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Avoid heating hazardsSubmitted: 01/05/2014
Story By Lauren Stephenson


RHINELANDER - Health officials urge people to stay indoors the next few days to avoid health problems caused by frigid temperatures.

But staying inside your home can be dangerous if you don't heat it properly.

The most common cold weather emergencies Rhinelander firefighters respond to are fires caused by portable heaters.

But it's not just the heaters that cause fires.

It's the extension cords used to power them.

"People overuse them. They join them together. In fact, we recommend if you need an extension cord to buy a power strip. That's got the circuit breaker built in to it so if the appliance were to overheat, the circuit breaker would trip," said Rhinelander Fire Department Deputy Chief Craig Metz.

People using portable heaters should place them in the middle of a room to avoid a fire hazard.

They shouldn't run extension cords through doorways.

The cords can bend, causing them to wear down.

Firefighters don't respond to as many chimney or oven fires as they did a few years ago.

New furnaces and the ability for more people to have heat through heating assistance programs have helped reduce the use of ovens and fires.

But a furnace can still pose a danger.

"You want to make sure the intake and the exhaust on your furnace is kept clean. We see that quite a bit where the snow banks will block off the exhaust of the furnace," explained Metz.

Exhaust can build up, creating deadly carbon monoxide levels if the snow isn't cleared.

Firefighters say now is a perfect time to check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors to be sure they're working.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

TOMAH - A dentist has resigned from his position at a Wisconsin Veterans Affairs hospital amid accusations he treated hundreds of patients with improperly cleaned equipment.

The VA hospital in Tomah, Wisconsin, announced the dentist's resignation Friday, ahead of a scheduled Monday meeting of a panel used in situations that could warrant firing.

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LAND O' LAKES - Eric Hedberg dreams of more than a white Christmas.

"Everyone gathered around the tree watching Christmas movies, exchanging presents, taking my new niece sledding down the hill outside," said Hedberg.

This Christmas, the 17-year-old from Land O' Lakes wants his family together because this holiday is one that, six months ago, he wasn't sure if he would see.

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RHINELANDER - The Crescent Fire Department spent years trying to find a good place for a town pavilion.  It turns out the best spot was right in its own back yard.

The department plans to build that pavilion right behind the Crescent Town Hall off Golf Course Road just west of Rhinelander.  The town board swapped land with a homeowner to get several acres of wooded property.

Fire department members cleared and leveled a big portion of that land a few weeks ago.

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RHINELANDER - It seems to happen every winter. The first few snowfalls of the year trigger slides, slips, and rollovers as drivers readjust to winter driving conditions. 

On Monday, a driver swerved near Rhinelander and rolled over by Highway 17, according to an officer on the scene. 

Oneida County Patrol Captain Lloyd Gauthier wants to remind drivers to be extra cautious this winter.

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker says he's open to having the state help pay for a new juvenile corrections center in Milwaukee County.

Currently, the state's two secure juvenile facilities share a campus north of Wausau. Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls have been under criminal investigation for allegations of prisoner abuse and child neglect.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 12/05/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

This holiday season, a Land O' Lakes teen with Gitelman syndrome dreams of more than a white Christmas. He wants his family together in a home that currently needs a lot of work. We'll show you how the community has come together to help make that dream come true.

Beginning tomorrow, traffic will be slowed down on part of Highway 51 in Lincoln County as crews work on beam guards. We'll tell you where the work is being done and how long it's expected to take.

And we'll show you an accident in the Rhinelander area that was a result of snowy road conditions and tell you what to watch out for while driving on the roads this winter.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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CANNON BALL, NORTH DAKOTA - The Latest on the Dakota Access pipeline protest (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it won't grant an easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline in southern North Dakota.

Corps spokeswoman Moria Kelley said in a news release Sunday that the administration will not allow the four-state, $3.8 billion pipeline to be built under Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir where construction had been on hold.

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