RHINELANDER - The Marathon-Oneida Bomb Squad takes action only once in a while.
But it's often involved in the most critical situations in the Northwoods.
The squad serves 28 counties across the northern part of the state.
It's often on the scene for not only bomb threats, but also hazardous spills, hostage situations, and other dangerous assignments.
"There are other threats to our communities beyond what we always had visualized in the past, and this is a response to that," says Lt. Chad Billeb of the Marathon County Sheriff's Department.
A critical team member of the bomb squad isn't a person - it's a $400,000 robot.
The robot is remote controlled, and can see, hear, and even speak through a microphone.
"What the robot does is it allows emergency responders, not just law enforcement but firefighters, hazardous materials teams, to go in and check out a scene or a situation without risking human life," Billeb says.
Dep. Dan Semmerling Oneida County Sheriff's Department »
"The safety there is, we're sending a machine down where we can stay remote, operate that, and stay at a safe distance," says Oneida County Deputy Dan Semmerling.
But the bomb squad is much more than just the robot.
Two photographic exhibits to open next week at ArtStart
RHINELANDER - The artists paired together in ArtStart's next exhibition couldn't have much different backgrounds.
Next Friday, the Rhinelander gallery will open with two very diverse displays.
"We have two photographic exhibitions opening. One is a solo artist, so the whole gallery will be their work, and the other is an artist who worked with teens as a kind of therapy program, photography and art as therapy," said ArtStart Development Director Melinda Childs.
MANITOWOC - Lakeshore communities from Two Rivers to Port Washington will able to apply for marine-sanctuary status, which could lead to protections for natural resources and improved research on shipwrecks.
An HTR Media report (http://htrne.ws/1lrd3Ix ) says the 875-square-mile area encompasses 33 known shipwrecks and countless others.
Sanctuaries are established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Agency spokeswoman Ellen Brody says she expects the first applications to begin arriving in the fall.
RHINELANDER - More than 50,000 people in Wisconsin apply for unemployment benefits every week.
Now, the state Department of Workforce Development wants to know how it can improve the unemployment insurance system.
"Our Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council really likes to get out there and hear firsthand from those who deal with that system directly. We're looking for their suggestions and their ideas on what we might do to make the system even better," said Dave Anderson, the Assistant Deputy Secretary for the state Department of Workforce Development.
HAZELHURST - Tourists make a big economic impact in the Northwood, but they don't stay forever. Monday, locals thanked them for coming to the Northwoods this summer.
People stood outside of Whitman's Bar and Grill just off of Highway 51 in Hazelhurst to wave goodbye. The bar has been doing this for 44 years.
One of the owners says this isn't just a party for the tourists, but for locals as well.
"It's also a goodbye summer party for a lot of the locals. Most of the people that come, I know," said Whitman's Bar and Grill co-owner, Mary Whitman. "They may be tourists that come up for a week or weekends, but it's a party. We give away free street corn, free sloppy joes and it's just a thank you.
RHINELANDER - It can be difficult to get around the Northwoods, especially in the snow. For people with physical disabilities, it can seem almost impossible. A new piece of technology changed Bob Simon's life. Now he's hoping to help others with physical disabilities enjoy the outdoors.
"I used to love to hunt and fish," he said.
But when Simon, who is from Rhinelander, lost his legs during a work accident in 2008, he didn't know if he'd be able to enjoy the outdoors again.
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