MERRILL - Moving can be difficult and emotional, but for a local fire department, it's all smiles as they prepare to move for the first time in decades. Today, the Merrill Fire Department broke ground on their new home. Their new station will be built on the corner of Pier and Second Streets.
"It's going to bring some advantages to us because we have the two main drags right here in town so we'll be able to go east and west right out of the fire station," says Dave Savone, Merrill Fire Chief.
This will be a big upgrade from their current station which was built in the 1960's. The new building will be home to both the fire department and EMS.
"Both the fire service and the EMS for the southern half of the county. So both operations will be running out of this building. So we'll be running three ambulances, two fire engines, a tender and a ladder truck," said Dave Savone.
Plans for the new station have been about a year in the making. The Fire Chief said all 23 of his men are excited for the move.
"It's an exciting day. You know, the Merrill Fire Department has been around for 125 years. This is a big step into the 21st century with our fire department and the men are looking forward to this new step in our new tradition," says Dave Savone.
The project will be finished by January 31st of 2014. The project cost less than their 3-million-dollar budget.
WAUSAU - A contractor fell from a ladder and died at the construction site of the new Hilton Garden Inn in Wausau last week. Now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death.
Marathon County Sheriff's Captain Dale Wisnewski said Shane J. Cash, 45, of Wisconsin Rapids was drilling holes in the ceiling on Thursday when he fell from his ladder and died on scene.
RHINELANDER - People lived through detours, dust, and demolition throughout most of 2016 in downtown Rhinelander. Residents won't see that kind of work in 2017, but the city is planning more closures and road work to finish up the Streetscape Project.
Crews will start with the Davenport Street Bridge shutting down for a month in starting April 17. Public Works Director Tim Kingman says some sections of concrete, sidewalk, and asphalt pavement shifted, settled and cracked over the winter.
TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk High School sporting events got an attendance boost this winter. At the same time, local charities benefited from the community's generosity.
The school's Varsity Club sponsored six nights of special events, one for each winter sport. The Varsity Club gave out T-shirts printed with team rosters. Meanwhile, fans brought donations for local charities.
"Each kid would walk in and they'd put on their T-shirt," said Varsity Club member Jackie Elliott. "When we got our student section going, they were all together, and you just had this block of white. It was awesome."
RHINELANDER - Cracked concrete, twisted rebar, and overgrown trees and bushes don't paint the most ideal picture for a park. But a Rhinelander alderman sees the perfect chance for a peaceful place to enjoy nature.
Alderman Alex Young hopes to turn an old snow dumping dock site into a "pocket park." The site sits where Norway Street runs into the Wisconsin River behind Ripco Credit Union and the DNR Service Center building.
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