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NEWS STORIES

Merrill Public Safety Training Center reopens two years after tornadoSubmitted: 04/24/2013

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MERRILL - Merrill's April 2011 tornado - ironically enough - flattened a campus that trained emergency workers and law enforcement.

Two years later, the Northcentral Technical College Public Safety Center is rebuilt.

It now offers an even higher level of training - with some of the coolest features around.

The new Public Safety Center will put what it offers against any training center in the state.

On Wednesday, we got our first look at the extensive Emergency Village and learning buildings that make up the NTC Merrill campus.

"I want you to know it's the only one in the entire technical college system. We have a unique opportunity to do some training that no other technical college has the opportunity to do - to put Merrill on the map," NTC President Dr. Lori Weyers told a crowd of over a hundred at the ribbon cutting.

Learners in fire, EMS, and criminal justice can use realistic scenarios to apply their classroom instruction.

But the Center's offerings aren't only targeted at NTC students.

The Merrill area community can take advantage as well.

"We'll be able to offer training for brand-new drivers, like a 16-year-old driver learning to do skid recovery, or for a person with a concealed carry permit, perhaps they want to learn how to use force and make decisions about use of force. In addition to just the public safety community that's out there, we'll offer a lot of classes that the general public will be able to enjoy," says NTC Dean of Public Safety Bryce Kolpack.

The Center plans to have almost 11,000 people use its services for learning every year.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Update-Man dead after being pulled from a Vilas County LakeSubmitted: 07/31/2014

CONOVER - We now know the man pulled from the water of a Vilas County lake Wednesday died.

The Sheriff's Department says the man was in Upper Buckatabon Lake in Conover.

They now say the man collapsed over the side of his boat before being rescued from the water.

The first call to the sheriff's department yesterday afternoon said it appeared the man was hit by his own boat.

The man was pulled from the water and C-P-R was immediately performed.

He was flown to Wausau Aspirus Hospital.

The man's name has not been released at this time.

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Law limiting collective bargaining upheldSubmitted: 07/31/2014

MADISON - After protests, recall elections and lawsuits, a state supreme court decision came down Thursday morning on the law that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers.

The court has upheld the 2011 law in a split decision.

The court ruled 5-2 Thursday morning that the law is valid.

The decision came in a challenge filed by the Madison teachers union and a union representing Milwaukee public workers.

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Accused driver had received license only weeks before deadly crash, case moves forwardSubmitted: 07/31/2014

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CRANDON - The case against an 18-year-old Laona man will go ahead after a Forest County judge found enough evidence to move forward Wednesday.

Austin Ginter, 18, faces reckless homicide charges in Forest County after a car crash killed 15-year-old Chance Harcus. Another 16-year-old girl was also injured in the July 13th car crash on Old 8 Road west of Crandon.

New information from a preliminary hearing Wednesday shows that Ginter only had his driver's license for two weeks before the crash.

Wisconsin State Patrolman Justin Bender testified for the prosecution. He was the officer that reconstructed the car crash. He says the car was going at least 114 miles per hour when the driver lost control, but could have been going as fast as 126 miles per hour.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds voter identification lawSubmitted: 07/31/2014

MADISON - The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Thursday morning voters can be required to show photo identification at the polls.

But that law remains blocked by a federal court decision.

The law was struck down in April by a federal judge in Milwaukee.

His ruling is under appeal.

A federal appeals court would have act for the voter I-D law to take effect.

Four lawsuits have been filed over the law passed in 2011.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court issued rulings in two cases on the question Thursday morning, concluding in both that the law was constitutional.

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Rock throwing case moves forward for one of the accusedSubmitted: 07/31/2014

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CRANDON - Prosecutors in Forest County accuse a group of four people of throwing rocks off of a bridge and damaging a car. Victims Wednesday described the sound like a bomb going off.

19-year-old Thomas Hines is one of four people facing charges for throwing rocks off of a Forest County bridge just after 3 a.m. June 3, 2014. The other three facing charges include 18 year-old Mariya Tuckwab, 20 year-old Ryan Kitchmaster, and 21-year-old Dillon Votis.

All four face multiple felony charges for recklessly endangering safety and criminal damage to property.

Prosecutors say those rocks hurt a woman inside of the car.

Hines was in court Wednesday for his preliminary hearing.

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Man sent to hospital after ATV crashSubmitted: 07/31/2014

TOMAHAWK - An ATV crash sent a Tomahawk man to the hospital last night.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's department tells us 49 year old Michael Van Strydonk was hurt around 11 last night just outside of Tomahawk.

His ATV had been going south on Cloverbelt road.

It rolled over as Van Strydonk approached the intersection with County D.

He was conscious and talking right after the crash, but was unresponsive by the time emergency personnel arrived.

Van Strydonk was taken to St. Joseph's hospital in Marshfield, where he was in stable condition Thursday morning.

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Possible police shooting suspect caught in Minn.Submitted: 07/30/2014

WEST ST. PAUL, MN - A potential suspect in the shooting of a police officer in West St. Paul has been captured near the suburb of Woodbury.

Television news footage shows the man being pulled from his vehicle just off Interstate 494. Police have a massive presence with scores of officers and squad cars on site.

The capture comes about three hours after an officer was shot while making a traffic stop.

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