MADISON - Starting next year deer hunters may have a new way to hunt.
The State Senate approved a bill that would allow hunters to start using crossbows for the 2014 hunting season.
The Assembly and Governor Walker still have to approve it. Right now, only senior citizens and handicapped hunters are allowed to use crossbows.
"It's a way to increase opportunity for folks that, for whatever reason, might not be able to draw or aim a traditional bow," said DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz. "As long as it gives people a secure shot and a good clean kill, and gives them a chance to get out in the woods and enjoy hunting, the department is definitely in favor of increasing opportunities for everyone."
Some people argue allowing crossbows will lead to overcrowding in the woods.
"I see no problem with it. I think if we get more people out there or we give them more options, and give them a good way to kill a deer, and participate in the hunt why wouldn't we want to do that," said Holtz.
Crossbows would only be allowed during the bow hunting season.
People hoping to keep a violent child sex offender from moving into their Forest County community needed to go to Shawano County to make their case today. Newswatch 12's Dakota Sherek is there and will bring you updates on what happens at the hearing and the judge's ruling which we expect tonight.
We talk to two local resource officers about how their jobs have changed over the years. Some of that change has happened because of school violence across the country and right here in the Northwoods.
And we talk to the executive director of the Birkebeiner race in Hayward about the enthusiasm people in the area have with the big event coming up this weekend.
We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.
NORTHWOODS - Lakes and nature bring people from all over the country to the Northwoods during the summer. Those same attractions get some people to stay here. Home sales and home prices in the Northwoods went up in 2017.
The Wisconsin Realtors Association reports about 1,300 more homes sold last year than in 2016 in Wisconsin. A local broker saw the increase firsthand.
"The markets that are going crazy right now are premium homes. The Minocqua chain is red hot, the Eagle River chain is pretty hot the Three Lakes chain is pretty hot and there are some chains of lakes that are less hot," said Coldwell Banker broker Jim Mulleady.
HAYWARD - Trail conditions for this year's American Birkebeiner race will be just about perfect.
Executive Director Ben Popp said there's about a six inch base, three inches of snow on top, and more snow on the way in the Hayward area.
"The energy right now is just unreal. You can feel it here in Hayward and Cable and certainly around the world. Now with a gold medal, Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall, brings more excitement to not only this event, but the sport. So it's a really great time to be a cross country skier," said Popp.
MERRILL - Trinity Lutheran School in Merrill doesn't have room for any more kindergarten students next year.
Its class is already full, partly because some families can send their kids to Trinity for free.
For the third straight year, Trinity will participate in Wisconsin's private school choice program.
This year, the state pays tuition for about 30 of Trinity's 120 total students.
"Parents like the Christian base, obviously. That's the main reason people send [their kids] here," said School Administrator Kathy Yahr. "They're keeping them here more now because of the opportunities that we offer."
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