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.
PINE RIVER - Firefighters in Pine River had a tough day Saturday. They battled a house fire Friday night.
Crews didn't finish cleaning up the scene until 3:30 Saturday morning. Then they got called to a second fire in the afternoon.
The first fire happened at 9:12 p.m. The Lincoln County Dispatch Center got a call about a possible structure fire on County Highway WW in the Town of Pine River. That's east of Merrill, but when the Pine River Department got there, the house was in flames.
MILWAUKEE - A winter storm warning will go into effect in the Milwaukee area and far southern Wisconsin on Saturday night â€" and the National Weather Service says as much as 10 inches of snow could fall in Kenosha County by early Monday.
Snow is forecast to begin falling late Saturday and continue all day Sunday. Lake-effect snow is expected to combine with a low pressure system from the south to drive up snowfall totals in far southeast Wisconsin. Milwaukee could see up to 9 inches.
Blowing and drifting snow is expected and winds could gust to over 30 mph, making travel dangerous.
Other parts of the state, including Sheboygan, Dodge, and Waukesha counties, will be under a winter weather advisory starting Saturday night. Snow accumulations could reach 4 to 7 inches.
NORTHWOODS - The U.S. Forest Service will hire thousands of temporary workers this spring. Leaders at the Chequamegon Nicolet Forest Service want to hire more than 50 temporary employees to work during summer. They're looking for people with diverse backgrounds and plenty of experience.
MADISON - A team of students from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, is conducting research on foxes and coyotes in hopes of learning how the animals and humans can peacefully coexist.
Forest and wildlife associate professor David Drake and his students are humanely trapping the animals, running tests, then fitting them with tracking devices. The goal is to learn about traveling patterns, diseases the animals might have, and how they interact with other animals and humans.
Drake says foxes and coyotes are moving into areas where people are living. And if that continues, and the animals lose their fear of humans, they could become aggressive in extreme cases.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says residents should stay a safe distance from foxes or coyotes, and shouldn't feed them.
WAUSAU - Enrollment for health coverage will end soon. That's why healthcare providers participated in "Super Saturday".
Bridge Clinic in Wausau welcomed people to sign up for health insurance options Saturday.
The Open Enrollment deadline is February 15th. If you don't sign up before then, it could cost you $325 or more depending on your income.
"We recommend just make an informed choice. Don't just let it lapse and get the penalty, be surprised with a penalty later on. Come in, make an informed choice. There are health care options," said Bridge Community Health Clinic Executive Director Laura Scudiere.
ST. GERMAIN - Bikinis and snowmobiles don't typically mix. Except, when you're at the St. Germain Bikini Run.
The event draws a huge crowd every year and it raised thousands of dollars for charity.
"We started with six girls and maybe $8000 seven years ago. Now, we're up to 33 girls today and more than $50,000," says Mark Hiller, the St. Germain Radar Run race director. "Every year it just grows, and grows."
NEW YORK - More than 2 million Toyota, Chrysler and Honda vehicles are being recalled for a second fix for faulty air bags that may inadvertently inflate while the car is running.
The recall includes some Acura MDX, Dodge Viper, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Honda Odyssey, Pontiac Vibe, Toyota Corolla and Toyota Avalon models made from 2002 to 2004.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says all the vehicles covered in Saturday's announcement had already been under a recall for the faulty air bags, but the carmakers' original attempts to fix the defects only worked about 85 percent of the time.
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