NEWS STORIES

State Supreme Court Rules Against Local Homeowner in Bat Infestation ClaimSubmitted: 03/07/2012
Story By Kailey Burton

LAKE TOMAHAWK - A batty situation for a well-known lawyer has set a new precedent for home insurance coverage.

Attorney Joel Hirschhorn assumed a bat infestation, and all the droppings they left behind in his in his Lake Tomahawk cabin, would be a covered loss under his policy.

Turns out, that's not the case.

"It was pretty pungent. I mean when you walked in you knew, at high noon, that there was a smell. Something -Not the kind of thing you'd want to bring people over," says attorney Joel Hirschhorn.

Hirschhorn argued before the state supreme court that his policy covered rebuilding the soiled house.

But yesterday the court sided with the insurance company, reversing an appeals court decision.

The court ruled that bat guano fell under an exclusion to his policy.

So what does that mean for homeowners in the Northwoods?

"You gotta read the real small print that says 'uh oh, if this happens or that happens, we're not going to cover you," says Hirschhorn.

Local insurance agent Don Strupp tells us homeowners can pick a policy that covers just the basics, or they can opt for a "nearly" all-inclusive Form 3 policy.

"Basically on those policy forms they cover whatever happens to the property EXCEPT, [the named exceptions]and that's where you can read those certain exceptions," says Strupp.

Both Hirschhorn and Strupp agree that it all comes down to the print in your policy, and making sure your policy covers what you think it does.

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List of holiday events around northcentral Wisconsin this weekendSubmitted: 11/27/2014

NORTHCENTRAL WISCONSIN - Here is a list of some of the special holiday events going on around northcentral Wisconsin this weekend.

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Madison College to train police on use of dronesSubmitted: 11/27/2014

MADISON - Madison College is developing a program to train law enforcement officers on how to operate drones.

Several law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin are considering the use of drones, for situations such as search-and-rescue missions or tactical operations.

Madison College is coming up with training that will show police and firefighters how to fly the unmanned aerial devices, as well as how to use them ethically.

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Friendship House provides free Thanksgiving meal for the communitySubmitted: 11/27/2014

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RHINELANDER - Many local businesses want to pay it forward this Thanksgiving. That includes Friendship House in Rhinelander.

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Police plan to present the report to the Madison City Council on Tuesday.

The report notes that studies have shown departments that use the cameras have seen fewer citizen complaints. But it also says more research is needed to see if the cameras actually bolster trust in officers.

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Lead found in City of Wausau drinking waterSubmitted: 11/27/2014

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WAUSAU - Wausau Water Works recently found elevated levels of lead in drinking water.

Now they're asking homeowners to be cautious when using that water.

The city stopped installing lead service lines in 1965.

They stopped using lead solder in 1986.

Today most pipes are made of either copper or plastic.

Any home with lead service lines could have lead in its water.

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How you can "Go Green" this holiday season Submitted: 11/27/2014

RHINELANDER - Many people "go green" by recycling or riding a bike instead of driving a car to work.

You can also "go green" by shopping this year.

Green Tuesday asks people to buy gifts in their communities.

It also encourages you to keep the environment in mind when shopping.

That could mean buying organic toys or clothes or even meals from organic restaurants.

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Bundle Up program aims to keep families warm; how you can helpSubmitted: 11/27/2014

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RHINELANDER - You can help families stay warm this winter by donating your extra winter clothing to the Big Bundle Up Campaign. Tourism groups across Wisconsin are looking for mittens, scarves, coats, and other winter gear.

"Those would be really helpful for a lot of people in the area," Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dana DeMet said. "And I think the biggest challenge in the Northwoods is that it's just not as visible, so it's a little harder sometimes to garner that support if you are not faced with it on the streets every day."

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