MERRILL - Merrill firefighters will soon call a new facility home.
Construction on the new fire station is almost complete.
The building will be ready January 31st.
The fire department will move in the following week.
The department is looking forward to the move.
The old fire station was built in 1915.
It had plumbing and electrical issues.
"To expect the people who take care of our lives and property, these are our firemen and paramedics, to have them live in a less than adequate situation, it was asking a bit much of them," said City of Merrill Administrator Dave Johnson.
The new, state-of-the-art fire station cost $3.5 million.
It will also house new equipment.
"A local foundation donated 2 new fire trucks because they thought that we should have nice, shiny, new equipment up to date to go into our nice, shiny, new fire station," said Johnson.
The fire department will host a dedication ceremony on February 6th.
WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling received a record number of phone calls to the helpline in 2014â€"14,731 to be exact. This is a 5.6 percent increase from calls received in 2013.
Some of the callers reported having to file for bankruptcy or having thoughts of suicide. The report from the Council also calculated $47,000 as the average gambling debt of callers in 2014, and $20,000 as the median debt.
PHILLIPS - The Price County Sheriff's Office wants to find out what it needs to do to get a K-9 officer. Sheriff Brian Schmidt believes a new dog would improve the office's ability to find drugs.
The county doesn't have its own K-9 officer. However, they do turn to other departments for help.
"What we would utilize is surrounding counties, and it is at their discretion," Schmidt said. "Like Rhinelander, we utilize their dog on occasion, maybe once or twice a year. But again, it is their dog, so they have their needs come first. So if we have our own equipment, our needs are met with our equipment."
VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County finally got what it wanted. For fifteen years, the county had needed someone to act as a full-time Recreational Officer--someone to monitor public safety on the snowmobile and ATV trails as well as the lakes and rivers. Now, Vilas County Deputy Sheriff Randy Schneider will fill that role.
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