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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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 IN OTHER NEWS
Farmers worry good corn crop could mean low pricesSubmitted: 09/14/2014

EAU CLAIRE - Agricultural officials are projecting an 11 percent increase in the size of Wisconsin's corn harvest this year. That has farmers worried that prices will drop too low for them to make a profit.

State projections call for corn yields of 162 bushels per acre. That's up 16 bushels per acre from last year.

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Walker promises more tax cuts in second termSubmitted: 09/14/2014

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker's promises for a second term include cutting property and income taxes for individuals and requiring drug tests for those seeking unemployment and food stamp benefits.

He also wants to freeze tuition at both technical colleges and the University of Wisconsin System.

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Wisconsin grape harvest starting slowlySubmitted: 09/14/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin vineyards are beginning to gather their grapes, and growers say they've seen better harvests.

Most say the picking is behind schedule by 10 days to two weeks. They also expect to get less fruit than last year because the hard winter, a cool summer and lots of rain hurt growing conditions.

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Kids learn about Northwoods animals Submitted: 09/13/2014

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MANITOWISH WATERS - Some parents take their kids on a nature walk to learn more about Northwoods animals, but some kids in Manitowish Waters learned about Northwoods creatures in a fun format.

North Lakeland Discovery Center held its first Northwoods Wildlife Fest Saturday. They want kids and parents to have a better understanding of Northwoods animals.

Leaders for the event set up stations such as be a bat biologist to help kids understand what species they are.

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One hurt in two motorcycle accident Submitted: 09/13/2014

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TOMAHAWK - A woman will recover after a motorcycle fell on her leg Saturday.

A person who saw the two motorcycle accident says the motorcyclists were headed east on highway 8 near County Road A. The accident happened around 4:30 p.m.

The witness says one of the motorcyclists planned on turning into Oaks Pub, but they stopped too soon. That's when the motorcyclists following behind them tried to avoid hitting them, but the bike fell on the passenger.

"I ran right over there, gave them a blanket to put on her so she wasn't shocked. The bike was still laying on her when I got over there," said Good Samaritan Marla Haman. "They pulled the bike off of her. Her ankle was visibly broken."

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Explosion levels home; owner unhurt in drivewaySubmitted: 09/13/2014

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GENOA - An early-morning explosion has leveled a Genoa-area home, spraying debris onto a highway and damaging a former fish market.

The owner is a fisherman who was in the driveway when the house blew up Friday morning.

Roger Beck says he thought his vehicle battery had blown up. Then he looked up and saw it was his kitchen.

The 76-year-old says he tried to douse the flames with the bucket, and as he was walking away the rest of the two-story home exploded. Firefighters arrived to find the house flattened and on fire.

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Woman hurt in Woodboro motorcycle crash Submitted: 09/13/2014

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WOODBORO - A woman was taken to the hospital after a motorcycle accident on Highway 8 in Woodboro.

It happened near Spring Creek Road a little after 4 p.m Saturday. The Oneida County Sheriff's Office says a semi passed her in the opposite direction. A gust of wind pushed her off the road. Deputies say this isn't the first time something like this happened.

She was taken to Ministry Saint Mary's Hospital in Rhinelander for non-life threatening injuries.

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