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Merrill business plans to take statewide tornado drill very seriouslySubmitted: 04/18/2013
Story By The Associated Press

MERRILL - Employees at one Wisconsin business say they will be taking Friday's statewide tornado drill very seriously.

Northern Wire in Merrill saw its front office destroyed and roof ripped off by a 2011 tornado with wind speeds approaching 200 mph.

Human Resources Manager Jennifer Berreth said before, many people saw tornado drills as a kind of fun break from work. She says now they take them much more seriously.

Wisconsin's statewide tornado drill was originally scheduled for Thursday but was pushed to Friday because of the threat of severe weather.

State officials say Friday's tornado drill will go ahead as planned, since the National Weather Service says there is no threat of severe storms or tornadoes anywhere in Wisconsin Friday.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - Big changes for Wisconsin's managed forest program cleared the state Senate.

The Program gives participants property tax breaks if they keep their land open to the public....and follow timber management plans.

Land owners can close their property, but get a smaller tax break and must pay a fee.

The bill would cap closed land at 320 acres.

Fees would be reduced for withdrawing from the program early.

Property owners would be able to lease their land.

The changes would eliminate local taxes on timber harvested from program land, but allow local governments to keep 80 percent of closed acreage fees.

Right now 100 percent of those fees go to the state forestry account.

The changes now go to the state Assembly.

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MADISON - Fire safety rules might prevent the use of real Christmas trees in some spots.

A bill now approved by the Assembly would ensure live trees are still allowed in churches and the state Capitol rotunda.

National Fire Protection Association guidelines call for banning live Christmas trees in places where 50 people or more gather.

The guidelines also allow limited quantities of combustible vegetation....if local fire officials decide adequate safeguards are in place.

Under the bill, the state and local governments would not be allowed to prevent placement of Christmas trees in the Capitol rotunda or in a church.

Trees in the rotunda and churches would be presumed to be safe during fire inspections.

The Assembly approved the bill Tuesday evening.

Now it goes to the state Senate.

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EAGLE RIVER - Vilas County's courthouse expansion could look a little different and sit in a different spot than previously agreed upon, but those changes could save close to a million dollars and speed up construction.  Tuesday, a county committee agreed that's a good path to take.

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WISCONSIN - Coyotes become more active and territorial this time of year.

That's because it's breeding season for the animals.

The DNR hopes people will take steps to avoid interactions with coyotes.

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MADISON - The state Assembly has approved a bill that would push the start of Wisconsin's wolf hunt back if the federal government allows the season to resume.

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IRMA - Each year, mushers and their dogs make their way to Duluth for the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.

Maratha Schouweiler from Lincoln County has run the mid-distance race for the last nine years. 

This year, she made history as she became the first woman to win back-to-back Beargrease mid-distance races.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 02/09/2016

- Chronic Wasting Disease just made it to the Northwoods. What is the Upper Peninsula doing to try and stop its spread there? Find out tonight.

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

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