Connect to your neighbors with NextdoorSubmitted: 08/18/2014
Story By Jeanine Ilacqua

MERRILL - The city of Merrill allows its citizens to take part in a neighborhood watch on their cell phones.

The website and phone app called Nextdoor connects neighborhoods on a secure social media platform.

When you join Nextdoor, you are sorted into a neighborhood based on where you live. Anyone in the city of Merrill can join the Nextdoor Merrill neighborhood.

There are secure pages for classified ads, lost dogs, town events, and government updates.

"It's really a way to communicate as a neighbor with another neighbor. And for us, the police department in the city of Merrill, it gives us a way to communicate with the people in our city on this social media," said Merrill Police Chief Ken Neff.

The Merrill Police Department launched the neighborhood last September. The app was launched to help with crime prevention.

"I just want to continue to build this to make it easier for us to get information out, and get information from people in the city," said Neff.

Merrill has about 340 registered neighbors. As more members join the site, the Merrill police department hopes to set up neighborhood watch groups.

"I would like to be able to, from this point, set up those neighborhood watch groups and run that out of Nextdoor. And, have people that are responsible for that area that we can communicate that they can disseminate information to their neighbors," said Neff.

If you are part of another community you can join your own neighborhood or start one yourself.

"Anyone can go to Nextdoor dot com and it asks for your address. If there isn't a neighborhood started in your city, you can start one yourself," says Neff.

You can join at www.nextdoor.com or on your smartphone.

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RHINELANDER - The yellow Historical Society Museum on Pelham Street looks like many houses here in Rhinelander, but step through the doorway and see early 1900's history packed from wall to wall.

The Historical Society Museum will have an open house Saturday from noon to 4:00 p.m.

Pieces of Rhinelander's past are preserved inside the house.

Some of those items include a black and white photo of the original hodag, a drum from the old paper mill marching band, and a dining room set made by the Rhinelander Boat Company.

Not only are those items inside the house artifacts, so is the house itself.

"If the walls were empty there would be stories and neat things to see here. You take that, just the neat house and then of course fill it up with all of the items, every room is just a multitude of stories of different items that are in it," said Vice President of the Rhinelander Historical Society Bill Vancos.

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RHINELANDER - Fifty-one Wisconsin residents lost their lives to domestic violence last year.

Rhinelander's Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault will honor those lives Friday night at a vigil.

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RHINELANDER - Northwoods Veterans will be taken care of this flu season thanks to The Rhinelander Veterans Affair Clinic. 

The clinic will provide free flu shots for Veterans starting Friday. 

Half the Veteran population is over 60 years old, which puts them at increasing risk with flu complications.

 Clinic nurse Christina Paris wants to make sure the Veteran community is taken care of. 

"We like to think of our Veterans as part of our extended family. 

And it's heartwarming to know that we can be here to help them and serve them the best we can," said Paris.

Providing this service to Veterans hits close to home for Paris.

 She served in the Air Force as a medic for 20 years. As a Veteran herself, she understands how important this service is.

"I'm so connected and I really feel like helping fellow service members and fellow Veterans is really important," said Paris.

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PORTAGE COUNTY - Portage County Health and Human Services says it's seen an increase in whooping cough cases in the area. It wants parents to make sure their families are up-to-date on their vaccinations.

Kids usually get a vaccine as a baby, but it says parents may not realize kids need a booster dose at 11-years-old.

Portage County Health and Human Services also recommends adults to get a booster if they haven't had whooping cough since childhood.

Whooping cough usually starts with a runny nose or mild cough, but can be dangerous for babies.

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WAUSAU - Teachers from Wausau East High School are finalists in a contest sponsored by Farmers Insurance.  

They could win $100,000 to convert Wausau East's current technology lab into a state-of -the-art digital space.

The teachers have moved up to 5 place in the contest. 

They need to stay in the top six until October 31 to win the $100,000. 

Teachers Paula Hase and Elizabeth Kysely, both saw a need in their community. 

They want their students to be able to have the same opportunities as students in other areas of the country.

"In the last five years we have had our resources cut back," said Hase.

 "So it would be great to bring this chunk of money and make a significant difference in a program and ramp it up to quality level.

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SCHOFIELD - Earlier this week, people found out Affordable Care Act premiums would go up by an average of more than 20 percent next year. In some cases, that could make some payments go up $50 to $300 per month.

It's just one reason two senators called Obamacare "a disaster."

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 10/28/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

The Wisconsin high school football level 2 playoffs begin tonight. We will take you live to Green Bay where the Antigo Red Robins will take on Green Bay Notre Dame. We'll give you a preview of that game and tell you the challenge the Robins will face.

Also, on tonight's Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10, we will bring you highlights from that game as well as from Hudson vs. Stevens Point and Marathon vs. Abbotsford.

We'll bring you this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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