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Making Schools SaferSubmitted: 02/04/2013
Story By Lex Gray

Making Schools Safer
MOSINEE - When you think back to Sandy Hook, you probably think of the name Adam Lanza.

He's the man who gunned down 20 children and six adults at the elementary school in December.

That tragedy has led to a tense gun control debate…and talks about how to deal with mental illness.

It's also made us talk more about school security – but Lanza didn't just walk through those front doors.

They were locked, but he easily shot through a window and got in.

When Dick Peterson of Mosinee heard that part of the story, he thought he could help.

Peterson's daughter and three granchildren live in Newtown.

"The day of the shooting, my daughter called in the morning, and she said 'Dad turn the TV on, there's something that's happened here,'" Peterson said. "It wasn't quite so bad the first day, but then she found out some of her friends lost their children and kids, when she picked them up. It was tough."

Peterson makes his living putting energy-saving film on glass windows and doors.

But he also installs bomb-blast security film.

"I've done 8 ml bomb blast film to protect people like senators, FBI officers, and big credit card companies," Peterson said.

So why not schools? Peterson decided to experiment.

He put bomb blast film on a glass frame, then fit the border with a retention system.

Bullets could still go through, but Peterson's idea is that if the glass doesn't shatter like it did at Sandy Hook, students and teachers would have enough time to evacuate or call police before an attacker broker through.

And unlike bulletproof glass, Peterson can easily retrofit current windows and glass doors with his design.

"It's just like any of the tinting that I do – it's the most efficient way of saving energy," he said. "The security film is the most efficient way of protecting yourself."

Peterson went through two rounds of tests, shooting at the glass prototype and beating it with a bat and gun.

His second prototype worked out well enough that he's ready to show it to school officials and law enforcement Wednesday.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 10/17/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

A large building in Laona that used to be a store hasn't been used for several years. Now 2 men want to put the building on the National Register of Historic Places. We talk to the men about the big plans they have for the building.

We'll show you how professionals in the heavy machinery industry are showing people in Merrill different opportunities in the field by giving them hands-on experience.

And we talk to a Rhinelander firefighter about how to stay safe while trying to keep warm this winter.

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

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LAONA - Lumber, logging, and the Connor family make up a lot of Laona's history. But some people say the rural town could be losing a lot of its history.

A group of people want to preserve that history and it's starting with one building.   

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MADISON - Rhinelander's former police chief just finished the FBI's "crown jewel" of training.  Mike Steffes -- who is now the Deputy Administrator of the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Law Enforcement Services --completed the three-week "National Executive Institute" in September.

The academy is designed for executives that lead more than 500 sworn officers and serve populations of 250,000 or more.

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RHINELANDER - Chilly fall weather might make you want to curl up next to your space heater or fire place, but those heating sources bring some fire risks with them.

You should never leave space heaters unattended.

That includes when you sleep.

Pets or small children can tip over the unit and start a fire.

This is probably the first time the furnace is on since winter, so you will want to change the filter and check your chimneys, too.

"They've been sitting all summer. You want to make sure those get cleaned. We see a lot of chimney fire this time of year," says firefighter Justin Feaker.

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RHINELANDER - The Tri County Council will hold a candlelight vigil on Friday to honor those who lost their lives to domestic violence in Wisconsin last year.

The statewide homicide report says 73 people were killed as a result of domestic violence in 2016. 

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MARATHON COUNTY - A horse in Marathon County has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

The Marathon County Health Department sent out word of the positive test.

The virus can be spread to humans, horses, birds and other animals during bites from infected mosquitoes.

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RHINELANDER - Lawyers expect to call "a number" of expert witnesses in the Oneida County homicide case against Ellen Tran.

Finding and vetting those experts could take months, lawyers told a judge on Tuesday in court.

Tran is charged with causing the death of her 20-month-old stepson, Avery Edwards, at a Rhinelander home in April.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys will spend until February to identify those witnesses.

After that, the case could go to trial.

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