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Local police officers react to "Blue Lives Matter" billSubmitted: 07/12/2016
Story By Mary O'Connell

Local police officers react to
EAGLE RIVER - A Wisconsin lawmaker wants to pass a Blue Lives Matter bill after the deadly ambush on officers in Dallas last week. The bill would make certain crimes against law enforcement officers hate crimes. But some local officers think the bill might need to be reworked before it's passed.

Rep. David Steffen (R-Green Bay) wants to pass the Blue Lives Matter bill in the wake of the Dallas shooting. The bill would also apply to crimes against firefighters and EMS workers.

Some people criticized the bill, saying professions like law enforcement shouldn't be categorized with other protected groups such as racial or religious minorities. 

One Vilas County Sheriff's officer thinks the bill needs some work.

"It creates a divide," said Vilas County Sheriff's Office Captain David Gardner. "I think all lives matter. [It] doesn't matter if it happens to be an officer or a bus driver or even a person out there that's protesting. We all matter."

Gardner says he hasn't seen officers targeted here in northern Wisconsin, but that doesn't mean it couldn't happen.

He says seeing what happened in Dallas is hard to explain to those who don't wear the badge.

"This is one individual. It's not a group of people," said Gardner. "It's one individual that completed a heinous act. It's part of our job, we understand that, but it doesn't mean that we don't have feelings either."

Gardner thinks another bill might not be the answer either. He says making a law with harsher punishments might not stop a shooter from carrying out an attack.

"I don't think it's going to change his decision. Whether there's a law on the books or not, I think he'll do it anyway," said Gardner. "We need to look at how we can control that behavior. I think there's other avenues we can look to also."

To honor the people who died, the Vilas County Sheriff's officers are wearing their mourning badges.


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When it comes to getting a newborn the nutrients it needs, breastfeeding is the safest and healthiest option. They get everything they need to grow healthy and strong in their mother's milk.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says increasing breastfeeding could save more than 800,000 newborns every year, the majority being under six months old.

Newborns can also develop immunity to illnesses like colds from receiving breast milk.

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THREE LAKES -

Students and parents have been patiently waiting to hear from local school districts on what classes will look like in the fall.

Last night, the Three Lakes School District flipped the script, they instead took questions from community members to hear their concerns.

Educating is a stressful job, now imagine trying to plan a school year around a global pandemic, and combine that with answering questions from nearly 130 parents in one night. That's a day in Teri Maney's shoes.

"It was truly a listening session...this was laying the groundwork so people have an idea of what we're planning and thinking about at the district," Maney said. 

 Those plans primarily aim to have students back in the classroom full time.

 "That would be our goal to return on site five days a week," she added. 

But with COVID-19 showing no signs of letting up in the U.S. backup plans will be in place for any changes.

"Our next level would be a blended approach," Maney added, "We're keeping our primary focus on elementary students being on site and that might mean for our junior high and high school, a little shift of scheduling."

Three Lakes would then approach any positive cases in the district through guidelines from Oneida and Vilas county health officials.

"We also have a plan for if we would have a positive identification in a grade level, or a teacher, or if there's a teacher. We would not want to shut down the entire district," Maney explained. 

But if things don't go as planned, Three Lakes will be fully prepared for online classes.

"The last level, level four, that would be fully remote instruction."

The school board will vote on Monday night at 6:30 whether or not they will continue with the district's plan. 


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According to NBC in Madison, the park did close on Aug. 1 after two employees tested positive for the virus.

People who have single day passes and season passes for 2020 can use them for 2021.

The water park will use the remainder of this year to prepare for the 2021 season.

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