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UPDATE: Crews battle business fire Submitted: 04/26/2014
Story By Shardaa Gray

UPDATE: Crews battle business fire
MERRILL - Merrill Fire Department handled a lot of fires Saturday.

One of them was at a factory.

Fire crews aren't sure how it got started.

But they do know property couldn't be saved.

Yorde Tool & Machining lost boats, a truck, carts, a bulldozer and two pontoons Saturday.

The fire happened around 1:30 this afternoon.

Merrill Fire Department says they were able to save the business part of the building.

But the storage unit was a complete loss.

"The ceiling did come down. We could not make entry into that building so everything had to be external," said Merrill Fire Department captain, Scott Krause.

"They needed a clam truck to pull the tint off the building so they could have access to put out the hot spots."

The first fire happened at storage unit on county road C.

A car was inside of the storage when it caught on fire.

The storage was saved, but the only thing left of the car was the frame.

The third fire happened at a house on Genesee street.

The captain says the renters were outside and had no idea there was a fire in the basement.

"It started near the gun cabinet area. They have a wooden gun cabinet," Krause said.

"At the base of the gun cabinet is where the origin of the fire was. Possibly a candle that was left unattended is what we're going with right now."

They renters will stay in a hotel Saturday night because the house is not livable.

The cause of the factory fire is still under investigation.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

VILAS COUNTY - Many people love sightseeing on two wheels throughout the Northwoods.

Now, you can get a prize for doing it.

"Bike the Heart" encourages riders to explore the different communities along the Heart of Vilas County Trail.

The trail is more than 45 miles of paved path that connects Boulder Junction, Sayner, St. Germain and Manitowish Waters.

The goal of "Bike the Heart" is to stop at each Chamber of Commerce with a "pass card" to get a stamp.

You have until September to collect four stamps and send it in to one of the chambers to be entered for a prize worth more than $100.

"Bringing the bicyclists to this area is astronomical. We have inquiries from the entire Midwest and even the outlying states of California and New York," says executive director Penny Wiesmann of St. Germain Chamber of Commerce.

Mile markers and "fix-it" stations are the newest additions to the Heart of Vilas County Trail.

The stations have tools attached to the sides to help you make a quick fix on your bike.

"We're just really excited that people can come up and ride up the entire length of the trail, or if they want to take up some smaller portions they can do that to," says executive director Theresa Smith of Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce.



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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/23/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll show you a training course for Taylor County deputies and courthouse staff on how to respond with and active shooter in the courthouse.

We'll take you live to Shepard Park in Rhinelander, the site some residents hope will have sections set aside for a dog park. Monday the Parks committed approved the proposal.

And a Nicolet College club provides a safe space for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender students and allies to discuss personal issues. Now they want to get a group started outside the campus. We talk to a member of the Rainbow Hodags Club about his experiences with the group.

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

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MADISON - The Legislature's budget committee has decided to put off votes on the University of Wisconsin System budget because Senate Republicans can't agree on what to do about tuition rates.

Gov. Scott Walker's budget calls for cutting tuition by 5 percent and giving the system $35 million to offset the lost revenue. It also would give the system $42.5 million in additional state aid. Campuses that do better on new performance standards would get bigger chunks of the funding.

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Monday, work started to add some new fun to the park. Rhinelander Parks Department workers started tearing down the old slide. It's been blocked off since last fall and would cost up to $10,000 to fix the slide and structure itself.

Parks Director Jeremy Biolo reached out to a local service group to see if they could help.

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The Northwoods "Let's Go Fishing" pontoon helps veterans, seniors, the disabled get on the lake for a day of fun.

The Northwoods chapter needs volunteer captains and mates to keep the rides running.

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RHINELANDER - If you wait long enough, you could see Rhinelander city workers mowing your front lawn. But it's not free, and it's not a service they necessarily want to provide.

Streets Superintendent Tony Gilman has been named "Weed Commissioner" for the fourth year.  That means he'll be on the lookout and taking calls for lawns with grass 12 inches or longer.  Gilman says he gets dozens of calls from fed-up people each year.

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MERRILL - People who lost their homes in last week's tornado will get state help, but likely no federal dollars to rebuild.

Initial estimates from the Barron County Sheriff's Office put the damage from last week's tornado at $10 million.

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