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NEWS STORIES

Fire Destorys Three Lakes Strip ClubSubmitted: 12/31/2011
Story By Jenn Sullivan

- Fire officials continue their investigation of what sparked a New Year's Eve blaze destroying a popular Three Lakes strip club.

The fire broke out just after 7 p.m. New Year's Eve at Weasel's Exotic Entertainment just off U.S. Highway 45. The club was closed at the time of the fire.

Three Lakes Fire Chief Herb Stuckart told Newswatch 12 that firefighters saw flames leaping from the roof when the arrived on the scene Saturday evening.

This morning investigators spent their time looking for clues inside the charred remains of the exotic venue. The club had been closed for the holidays and not set to reopen until Thursday.

"It appears the fire may have originated near the stage area in the east part of the building," said Stuckart.

The walls were left standing, but the roof had caved in and everything inside appeared reduced to a char.

Short of calling it a total loss, Stuckart said the fire was intense and spread to all areas of the structure.

"We had 31 firefighters out here, and four personnel from the Vilas County RIT (Rapid Intervention Team)," he said. "Five surrounding departments assisted in the effort, and we used about 10,000 gallons getting the fire under control."

Firefighters took about two hours to put out the flames, staying on the scene until 4:30 a.m. Saturday ensuring the fire didn't rekindle.

Witness Ann Afeldt, dining at a restaurant across the street during the fire, called the scene "frightening".

Although no cause has been determined, Chief Stuckart said the fire appeared to have begun accidentally.

*Picture courtesy of Ann Afeldt.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Off-duty bouncer severely beaten in MadisonSubmitted: 12/20/2014

MADISON - An off-duty bouncer at a Madison bar has severe injuries after he was beaten by two customers.

Police say the 21-year-old bouncer at The City Bar was entering the men's restroom early Saturday when he saw two men with a white powdery substance. Police say one of the men ingested the substance.

The bouncer told the men he was going to notify a manager, and he was attacked. The men left with three other males.

Police say the bouncer was taken to a hospital where he was treated for a broken nose, a fractured orbital socket and a facial laceration that required stitches.

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2014 brings legal gay marriage to WisconsinSubmitted: 12/20/2014

MILWAUKEE - Wisconsin's top story in 2014 was a historic one, as the state joined the ranks of those that allow gay marriage. But plenty of other headlines are worth remembering from the year that was, including Gov. Scott Walker demonstrating his resilience by winning his third election in four years, the theft of a 300-year-old violin and the disturbing case of the Slender Man stabbing.

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A federal judge in Madison uncorked same-sex marriage in June when she struck down the state's ban. Gay couples across the state rushed to wed over several days before opponents stopped it temporarily. Four months later, the U.S. Supreme Court re-started it when it rejected appeals from gay marriage opponents in five states including Wisconsin, and hundreds of couples rushed to courthouse to exercise their right to marry.

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Police arrest Hamilton protesters blocking highwaySubmitted: 12/20/2014

MILWAUKEE - Dozens of demonstrators have been arrested while blocking traffic on Interstate 43 during a march to protest the death of a black man shot by Milwaukee police earlier this year.

Hundreds of protesters blocked traffic during rush hour Friday, calling for charges against officer who shot and killed 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton in April. Officer Christopher Manney shot Hamilton 14 times after a struggle in a downtown park, spurring weeks of protests. Manney was later fired for not following proper procedure.

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Leadership Oneida Co. candidates to provide help, new ideas for local non-profitsSubmitted: 12/19/2014

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RHINELANDER - Northwoods non-profits may struggle to find volunteers, funding, and to stay afloat. A group of people in Oneida County wants to get more involved.

Leadership Oneida County pairs those groups with those people. On Thursday, those groups met to start working towards a common goal.

"We were very pleased to have the group help us and we're anticipating great results again," said Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Executive Director Guy Hansen.

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UPDATE: Great Lakes wolves back on the endangered species list, DNR: disappointed with wolf decisionSubmitted: 12/19/2014

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MADISON - Wisconsin wildlife officials say they're disappointed a federal judge has decided to place Great Lakes wolves back on the endangered species list.

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell's order Friday affects Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The ruling bans further wolf hunting and trapping in those states.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources spokesman Bill Cosh issued a statement Friday evening saying the decision means the state can't authorize anyone to kill a wolf, even wolves discovered in the act of attacking a domestic animal. The statement also said the decision invalidates provisions in Wisconsin law allowing hunters to train dogs to track wolves.

The agency says its disappointed with the ruling and continues to support federal officials' original decision to remove the wolf from the endangered list.

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Students experience spirit of giving at Santa's WorkshopSubmitted: 12/19/2014

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SUGAR CAMP - One Christmas tradition in Sugar Camp teaches children something very special.

Santa's Workshop helps kids experience what it means to give to others.

Parents and teachers put on the event at Sugar Camp Elementary School every year.

Children in pre-k through 6 grade write out a Christmas shopping list for their family.

They picked out their gifts on Friday.

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Truck supply causing challenges getting wood to mills, upfront costs & recession could explain supplySubmitted: 12/19/2014

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LAONA - Northwoods loggers describe business right now as great. KLP Logging and Trucking Owner Kevin Kramer says it's a golden time to get into the business. The Laona business owner says timber prices are high, so is demand, but he's facing issues getting logs to the mills.

Some loggers can't find enough trucks to get their logs from the Northwoods to paper mills. Kramer would love more trucks in the area.

He believes it started in the early 2000s. Kramer says a number of trucks went to the southern U.S. to cash in, and clean up hurricane damage. He says many didn't return.

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