MINOCQUA - The Minocqua-Hazelhurst-Lake Tomahawk Elementary School will upgrade its cameras and video system this summer, before students return for the fall start of the school year.
The school will be upgrading its analog system to an digital IP based video system with better video quality. MHLT Director of Technology Jay Christgau says they will help staff see what actually happens during fights or bullying situations. He says that people and faces can be blurry on their current system in certain areas.
The upgrade compares to a shift from standard to high-definition television, and will help when they might not discover a problem the day of an incident.
"(You don't find) perhaps some vandalism or something like that until a day or two afterwards," Christgau. "And if we can only identify the players by what they're wearing, we're not going to be able to be successful at it."
Leaders at the school also hope camera upgrades will provide more security, especially after a high school shooting last week in Oregon that ended with a 14-year-old and the shooter dead.
The new system will help police in the area track a person through the school or through the parking lots if needed.
"So it makes it a lot easier to track, if we had a worst case scenario where we needed to track somebody in the building that would be something we could do very easily," Christgau said.
The police dispatch center in the area will also have direct access to the school's camera system.
Christgau says officers will also have access from their squad cars if needed. "They'll be able to use them for other things, but they'll also be hooked up so that they can go in and review our cameras, watch them live, or go in, go back and review previous data," Christgau said.
The school will use a new system called Milestone. It will give school leaders the ability to access the school's cameras on multiple types of digital devices and has a simpler interface.
"(This program) actually has a map of the school, and then you are able to just on the various camera positions so that the user on the client can just click on those cameras and see that image."
The school will save a substantial amount of money by running the lines and installing the cameras themselves. The board set aside $28,540 for the project. The cameras will be set up in the hallways in the school. Christgau says they don't put cameras inside of bathrooms or classrooms at the school.
MERRILL - Most people enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner with family. But the Merrill firefighters spend their Thanksgiving at the station with their second family, their coworkers. Community members stepped in to make sure the firefighters still had a special Thanksgiving while they were working.
It might be Thanksgiving, but for the Merrill Fire Department, it's just another day
But it is a day with more turkey, stuffing, and pies.
"We had a couple of community organizations that dropped off meals for us which we're definitely grateful for," said firefighter and paramedic Bryson Cruise.
The job doesn't stop for firefighters and Thanksgiving is no exception.
So Park City Credit Union and Hands of Hope wanted to thank the firefighters for their service with a home cooked Thanksgiving meal.
PARK FALLS - Many families began their Thanksgiving Day with a run this morning. Topping off the holiday with a "trot" around town may not appeal to everyone, but for these families it was a way to spend time with one another.
"Trot now so we can pie later," said Steph Schultz, a runner in the Park Falls Turkey Trot.
Families used the Turkey Trot 5K in Park Falls as a way to bond.
RHINELANDER - Nineteen months ago, 10 police agencies surrounded the Tripoli home of Kenneth Welsh.
Police say Welsh caused a three-hour standoff, threatened to blow up his house, and threatened to kill his wife.
Later in court, he was convicted of two felonies and sentenced to three years in prison by Oneida County Judge Michael Bloom.
But now, those convictions and prison sentence have been erased. This month, while in prison, Welsh argued he didn't fully understand all the elements of one of the crimes to which he pleaded no contest, first-degree recklessly endangering safety. Welsh's motion put some of the blame on his defense attorney, Rod Streicher.
RHINELANDER - A number of Rhinelander police and firefighters will work a weekend morning shift in December and won't get paid for it. It's an extra task they're happy to help with.
The Rhinelander Police Department's Shop With a Cop program returns December 16. Police and firefighters take 20 third grade students from Crescent, Pelican, Zion, and Nativity schools shopping for Christmas presents at Walmart. The schools recommend students for the event.
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