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NEWS STORIES

Summer driving safetySubmitted: 06/13/2013

Melissa Constanzer
Morning Meteorologist/Reporter
mconstanzer@wjfw.com

ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - We often think of wintertime driving being the toughest. Snowy and icy roads can create more than just headaches for drivers but summertime driving produces plenty of hazards, too. From downpours to dense fog and sunglare, summertime driving isn't easy.

"In the summertime, the rain can cause hydroplaning, which can be a slipper surface on the road where you lose traction. Cars have been known to drift right off the road while hydroplaning over a puddle," says Mike Steffes, Rhinelander Police Chief.

Police Chief Steffes suggests checking your windshield wipers, tire pressure, and tire tread for a safe trip. But even when we turn the car off, there are still transportation risks. Be sure to close the windows and lock your doors, even if there's no rain coming.

"We have people that go around and just check to see if the car doors are open, and if they are, they'll take out any pocket change, CD's, computers, anything else that was left in the vehicle," says Police Chief Steffes.

If you have any pets in the car, leave the windows cracked open. Animals overheat quickly on warm or sunny days. Also watch out for more children playing in the streets with school out for summer.



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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - A Republican lawmaker has reintroduced a bill that would outlaw using GPS to secretly track someone.

Under Rep. Adam Neylon's bill, anyone who secretly placing a GPS device on another person's vehicle would be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to nine months in jail and $10,000 in fines.

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MADISON - A team of students from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, is conducting research on foxes and coyotes in hopes of learning how the animals and humans can peacefully coexist.

Forest and wildlife associate professor David Drake and his students are humanely trapping the animals, running tests, then fitting them with tracking devices. The goal is to learn about traveling patterns, diseases the animals might have, and how they interact with other animals and humans.

Drake says foxes and coyotes are moving into areas where people are living. And if that continues, and the animals lose their fear of humans, they could become aggressive in extreme cases.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says residents should stay a safe distance from foxes or coyotes, and shouldn't feed them.

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NEW YORK - More than 2 million Toyota, Chrysler and Honda vehicles are being recalled for a second fix for faulty air bags that may inadvertently inflate while the car is running.

The recall includes some Acura MDX, Dodge Viper, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Honda Odyssey, Pontiac Vibe, Toyota Corolla and Toyota Avalon models made from 2002 to 2004.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says all the vehicles covered in Saturday's announcement had already been under a recall for the faulty air bags, but the carmakers' original attempts to fix the defects only worked about 85 percent of the time.

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NORTHWOODS - The U.S. Forest Service will hire thousands of temporary workers this spring. Leaders at the Chequamegon Nicolet Forest Service want to hire more than 50 temporary employees to work during summer. They're looking for people with diverse backgrounds and plenty of experience.

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WAUSAU - Enrollment for health coverage will end soon. That's why healthcare providers participated in "Super Saturday".

Bridge Clinic in Wausau welcomed people to sign up for health insurance options Saturday.

The Open Enrollment deadline is February 15th. If you don't sign up before then, it could cost you $325 or more depending on your income.

"We recommend just make an informed choice. Don't just let it lapse and get the penalty, be surprised with a penalty later on. Come in, make an informed choice. There are health care options," said Bridge Community Health Clinic Executive Director Laura Scudiere.

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PINE RIVER - Firefighters in Pine River had a tough day Saturday. They battled a house fire Friday night.

Crews didn't finish cleaning up the scene until 3:30 Saturday morning. Then they got called to a second fire in the afternoon.

The first fire happened at 9:12 p.m. The Lincoln County Dispatch Center got a call about a possible structure fire on County Highway WW in the Town of Pine River. That's east of Merrill, but when the Pine River Department got there, the house was in flames.

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HUDSON - A standoff between police and a man in Hudson has ended with the man taken into custody.

Hudson Police Chief Marty Jensen says a man with a "known history of violence" was arrested shortly before 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Police were initially called to the house at 3 a.m. Jensen says the man had trashed his ex-girlfriend's home and phone, but she was able to get to a friend's house and call police.

The woman told police there was a handgun in the house. Roughly eight nearby homes were evacuated as police and the SWAT team tried to get the man to come outside.

Jensen says no shots were fired, but authorities used tear gas and other chemicals during the standoff.

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