ACROSS WISCONSIN - Gov. Scott Walker has declared a state of emergency in advance of a winter storm forecast to hit Wisconsin Thursday.
Heavy snowfall, freezing rain and strong winds are expected. Some areas of west-central and northwestern Wisconsin could get more than a foot of snow.
Walker issued his executive order Wednesday. The order will ready Wisconsin Emergency Management, the Wisconsin National Guard, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin State Patrol.
ReadyWisconsin and the Department of Transportation say travelers should consider limiting, delaying or canceling their travel plans Thursday. Travelers also should check road conditions before leaving home by calling 5-1-1 or visiting www.511wi.gov . Travelers also should carry an emergency winter weather survival kit in their vehicle.
PHILLIPS - The Price County Sheriff's Office wants to find out what it needs to do to get a K-9 officer. Sheriff Brian Schmidt believes a new dog would improve the office's ability to find drugs.
The county doesn't have its own K-9 officer. However, they do turn to other departments for help.
"What we would utilize is surrounding counties, and it is at their discretion," Schmidt said. "Like Rhinelander, we utilize their dog on occasion, maybe once or twice a year. But again, it is their dog, so they have their needs come first. So if we have our own equipment, our needs are met with our equipment."
VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County finally got what it wanted. For fifteen years, the county had needed someone to act as a full-time Recreational Officer--someone to monitor public safety on the snowmobile and ATV trails as well as the lakes and rivers. Now, Vilas County Deputy Sheriff Randy Schneider will fill that role.
WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling received a record number of phone calls to the helpline in 2014â€"14,731 to be exact. This is a 5.6 percent increase from calls received in 2013.
Some of the callers reported having to file for bankruptcy or having thoughts of suicide. The report from the Council also calculated $47,000 as the average gambling debt of callers in 2014, and $20,000 as the median debt.
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