Rhinelander manufacturer holds active shooter training for employees; teams up with police departmentSubmitted: 10/18/2017
Allie Herrera
Allie Herrera

Rhinelander manufacturer holds active shooter training for employees; teams up with police department
RHINELANDER - Inside any large fabrication company, you'll find a lot of machinery. Those machines prompt plenty of safety measures inside Rhinelander's Charter NEX Films. 

"Safety is number one and you'll know that when you walk through our door," said Safety Coordinator Ted Towle. 

Towle now oversees the 75,000 square foot building, which just added some new safety measures. For example, when a visitor walks inside, they have to check in and someone has to open the door. 

On Wednesday, employees learned about safety beyond the protective eyewear and ear plugs they normally use.

"We hear more and more of the active shooter situations and events so it only makes sense that we be prepared for an incident or event if it were to happen here or in our community," said Towle. 

"Unfortunately, in this day in age, it's not a matter of if it's going to happen in our area. It's just when," said Rhinelander Sergeant Angela Mertz. 

Mertz led the free civilian active shooter response training. She's the only officer certified to give these trainings in her department. 

"I thought it was a great opportunity to fill a void that we had here," said Mertz. 

In February, Mertz was certified as a CRASE instructor, which stands for Citizen Response to Active Shooter Event. She gained her certification through ALERRT, which stands for Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training. 

During the training, Mertz used real life examples, some of which are close to home. Like the March 22 shooting in Marathon County.

"They've visited these areas. They've been to these places. They might know some of the people involved. If they can relate to it on a personal level it might be something that they'll remember better," said Mertz. 

Mertz hopes those who were at the training remember things like how to barricade walls and how to react in certain situations. She also hopes it helps get employees thinking about what could work best for the company. 

"These events can occur anywhere at any time and to be prepared just give us that much better of an edge and we can keep the employees safe," said Towle. 

Towle also says the company will review some of its policies and procedures. He calls this presentation "eye-opening" for everyone.

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EAGLE RIVER - When you grab a bowl out of your cupboard, it probably came from a big box store.

You won't find those at The Warehouse Art Center in Eagle River.

These are hand-thrown bowls made right in the ceramic studio.

Teacher John Langer and his students made about 200 bowls for the upcoming Empty Bowls Supper Fundraiser for the art center and Vilas Pantry.

You'll have the chance to eat soup and KEEP one of these bowls for a small donation.

"Having something that is handmade and touched by nother person is so important. It makes a great connection, you know?" say Langer.

The Empty Bowls Supper Fundraiser is this Sunday, April 29th at 4 P.M.

For more info, click below.

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LINCOLN COUNTY - Police in Lincoln County caught a woman driving the wrong way on Highway 51 near Irma.

People calling on cell phones reported the wrong way driver around 11:00 p.m. Saturday.

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About 30 kids participated in the event. Each author held presentations on their books and explained the process of getting them published.

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RHINELANDER - A sustainability fair in Rhinelander connects people who want to keep the earth clean and healthy.
Organizers celebrated Earth Day by teaching people how they can accomplish that.
Abby Meyer came up from Green Bay for her first Sustainability Fair in Rhinelander Sunday. She sells all natural skin care products.

"It's the future of being able to have a planet, such great energy here," said Meyer.
Meyer and 42 other exhibitors feel energized to protect the earth.
"It's kind of interesting what other people do and the good they're doing for other people," said maple syrup vendor Leroy Schmieder.

Schmieder said being around people with the same mission is encouraging.
"It's kind of a community thing, you learn what everybody else is doing," said Schmieder.
Fair organizer Ann Eshelman said the fair teaches the community, but also brings people with a message together.
"They're providing something that we as a group think is valuable, they're kinda isolated," said Eshelman.
When the fair started eight years ago organizers wanted to end that isolation. Bringing vendors together to share their message, make connections, and walk away with new information.
"Giving each other jobs and work and supporting each other," said Meyer.

Eshelman believes that support is what the community needs to help move in the right direction.
"[It] can enable even ordinary Northwoods residents to do something for the earth," said Eshelman.
It can also show them that helping the environment starts at home.
"An important part of sustainability is helping out your community," said Meyer.

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Wisconsin Public Radio reports that the Tomah VA Medical Center is one of 18 veterans hospitals across the country launching the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Whole Health program.

Whole Health coaches help VA patients set personal health and wellness goals, address chronic pain, prevent illness or injury and treat mental health needs. The program also uses alternative therapies like tai chi, acupuncture and Healing Touch, which focuses on restoring a person's energy field.

The initiative comes four years after a veteran died at the facility from a mixture of prescribed drugs. Federal investigations found that some staff were over-prescribing drugs.

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Crews were running fire hydrants to fix a water main. A well unexpectedly started and mixed iron into the water which left a brownish color. 

A superintendent from the sanitary district says water is now clear but If you do see color in your water run the cold faucet for a few seconds. 

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