CRANDON - Police officers can always use more help keeping drugs out of their communities. The Forest County Sheriff's Department has a new member, who will do just that. But this officer works on four legs.
Buster joined the department last winter. He and his K-9 handler Bill Hujet trained for months to work together. They've been teammates since the beginning of the year. Hujet says Buster has already been a big help.
"In a lot of traffic stops when I talk to the people they will tell me right out if they have drugs or not in the car, where before that wouldn't happen. But because I have the dog they will hand stuff over that they wouldn't have told (me about). Or in a lot of cases I have had him search cars and he has found a lot of drugs," says Hujet.
Hujet says people in town have been welcoming and enthusiastic about the new officer.
Buster is a patrol and drug dog. That means he can help find most drugs, search for people, and chase suspects.
The Sheriff's Department is holding a fundraising golf-scramble August 17. The entire K-9 Unit has been funded by a grant and community support.
EAGLE RIVER - Snowmobile trails open at 6 p.m. in most of Vilas County.
Local businesses that cater to snowmobilers look forward to a successful season.
The trails already have a lot more snow than they did last year at this time.
"Anytime you bring people to the Northwoods, whether it's just the snowmobilers, it's not only helping our business, it helps everybody. They bring family up so they'll go to the Children's Museum, or the downtown and restaraunts. They utilize all the area businesses," said Greg Cook from Track Side in Eagle River.
RHINELANDER - Many veterans are not eligible for full dental coverage.
But a new VA healthcare program is changing that.
Veterans who don’t have dental insurance can now join a new program that will give them coverage.
The VA partnered with insurance companies MetLife and Delta Dental.
Brad Nelson is the public information officer for the VA in Iron Mountain.
"About 90 percent of our veterans who are enrolled in VA healthcare, are not eligible for VA dental care directly, like we mentioned," said Nelson. "So that's why this insurance program would be a very good option for them if they don't already have dental insurance."
The new program allow veterans can work directly with the two insurance companies for the best coverage plans.
The closest full-care VA hospital is in Iron Mountain.
The program will cut down on travel time for veterans by helping them find a dentist who will accept their new insurance plan closer to home.
"Taking control of your healthcare is actually one of the messages that the VA wants to come across to our veterans, including dental care," said Nelson. "Again, we want recognize at the VA that oral health can impact a person's overall health."
The program will get vets a reduced monthly cost for the insurance.
Coverage goes into effect January 1st.
For additional information, visit the VA Healthcare website.
MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker has signed into law a bill that creates a new open crossbow season to run concurrently with the archery deer season.
Crossbow hunting had been allowed only for those over age 65 and those with physical disabilities. Under the new law, hunters of all legal ages and physical abilities can use crossbows to hunt deer and other smaller animals including rabbits and coyotes.
The crossbow season will be the same as the archery deer season, which runs from mid-September until the end of November or beginning of December, depending on the year.
Creating the new crossbow season ran into some opposition from traditional bow-and-arrow hunters who worried that allowing a crossbow would taint archery hunting. Walker signed the bill on Tuesday.
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