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National Humane Society Files Suit to Protect WolvesSubmitted: 02/12/2013
Story By WJFW News Team

National Humane Society Files Suit to Protect Wolves
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The national Humane Society wants wolves back on the federal endangered species list.

Tuesday, the Humane Society and other animal rights groups filed a lawsuit to try to make that happen.

The groups filed in federal court against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Wolves were taken off the endangered list last year in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan.

The groups say that move is threatening the recovery of wolves.

Hunters and trappers in Minnesota and Wisconsin killed more than 500 wolves combined during the first season.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp issued a statement in response to the suit.

"When federally delisted in January 2012, Wisconsin's wolf population had recovered and grown to eight times delisting goals thanks to the dedication of partners, hunters, trappers, volunteers, agencies and research institutions. We are successfully out of wolf recovery mode and into wolf management mode," she said. "With this transition came the transfer of management authority from the federal government to the states. This authority enables us to manage wolves for Wisconsin's needs, fostering a healthy wolf population while seeking social balance as wolf depredations continue to rise."

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 IN OTHER NEWS

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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MADISON - Governor Scott Walker wants the Wisconsin Legislature to pass a welfare overhaul package this year that includes tougher work requirements and additional drug testing.

Walker unveiled the proposals Thursday. They are backed by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and state Sen. Chris Kapenga.

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OSHKOSH - A defendant accused of initiating a fatal police standoff at a Neenah motorcycle shop will be allowed to represent himself at his upcoming trial.

That's after a judge allowed the ninth and tenth lawyers assigned to the case to withdraw.

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MEDFORD - Police in Taylor County arrested a man who shot at officers during a standoff near Medford on Wednesday evening.

The Taylor County Sheriff's Office reports it arrested Jake M. Wendt, 31, after a "lengthy phone negotiation" with the suspect, according to a news release sent late Wednesday night.

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's police chief hoped to fill two jobs in his department last summer.  A field of eight finalists led to zero job offers, but this week Lloyd Gauthier's force might finally get back to full strength.

The Rhinelander Police and Fire Commission approved hiring Tyler and Logan Pontbriand on Monday.  Their hires would bring the total force in Rhinelander to 17, including the chief and captain positions.

The Pontbriand twins are deputies with the Vilas County Sheriff's Office.  Logan started as a corrections officer in May 2015 while Tyler was hired as a deputy in January 2016.

Gauthier says they had six qualified applicants after reopening the application process in November, but the Pontbriands - who both live in Rhinelander - had qualities you simply can't teach.

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander middle school students could experience a new class schedule this fall.

School administrators have worked for a year and half to change the 20-year-old master schedule.

James Williams Middle School Principal Richard Gretzinger says the main focus of a new schedule is to give students a 30 minute free or "enrichment" period.

"Sometimes students get caught up in getting to go to one class to the other to the other. If we can break up that day for those students and give them some movement, brain breaks and activities… Studies have shown that they will be effective through the day," said Gretzinger.

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CRANDON - UPDATE 1/17/18

The Wisconsin Department of Justice identified Craig Justice, a 21-year veteran of the Forest County Sheriff's Department, as the officer who shot and killed Cude on January 4. Justice worked at the Crandon Police Department for one year before joining the Sheriff's Department.

As is normal in an officer-involved shooting, Justice is on paid administrative leave during the investigation.

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