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Over 90% seat belt use in WisconsinSubmitted: 08/21/2019
Over 90% seat belt use in Wisconsin
Story By Newswatch 12 Team

WISCONSIN DELLS - Gov. Tony Evers announced this morning that Wisconsin's seat belt use has reached over 90 percent.

Evers addressed over 400 people working in road safety at today's annual Governor's Conference on Highway Safety in Wisconsin Dells.

This year is the 10-year anniversary of the state's primary seat belt law.

Wisconsin is finally catching up to other Midwest states where seat belt use rates are already above 90%.

Wisconsin's primary seat belt law allows police to stop and cite motorists solely for not being buckled up.

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WAUSAU - People in the Wausau area will never forgot March 22, 2017.

Four people died in a shooting that still has a major impact on the community. 

On Wednesday, the victim's loved ones unveiled a new memorial in Kennedy Park dedicated to their lives.

It stands as a reminder of the tragic events that happened and as a symbol for the strength of the community.

"This is what Wausau does when times are tough," said Wausau Metro Strong member Cassandra Ambrosius. "We get together and rally behind each other and really make a difference."

Ambrosius organized the Run to Remember fundraiser, which made the memorial possible.

She was pleased to see such a large turnout.

"It's amazing to see so many people from so many walks of life here today to come together to see this become a reality," said Ambrosius. "I think it's a nice place people can come; we'll have some benches eventually. They can sit and reflect, or read, or just be and think about those four people and the impact they had."

Wausau Metro Strong formed after the 2017 shooting.

Former chief of police Jeffery Hardel started the group after outreach from community members looking to get involved.

"We didn't know what we could accomplish, but we knew that we wanted to make a difference. That's how Wausau Metro Strong started and we've been meeting monthly ever since," said Hardel.

Hardel says it took a lot of moving parts to make this memorial a reality.

From raising the money to finding a location, and leaning on the community for support.

"I feel very good right now knowing all our efforts came to fruition and we have a memorial that will honor those four victims forever," said Hardel.

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WISCONSIN - Every year we get our fair share of winter weather. From Blizzard Warnings to Winter Weather Advisories, the National Weather Service uses various tools to alert the public. Now, they have a new warning intended to keep you safer.

A new alert called a Snow Squall Warning will now be issued by National Weather Service offices in the Midwest, including our region.

"It's different than say a winter storm where the storm might last anywhere from 12 to 18 to 24 hours," said Green Bay National Weather Service Meteorologist Jim Skowronski. "This is something that might move through a location in 20 to 30 minutes."

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ELCHO - Pizza, with a side of locally grown farm fresh fruits and vegetables, was on the menu Wednesday at the Elcho School District.

"We have a hydroponic farm that offers tomatoes, cucumbers and sweet peppers," said Elcho Food Service Director Charlie Ferrigno.

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MADISON - A jury in Wisconsin has awarded $450,000 to the father of a boy killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting after he filed a defamation lawsuit against conspiracy theorist writers who claimed the massacre never happened.

A Dane County jury Tuesday decided the amount James Fetzer must pay Leonard Pozner, whose 6-year-old son Noah was among the 26 victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

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RHINELANDER - The state of Wisconsin is one of the few states that doesn't have a law similar to the CARE Act.

The CARE act defines steps hospitals must take to make sure caregivers have the knowledge they need when a patient is released.

Helen Marks Dicks, an advocacy director at the AARP believes Wisconsin lawmakers may take up the CARE act soon.

"40 states already have the care act," said Dicks. "We just got it introduced it was circulated for co-sponsorship recently in the Assembly and senate and we hoping to get introduced this year."

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RHINELANDER - Winter approaching means road crews need to prepare for snow and ice.

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Carpenters, masons and other skilled laborers from Lac du Flambeau will soon restore a government owned, Great Depression era lodge in Taylor Co.

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