RHINELANDER - An Independence Day celebration wouldn't be the same without the sparkle and shine of fireworks.
But some types of fireworks aren't allowed in Wisconsin. Using those illegal fireworks in spite of the law can be very dangerous, especially, around children.
It's illegal for you to light fireworks in Wisconsin without a permit.
The Oneida County Sheriff's Office and the Rhinelander Fire Department want you to remember some important details.
"Anything that leaves the ground, or goes bang is an illegal firework. Certainly, if you're lighting off even the legal ones, like the fountains, they can cause brush fires and house fires. You wanna make sure that you're lighting them on either bare dirt, or a concrete blacktop driveway," said Terry William, Rhinelander's Fire Chief.
The fine for using illegal fireworks is nearly $1000.
Your first noise complaint means fireworks will be confiscated.
Rhinelander's Fire Chief says the second call is often too late.
"Unfortunately, the way we end up dealing with the people that use [illegal] fireworks are when the firework goes off on their finger, a traumatic injury from the explosion, or significant burns," continued Williams.
Leaders at the Oneida County Sheriff's Department also want to remind you that many combat veterans live in the Northwoods.
The noise from illegal fireworks could trigger Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.
Using fireworks in most state parks and forests is also illegal.
If you're caught using them anyway, that fine will cost you up to $200.
PHILLIPS - The Price County Sheriff's Office wants to find out what it needs to do to get a K-9 officer. Sheriff Brian Schmidt believes a new dog would improve the office's ability to find drugs.
The county doesn't have its own K-9 officer. However, they do turn to other departments for help.
"What we would utilize is surrounding counties, and it is at their discretion," Schmidt said. "Like Rhinelander, we utilize their dog on occasion, maybe once or twice a year. But again, it is their dog, so they have their needs come first. So if we have our own equipment, our needs are met with our equipment."
WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling received a record number of phone calls to the helpline in 2014â€"14,731 to be exact. This is a 5.6 percent increase from calls received in 2013.
Some of the callers reported having to file for bankruptcy or having thoughts of suicide. The report from the Council also calculated $47,000 as the average gambling debt of callers in 2014, and $20,000 as the median debt.
VILAS COUNTY - Many snowmobile trails in Eagle River still need more grooming after all three trail groomers went out of service. The trails didn't get groomed for four days last week because all three of the Sno-Eagles Snowmobile Club's trail groomers need repairs.
The club hasn't had all of their groomers working for a couple of weeks. Sno-Eagles President Ken Storms said the trails took a big hit last week when all three went down. The club says it has made a concerted effort to catch up with trail grooming, and get the trails smoothed out.
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