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NEWS STORIES

Special teams, including Rhinelander woman, work through Arizona tragedySubmitted: 07/05/2013
Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


YARNELL, AZ - Nineteen men died fighting the Yarnell Hill wildfire in Arizona on Sunday.

Five days later, that fire still burns across almost 10,000 acres of the Arizona countryside.

The fire became a serious issue early last weekend.

Special teams were called from across the country to help with the fight.

Rhinelander's Suzanne Flory is a member of one of those elite incident response teams.

She and her team arrived before the firefighter deaths on Sunday.

"This has been a difficult fire for everybody. Prescott is right down the road from here. The Hotshot crew was from Prescott. A lot of them lived in this area with their families," she said Friday afternoon.

Firefighters and support crews grieve the loss of those 19 men.

But they also have to keep fighting a still-burning wildfire while they grieve.

"It's an interesting vegetation type out here. It burns really hot and really fast, and then you'll have some hotspots here and there around the perimeter. Right now, we're at 80% containment. We're hoping for 100% containment in the next couple of days," she said.

Several hundred firefighters are still working in central Arizona.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Potato Fest draws in large crowd, teaches kids about agricultureSubmitted: 08/30/2014

RHINELANDER - Potato salad, french fries, mashed potatoes...just about every form of potato was at the second annual Potato Fest in Rhinelander Saturday.

"[We've got] great food. We have just about every single food that can be made with a potato. We have lots of fun games," said the 67th Alice in Dairyland Zoey Brooks. "We have potato sack races, the potato dig for kids, and the Wisconsin spud mobile is here as well."

There were a few changes to the event this year. Event organizers made sure people had something to do every minute at Potato Fest.

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Driver found dead after hit-and-run, shootingSubmitted: 08/30/2014

MILWAUKEE - Police say a male driver has been found dead -- apparently shot after a hit-and-run in Milwaukee.

Authorities say the driver was found dead Friday night in a vehicle that had gone off the road and hit a pole at 31st and Hope.

During their investigation, police learned the driver had been involved in a hit-and-run just a few blocks away. A male who was possibly associated with that first accident shot at the other driver -- who fled, lost control of his vehicle, and hit the pole.

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Cancer patient gets dying wish, weds woman he lovesSubmitted: 08/30/2014

GREEN BAY - When Harley Thomas learned in August that he would have just three months to live, he told his doctors he wanted nothing more than to marry the woman he loves.

The Cancer Team at Bellin Health granted that wish, and hosted a wedding for Thomas and Lori Feeley on Thursday. Area businesses donated everything from Feeley's dress to the cake.

Thomas and Feeley have been together nearly nine years. They planned to marry before, but were in and out of homelessness and didn't have the money.

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UPDATE: 12-year-old boy drowns in hotel poolSubmitted: 08/30/2014

MILWAUKEE - A 12-year-old boy is dead after apparently drowning in a hotel pool in Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office says Zay-Vun Mooreland of Milwaukee died Friday night at the Rodeway Inn & Suites.

A message left with the hotel manager was not immediately returned Saturday.

The medical examiner's report says Mooreland could not swim. He was in the pool with his siblings and a cousin when his older brother went into deep water with Mooreland on his back. The brother began to struggle in the deep water.

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Couch potato race promotes physical activitySubmitted: 08/30/2014

RHINELANDER - One type of potato you couldn't find at Potato Fest this year was a couch potato. Leaders at the YMCA of the Northwoods helped promote health and staying active by putting on the second annual couch potato race.

Teams of racers had to build a moving couch and push it down Brown Street in downtown Rhinelander. They also had to finish obstacle courses along the way.

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Firefighters and WPS workers work together for confined space trainingSubmitted: 08/29/2014

MERRILL - Firefighters put in a lot of work to help people in a variety of different crises.

They need to go through a lot of training to know how to do that.

The Merrill Fire Department got valuable training this week.

They got the chance to practice rescuing someone from a confined space at the hydro power plant in Merrill.

"I think it's a great opportunity for the Merrill Fire Department to partner with WPS. Anytime we can get realistic training it's very very valuable to us," says the captain in charge of training Mike Drury.

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2014 numbers good for state banksSubmitted: 08/29/2014

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LAONA - Only one in twenty banks in Wisconsin lost money in the first half of 2014.

Industry leaders see that as a sign of success and progress.

Those numbers had been worse over the past few years, especially during the recession.

Wisconsin banks made about a half-billion dollars in the first six months of the year. Their total assets were above $100 billion.

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