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New canine unit making drug crimes more difficult in TomahawkSubmitted: 06/14/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

New canine unit making drug crimes more difficult in Tomahawk
TOMAHAWK - The Tomahawk Police Department saw some major staffing changes in the past year. There's a new police chief, and it got its first non-human member.

The department launched a major crackdown on drug crimes in the area. Now, that newest member has hit the streets to help them out.

Meet Vali, Tomahawk's new drug dog. Vali and her partner Officer Ryan Picl have only been on the job together for two weeks. But in that short time, Vali already shows major promise.

"We've deployed her six times on cars and she's alerted on every one of them. And items have been found inside each car," says Picl.

Vali isn't a patrol dog. That means she doesn't chase and bring down suspects. But she can track people, and she's trained to find all kinds of drugs.

"She's trained for marijuana, coke, methamphetamine, opiate base like heroin and amphetamines," says Picl.

For the canine handler, it's a 24 hour a day, seven day a week commitment. Chief Al Elvins says Picl is the right man for the job.

"Ryan's got a drive and he's able to be aggressive without showing an aggressive nature to people. If he knows that his job is to go out there and make the street safer that's what he's going to do rain, shine, day or night," says Chief Elvins.

The duo will be instrumental in the department's effort to make it harder for people to bring drugs into the community. The drug crackdown has already been successful. In past years, the most drug cases Tomahawk police have had was 84. This year, they've already reached 101, and it's only June.

"We're getting a lot of kudos, but it's nothing I've done. The only thing that I've done in this department is taken the handcuffs off the officers and told them to do their job," says Chief Elvins.

The police have another partner: the community.

"The Animal Clinic of Tomahawk, Dr. Julie has gone above and beyond for us. She's given us all her services for free. One vendor that she had gave us food for life so it's absolutely no cost to the taxpayers," says ," says Chief Elvins.

If people keep contributing the way they have been, there will be enough in the canine fund to bring another dog onto the force when Vali retires.

You can contribute to the canine fund by contacting the Tomahawk Police Department.



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 IN OTHER NEWS
Green Alert IssuedSubmitted: 09/18/2018

EAU CLAIRE - A Green Alert has been issued for a 38-year-old veteran.

Nicholas Wagener was last seen in the City of Eau Claire on September 5, 2018, at approximately 3 p.m.
  
Wagener was riding a bright green bicycle and had a large backpack with him. He said he was going camping with his father, but no family member or friend has been in contact with Mr. Wagener since September 5th.

Wagener has left without contacting anyone for long periods of time in the past, most recently living in the woods using his advanced outdoor survival skills.

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PHILLIPS - In Missouri, the ruffed grouse population could vanish in the next few years. The bird is losing its habitat, and a state conservationist calls the situation "perilous."

That trend convinced biologists to try something creative with help from Wisconsin.

Over the last month, the Missouri Department of Conservation has scouted, set up, and collected grouse from specially-designed traps in Price, Lincoln, and two other Northwoods counties. This weekend, the Missouri team caught and moved its 100th and final grouse to Missouri.

It's an effort that's needed for that state, which hasn't had a grouse hunt since 2011 because of dwindling populations of the native bird. This is the first year of a three-year project to move 300 healthy grouse from the Northwoods to land in Missouri just west of St. Louis.

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EAGLE RIVER - A state department will look to an Eagle River company as an example for growth and innovation. Eagle Waste and Recycling serves 74 communities across northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula.

About two weeks ago, the company finished several equipment upgrades and even expanded some of its facility to keep up with demand. 

In a couple weeks, the Wisconsin Council on Recycling will make a stop in Eagle River for a tour and to learn about what makes the business so successful.

"This is the only one in northern Wisconsin that's doing exactly what it's doing, which is processing single stream recycling to the tune of about 150 tons a day," said Sales Manager Jim Whittinghill.

Eagle Waste and Recycling recently added a third baler and doubled the size of its intake building. Whittinghill says the company is even considering adding a second shift for workers to process even more product.

He says they look forward to the state visit.

"We think it's a pretty great thing," said Whittinghill. "We like to show off our facility and make people aware of what's here, what it's doing for the state of Wisconsin, what it's doing for northern Wisconsin."

The Wisconsin Council on Recycling plans to visit Eagle Waste Recycling on Oct. 1 at 11 a.m. The meeting is open to the public. 

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WISCONSIN - Emergency teams met in groups throughout Wisconsin Tuesday for the North Central Wisconsin Healthcare Emergency Readiness Coalition.

The groups called in on a conference call to work through fake scenarios in each county.
Each county had to work through an emergency plan for a mass shooting.

Oneida County worked through a mock scenario at Hodag County Fest.


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RHINELANDER - Fruits and vegetables might sit uneaten for days or maybe weeks in your house. At Wild Instincts in Rhinelander the staff is desperately trying to keep their fridges full of those foods.

Bear cubs have been eating a ton of food this summer. More 100 pounds is used a day. This gets expensive, which is why they are asking for donations. Wild Instinct's 10 bear cubs this year came from different backgrounds

"Some of them were in a situation where their mother was killed by the car and there were three or four young ones and some were just abandoned all by themselves." Wild Instincts Rehab Director Mark Naniot says.

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RED CLIFF - The Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa says plans are underway for a cell tower on its reservation in northern Wisconsin, a need that was underscored by the recent drowning deaths of four family members in the Apostle Islands.

The family's calls for help on Lake Michigan went unanswered for hours due to poor cell coverage.

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MADISON - A former prison guard who falsely claimed she had checked on a suicidal teen inmate has her job back.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the state Employment Relations Commission decided Wednesday to reinstate guard Rosemary Esterholm with $29,000 in back pay.

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