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NEWS STORIES

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
What We're Working onSubmitted: 07/30/2015

- Scientists go out at night on boats charged with electrical currents, which temporarily stun the fish. They then collect the fish to do population studies. See the video tonight on Newswatch 12 at Five.

- Plus, parents try to keep their kids safe in the sun. But what happens when parents aren't around to put sunblock on? Earlier this week, NBC shared a story about two boys getting terrible sunburns during a preschool trip to the park. The boys' mother says teachers didn't put any sunblock on her kids. Now, that has some people wondering what their child's preschool is doing to keep their kids safe. Newswatch 12's Karolina Buczek is live at a playground with more.

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

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RHINELANDER - A Norther Lights Tour scientist explained Rhinelander's role in potato breeding and genetic studies on Wednesday night.

Every year about 50,000 varieties of potato are tested to see if they could be commercially sold.

Only about one in a 100,000 will become a named potato variety.

"The Rhinelander agriculture research station on Highway C is really where that process starts by making the cross pollination, raising those plants for the first time in a greenhouse and then evaluating them in the fields there for a couple years," said UW- Madison Assistant Professor of Horticulture Jeffry Endelman.

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MADISON - A convicted sex offender from Rhinelander can keep pictures of children he cut out of magazines.

A state appeals court dismissed new charges against Albert Chagnon Thursday.

Prosecutors charged the 33-year-old last year with 23 counts of intentionally photographing a minor without consent. Chagnon was about to be released from prison when a guard discovered a notebook in his pants containing photographs of fully-clothed young girls cut out of magazines or newspapers, including the Lakeland Times.

Chagnon argued that the charges should be dismissed because he didn't take the photographs. The 4th District Court of Appeals agreed with him Thursday, saying state law doesn't cover Chagnon's conduct.

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CINCINNATI - A University of Cincinnati police officer who shot a motorist after stopping him over a missing front license plate has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter.

Twenty-five-year-old Ray Tensing wore a striped jail uniform at his arraignment Thursday. Bond was set at $1 million.

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MADISON - Newly released documents show Gov. Scott Walker's office was involved in drafting legislation to overhaul Wisconsin's open records law and keep some government materials secret.

Republicans on the Legislature's budget committee passed a measure earlier this month that would have shielded many documents created by state government officials from the open records law, including drafts of legislation and staff communications.

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MARQUETTE, MI - A historical marker has been placed in Marquette to commemorate the location of the first steam railroad in the Upper Peninsula.

The Mining Journal of Marquette reports (http://bit.ly/1MvloGk ) the Iron Mountain Railroad was built in 1857 and was used to transport iron ore from mines west of Marquette to the city's harbor on Lake Superior.

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MILWAUKEE - The victims of a plane crash in Milwaukee have been identified as the chief operating officer of a Boston capital investment firm and his daughter.

Summit Partners said in a statement Thursday that the victims of Wednesday's crash are Joseph Trustey and his daughter, Anna.

They were traveling to the Midwest for a college visit.

Federal investigators will try to determine why the single-engine plane crashed and erupted in flames at Timmerman Airport on Milwaukee's northwest side. Neighbors whose houses border the airport witnessed the crash at about 6 p.m. but say the flames and smoke made it impossible for them to help.

Witness Ken Gipp says the plane was flying very low when the right wing hit the ground and a wall of flames ignited.

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A small, single-engine passenger plane has crashed and caught on fire at Milwaukee's Timmerman Airport, killing at least one person.

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