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.
RHINELANDER - The City of Rhinelander and Oneida County will consider borrowing $15 million to help develop a manufacturer in Rhinelander, according to an Oneida County Economic Development Corporation release Tuesday.
The money would help Rhinelander Coated Products start work inside the former Printpack building on Kemp Street.
BOULDER JUNCTION - Pilots find very little room for error when they make a landing. Wings, flaps, and landing gear all need to work properly. Then there's the runway itself, which needs to be flat and smooth.
So, when pilots found ruts and divots torn into the grass runway at Boulder Junction's airport, folks were more than upset, they were worried about safe landings. Airfield president Jeff Long thinks someone used a pickup truck to do the damage. It happened right before the airfield's busiest weekend of the year, the Musky Day fly-in.
"To see somebody disregard that, disrespect that, and then again the safety, where somebody could get hurt that we're inviting up here for summer fun, doesn't make you feel very good," Long said.
KNOWLTON - When you think of Wisconsin, you probably think of the Packers, dairy, and beer. One of the quintessential things that make this state great is its cheese, and you'll find no shortage of that in north central Wisconsin. The largest family-owned cheese factory is right in our own backyard, and it continues to push its limits in the industry
For Bill Mullins, the cheese business is all in the family.
"My other two brothers are in the business," said Bill, Co-Owner of Mullins Cheese. "My brother has four boys in the business full-time. My mom did accounting for us until she was 88."
EAGLE RIVER - Cities across the Northwoods drop tens of thousands of dollars every winter on crack sealing roads. The Eagle River Airport is no different. The airport spent about $25,000 in 2016 patching up its main runway.
Arguably, that runway is even older than most roads people drive on. The runway was last redone in 1971. On a busy day, the 5,000-foot runway hosts upwards of 80 takeoffs and landings. Airport manager Rob Hom showed Newswatch 12 a number of places where the pavement is buckling and cracked. That can lead to dangerous landings for small planes.
"Relative to a car or a truck [a prop-powered airplane is] pretty light relatively speaking, so having a smooth runway is imperative," Hom said.
MADISON - New state regulations designed to retain teachers are going into effect.
The package was published Tuesday. The provisions allow retired teachers or teachers nearing retirement to apply for a nonrenewable five-year license without submitting a professional development plan. They also increase the time that short-term substitute teachers can serve in the same assignment from 20 days to 45 days.
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