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Merrill business plans to take statewide tornado drill very seriouslySubmitted: 04/18/2013
Merrill business plans to take statewide tornado drill very seriously
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

IRONWOOD, MI - A large fire in Ironwood, Michigan killed at least one person early Wednesday morning.

Ironwood Public Safety reports firefighters were called to the downtown building on E. Aurora Street around 4 a.m.  The fire burned a building with businesses and apartments.

Crews pulled three people from apartment windows on upper floors, but another person pulled from the fire died at the hospital.  The Public Safety Department didn't release the victim's name or age.

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WAUSAU - Wausau Police call the death of a 77-year-old man "suspicious," which is why it's treating the death of Lyle Leith as a homicide. 

Tuesday morning, police responded to a home on the 1000 block of Kickbusch Street. They found Leith dead, and called the circumstances suspicious. We learned Leith's name late Wednesday afternoon.

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THREE LAKES - Getting diagnosed with a rare disease can be a scary, isolating feeling. A Three Lakes girl and her mother don't view it that way, they want to show the disease doesn't define 11- year- old Ada.
"It came out of the blue you have a child and don't know you're going to encounter that," said Ada's mother Jennifer West.
Jennifer knew something was different when her two year old daughter was shrinking in size and had bowed legs.

"[It was] a turning point in my life as a mom," said Jennifer.
It took nearly 12 specialists to diagnose Ada with XL- Hypophosphatemia, a form of rickets. The genetic disorder that affects one in 20,000 people.
"It's kind of like finding a needle in the haystack and I found out I'm the needle," said Ada.
Ada's body can't properly handle phosphorus, making her bones soft and her figure smaller. That's led to dozens of doctor's appointments and a surgery last week. 

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PARK FALLS - People in Price County should keep an eye out for fake $20 bills.

The Park Falls Police Department is looking into several cases of a customer using the counterfeit money at various businesses.  The bills all have the same serial number and stand out when you use a detection marker on them.

Police Chief Scott Straetz says the bills look very similar to the real thing, but you can tell the difference if you hold them.

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RHINELANDER - Wednesday morning multiple fire agencies responded to a fire in Sugar Camp. That response was made much easier with MABAS. MABAS stands for Mutual Aid Box Alarm System. Agencies use MABAS to call other departments from the area to help with emergencies like fires or mass casualties. 

Wednesday night, fire departments from across Oneida County met at Nicolet College for an exercise using MABAS. The exercise gave first responders the experience of responding to a large incident in a learning environment.

The exercise simulated a large emergency response to a structure fire in downtown Rhinelander.
Depending on the level of the MABAS alert, different agencies send different resources to help. 

"What we do is we preplan who is going to respond. We do that by using an 80/20 rule so that all departments will only send 20% or their resources and leave the other 80% in place," said Rhinelander Fire Department Lieutenant Michael Wesle. 

MABAS Division 114 is made up of 21 fire departments from across Oneida County and is one of 60 Divisions in the state of Wisconsin. Agencies in Oneida County have started using MABAS more often over the past few years. 

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SUGAR CAMP - A major fire destroyed a machinery repair shop in Sugar Camp on Wednesday morning, sending clouds of black smoke over the Northwoods.

The shop, next to a home on County Highway D west of Sugar Camp, caught fire around 10 a.m.

"There was a machinery malfunction that [the owner said] he was dealing with, and there could also be a heating issue," said Sugar Camp Fire Chief Jason Goeldner. "We got an area to look, but we haven't gotten in there yet to actually try to do a thorough investigation yet."

No one was hurt.

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TOMAHAWK - A two-time World Snowmobile Derby Champion raced for something bigger than just himself at last month's derby.

Tomahawk native Nick Van Strydonk decided to design a custom racing suit and matching helmet to be auctioned off the last day of the derby.

Wednesday, he lived up to that promise with a larger donation than he ever expected.

"I'm glad I was at work and sitting down in my chair because it was mind blowing," said Van Strydonk.

At this year's derby in Eagle River, Van Strydonk raced in a custom made suit and helmet which he planned to auction off the last day of the derby.

"It was actually a really cool suit and I only wore it once," said Van Strydonk.

He planned to raise enough money to send at least three veterans on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight which is about $1,500 but much like his competition, he blew that goal away.

"I believe we were just at $5,000," said Van Strydonk.

Strydonk donated $3,000 to the Honor Flight Foundation which will send six veterans on an upcoming flight. He also gave Wounded Warriors $1,000 and $500 to the Tomahawk VFW Post Wednesday.

"It never ceases to amaze me the gratitude and the love that the people of Tomahawk and surrounding A two-time World Snowmobile Derby Champion raced for something bigger than just himself at last month's derby.

Tomahawk native Nick Van Strydonk decided to design a custom racing suit and matching helmet to be auctioned off the last day of the derby.

Wednesday, he lived up to that promise with a larger donation than he ever expected.

"I'm glad I was at work and sitting down in my chair because it was mind blowing," said Van Strydonk.

At this year's derby in Eagle River, Van Strydonk raced in a custom made suit and helmet which he planned to auction off the last day of the derby.

"It was actually a really cool suit and I only wore it once," said Van Strydonk.

He planned to raise enough money to send at least three veterans on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight which is about $1,500 but much like his competition, he blew that goal away.

"I believe we were just at $5,000," said Van Strydonk.

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