drug crimes more difficult in TomahawkSubmitted: 06/14/2013

TOMAHAWK - The Tomahawk Police Department saw some major staffing changes in the past year. There's a new police chief, and it got its first non-human member.

The department launched a major crackdown on drug crimes in the area. Now, that newest member has hit the streets to help them out.

Meet Vali, Tomahawk's new drug dog. Vali and her partner Officer Ryan Picl have only been on the job together for two weeks. But in that short time, Vali already shows major promise.

"We've deployed her six times on cars and she's alerted on every one of them. And items have been found inside each car," says Picl.

Vali isn't a patrol dog. That means she doesn't chase and bring down suspects. But she can track people, and she's trained to find all kinds of drugs.

"She's trained for marijuana, coke, methamphetamine, opiate base like heroin and amphetamines," says Picl.

For the canine handler, it's a 24 hour a day, seven day a week commitment. Chief Al Elvins says Picl is the right man for the job.

"Ryan's got a drive and he's able to be aggressive without showing an aggressive nature to people. If he knows that his job is to go out there and make the street safer that's what he's going to do rain, shine, day or night," says Chief Elvins.

The duo will be instrumental in the department's effort to make it harder for people to bring drugs into the community. The drug crackdown has already been successful. In past years, the most drug cases Tomahawk police have had was 84. This year, they've already reached 101, and it's only June.

"We're getting a lot of kudos, but it's nothing I've done. The only thing that I've done in this department is taken the handcuffs off the officers and told them to do their job," says Chief Elvins.

The police have another partner: the community.

"The Animal Clinic of Tomahawk, Dr. Julie has gone above and beyond for us. She's given us all her services for free. One vendor that she had gave us food for life so it's absolutely no cost to the taxpayers," says ," says Chief Elvins.

If people keep contributing the way they have been, there will be enough in the canine fund to bring another dog onto the force when Vali retires.

You can contribute to the canine fund by contacting the Tomahawk Police Department.



Story By: Lyndsey Stemm

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 07/25/2014

- A new jobs plan from Democratic candidate for Governor Mary Burke focuses on what she hopes to do to improve rural areas in the Northwoods. Coming up on Newswatch 12 tonight find out her goals and hear why political analysts believe forestry and timber was left out of the plan.

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- And fur trapping is still very much a part of the lives of people in the Great Lakes region. For many, it's their livelihood. Newswatch 12's Ben Meyer visited the National Trappers Convention in Escanaba this week to bring you more.

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

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Summer temperatures impact local toy salesSubmitted: 07/25/2014

RHINELANDER AND MINOCQUA - Summer gets us outside playing games on the lake or in the yard, but with cooler temperatures this year, trips to the lake may not be as popular.

That impacts certain businesses in a good way. Imaginuity toys stores in Minocqua and Rhinelander have noticed a difference in the toys they've sold this summer.

"We're definitely getting a lot more traffic with the cooler temperatures. A lot more people in the door, which we're loving. We are seeing a lot more people buying more project based items. They're buying a lot of the active play but not so much the water active," said Jessica Hatch, Store Manager.

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More than 50 boats featured in weekend boat showSubmitted: 07/25/2014

MINOCQUA - Many people enjoy boating during the summer months.

This weekend you can check out the beauty and workmanship of antique boats in Minocqua. More than 50 boats will be on hand for the 22nd Antique and Classic Wooden Boat Show. The event is free to the public and features classics from the early 1920's to the 1960's. It will kick off tonight with a boat parade before the Min-Aqua Bat waterski show... and continues all weekend on the docks of The Boathouse Restaurant.

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Garden tour Saturday to raise money for hospiceSubmitted: 07/25/2014

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The Master Gardeners of the North and Ministry Hospice will host a garden tour Saturday, July 26th. People will get to tour six gardens in Rhinelander's historic courthouse neighborhood.

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Wisconsin leads nation in producing mink peltsSubmitted: 07/25/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin leads the nation in the production of mink pelts.

Some of those pelts come from the northwoods, with mink farms in the Tomahawk and Irma areas.

The state accounted for one in three U.S. pelts last year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Wisconsin produced 1.13 million mink pelts last year.

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Police: Man kills himself after shooting at police during car chase Submitted: 07/24/2014

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A person called the sheriff's office just before 3 p.m. saying they were in their car, getting shot at by a person in a black Chevy Tahoe.

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Program focuses on possible climate change in the Northwoods Submitted: 07/24/2014

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NORTHWOODS - A warming climate could challenge many of the plants and animals that live in the Northwoods.

People in Boulder Junction learned about some of those risks at the Community Center Thursday night.

The speaker says even though we've had harsh winters these past two years, the lack of ice in the long term could impact fish, evaporation rate and skiing.

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