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NEWS STORIES

Fire Department Reaches Out Using Social MediaSubmitted: 04/09/2013
Story By Lex Gray


WAUSAU - You can find out all sorts of things on Facebook.

Who's single, who had a good bracket, what your coworker had for breakfast.

But now you can get information that might help you avoid a traffic jam or even keep you safe.

The Wausau Fire Department is on Facebook.

Office Assistant Mindy Walker started posting regularly on Facebook and Twitter in March.

"The idea was to get safety information out to our residents," Walker said. "Let them know if there were any road closures or fires in an area, for them to plan accordingly and travel around that area."

Before, the department had been limited to the local newspaper for notifications.

But social media is faster and more flexible.

"Everyone seems to be going more towards the technology," Walker said. "We're reaching a lot more people this way and they're sharing it with their friends."

Walker also used the pages to recruit new firefighters.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/27/2015

- A man in Wausau used an eight-month-old baby as a human shield last night. Today, we hear from first responders who helped negotiate the safe recovery of the child.

- A Northwoods fishing guide has grown tired of what seems to be a growing number of drownings across the area. Now, he's working to change the laws to make waterways safer. We'll have a live report from Minocqua.

- And a donation will help the Merrill Police Department keep its K-9 unit safe. We'll tell you why the K-9 first aid kit will help the unit and why it came with an infant diaper. We'll also tell you how you can help other K-9 units tonight on Newswatch 12.

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

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TOMAH - The troubled Tomah Veterans Administration Medical Center will be making changes to address staff shortages.

The VA will be temporarily closing hospital's 11-bed inpatient psychiatric unit.

It has stopped admitting new patients.

The VA's Matthew Gowan believes the two patients currently in the unit likely will be discharged before the September 4th closure.

Any veteran requiring psychiatric treatment will be transferred to VA facilities in Madison and Milwaukee, or to non-VA hospitals.

Tomah VA Medical Center also plans to suspend psychiatric admissions to its residential long-term care facility until additional staff are hired.

The nursing home will continue admitting veterans with non-psychiatric needs.

Hours for the Urgent Care clinic will be permanently reduced.

(Copyright 2015 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)

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WAUSAU - Wausau police say a man used a baby as a shield when he surrendered to tactical officers following a standoff.

Authorities say police were called to a house Wednesday night on a report of a domestic disturbance. They found a man and woman who were wanted on felony warrants. Capt. Matt Barnes says police had been looking for the couple in order to check on the welfare of an 8-month-old child.

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IRON COUNTY, MICHIGAN - State troopers in Upper Michigan arrested two people after reports of an explosion and gunfire in Iron County.

It happened around 12:30 yesterday afternoon at a home in Mastadon Township.

The investigation showed two people tried to bring down a structure using fireworks and a large amount of tannerite.

That's an explosive primarily used to make exploding targets.

Commercial grade fireworks, a large quantity of tannerite, and "pipe bomb" type explosives were seized.

Charges are being sought against the two people involved.

(Copyright 2015 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)

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DES MOINES, IA - Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker says the proper response to the on-air shootings in Virginia is "more sophisticated and challenging" than the gun control measures Hillary Rodham Clinton has proposed.

Clinton said Wednesday outside of Des Moines that if guns weren't so readily available, perhaps carnage like the killings of WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward by a disgruntled former employee could be prevented.

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WISCONSIN - You can spend a day in the water and help protect Wisconsin waterways this weekend. The Wisconsin River Alliance needs volunteers to find aquatic invasive species. It's for the second statewide AIS Bridge Snapshot Day Saturday.

"We want to pay attention to our streams and creeks in the area here," said Oneida County AIS Coordinator Michele Sadauskas. "We're picking bridge crossings and road crossings just for access. Easy access for people to go down and see if they can find and take a look at any invasive species right in that area. "

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SARATOGA - Search warrants filed in Wood County show the teenager accused of fatally shooting a woman had been dating the victim's daughter who ended a relationship with the boy the day her mother was killed.

Gannett Central Wisconsin Media (http://wrtnews.co/1hIc8TK ) reports the warrants describe the events that led to the death of 47-year-old Theresa Coates at her home in Saratoga Aug. 17.

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