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Vilas County starts SafeRide programSubmitted: 12/04/2017
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Vilas County starts SafeRide program
EAGLE RIVER - People in Vilas County will now have a safe, free way to get home from many bars and taverns.

On Monday, Vilas County became the 64th of Wisconsin's 72 counties to start a SafeRide program. The program allows Tavern League members to hand out free taxi rides to people too drunk to drive.

Dan Ullsperger owns Buckshot's Saloon in Eagle River and helped start the program.

"It's going to be instrumental to keep people off the streets and get people safe home and people that are innocent driving home, keep them safe too. They don't need to contend with people that are driving drunk," Ullsperger said. "If we use one voucher, to me, that's successful. You've got to start somewhere. That's one person that wasn't driving home drunk."

The Wisconsin DOT is starting Vilas County with a $10,000 grant. The Vilas County Tavern League will also help pick up the cost of the rides.




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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/18/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We take you live to the Medford area where a standoff started after someone called 911 just before 5 p.m. Wednesday.

We'll tell you about a public bus service that now serves Park Falls but is expanding its service to Phillips.

And last year's Eagle River World Snowmobile Derby champion from Tomahawk will give away his racing helmet, jacket and pants in a raffle to send members of Tomahawk's VFW to this year's honor flight. Tonight Nick Van Strydonk tells us why he chose to do this.

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

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THREE LAKES - A public library will do just about anything to help out its loyal patrons. But what happens when the library needs help?

The Demmer Memorial Library in Three Lakes needs help storing books during an upcoming renovation. Over 3,000 books need to be cleared out of the library during the construction period and library card holders will get the chance to check out up to 100 books for an entire year.

The idea of book babysitting made perfect sense to library director, Erica Brewster.

"If we could get a hundred people to check out 100 books, that would be a third of our collection that we wouldn't have to physically pickup and move and put in a new location," said Brewster. 

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RHINELANDER - Packer fans might not recognize his name, but they've likely seen his photographs over the years. 

Vernon Biever first started photographing the Packers in 1941 as a freelancer, but it wasn't until 1946 that he became the team photographer. 

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MADISON - Preliminary estimates show unemployment in Wisconsin reached a record low in December.

The state Department of Workforce Development released figures Thursday that show the unemployment rate in December was 3 percent. That's a record for December and matches the lowest rate on record.

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EAGLE RIVER - The 2012 and 2017 World Snowmobile Derby Champion and Tomahawk native plans to use his fame to give back.

Nick Van Strydonk will give away his racing helmet, jacket and pants in a raffle.

Each ticket is $5.00 and he hopes to sell enough to send three members of Tomahawk's VFW to this year's honor flight.

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MERRILL - Lincoln County Sheriff Jeff Jaeger announced his retirement Wednesday. 

But he wants to remind everyone he's still got a year of hard work left. 

Jaeger said the decision wasn't an easy one after being in law enforcement for 38 years and sheriff for the last 11 years. 

"There's some sad feelings, if you will. I've been in the business for 38 years, working with a wonderful group of people for a great community. Just so blessed to have the support that we do in this area," said Jaeger. 

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EAGLE RIVER - The World Championship Derby started as a small oval racetrack on Dollar Lake.

The race began back in 1964 thanks to Chanticleer Inn's John and Betty Alward.

They wanted a way to keep business up during the slow winter season for themselves and fellow resort owners.

Their son Jake still runs the inn and remembers the excitement behind the "newness" of the sport.

"Every factory wanted their machine first! Money was not the object… it was getting the right machine the right equipment….The right this and that. People flew to Minneapolis to get and engine or a part!" says Alward.

The 55th World Championship Derby is this weekend.

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