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NEWS STORIES

Cranberry Harvest Underway in Manitowish WatersSubmitted: 10/01/2012
Story By Kailey Burton

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MANITOWISH WATERS - The state fruit of Wisconsin is ready for harvest. This year 4.5 million barrels of cranberries will come from Wisconsin marshes- That's almost 60% of the nation's crop.

Today we got a behind-the-bog look at one family's tradition in growing cranberries.

"My great grandfather first started with just a few acres. He came up here with no machinery, along with a few other growers in the area and started planting cranberries, and it's just evolved into what we have today."

Now the Bartling family produces nearly 42,000 barrels of cranberries each year. Picking them by hand would be painstaking, but Wisconsin's lakes allow for an easier harvest- By flooding the beds.

After the berries are ripe, each 4-acre recessed "bed" is filled with water. Machines shake the fruit from the vines, and the float on the water to be skimmed off.

"We don't use water, we borrow water, because it's all returned eventually back to the resevior," said 4th generation cranberry grower Steven Bartling. "We'll reuse that water over and over and over and eventually, it'll seep back into the lake."

Over the years the Bartlings have gotten cranberry harvesting down to a science- From an intricate pattern for skimming the fruit off the water, to high tech sensors that monitor the soil and temperature.

Even this year's early spring couldn't throw them off. In fact, the longer season made their fruit better.

"We got a better sugar content developed in the berry," said Bartling, "Which is actually what the color red is, it's the sugar."

Today was the first full day of harvest for the deep crimson colored berries. Harvest typically starts October 1st, and lasts 3 weeks.


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 IN OTHER NEWS
Humane societies see influx of kittens Submitted: 10/21/2014

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NORTHWOODS - We know fall for pumpkins, football, and falling leaves but it's also known for kittens.

Shelters in northcentral Wisconsin refer to both fall and spring as "kitten season."

The Oneida County Humane Society has already found homes for 30 kittens just in the last month. Right now the adoption center has 25 kittens.

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Nicolet's College Visit Night gives people more information about schoolSubmitted: 10/21/2014

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RHINELANDER - People who want to learn more about going to school at Nicolet College can go to College Visit Night. College Visit Night will be held from 5-7pm on Tuesday.

The event will give people an idea of what programs the college offers. It's taking place at the University Transfer Center.

There will be admissions information, campus tours and financial aid information.

"We open this opportunity up for students to come in and make an informed choice about their educational path. We work with non-traditional students coming in, high school students, parents, support whoever wants to come and see what we're all about at Nicolet," says Nicolet College Career Coach Kelly Anunson.

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Promoting feed beets in Wisconsin Submitted: 10/21/2014

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BRYANT - Only one farm in all of Wisconsin grows sugar beets.

Rine Ridge Farms is northeast of Antigo, in Bryant. The farm hopes more farmers will catch on to alternative dairy feed.

"They're 80% digestible where corn is usually only around 40% digestible. They're high in sugar they're 20% sugar," said Dan Rine of Rine Ridge Farms.

Beets are easy to grow in our neck of the woods.

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Free meals helps fight hunger in northcentral Wisconsin Submitted: 10/21/2014

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WAUSAU - Nearly a billion people in the world don't eat enough to stay healthy. People in Wisconsin do much better than that, but too many still struggle with hunger.

One church in northcentral Wisconsin wants to help more people understand the hunger issue.

St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Wausau serves hot meals every Tuesday. They've been doing this for about a decade. More than 30 people had a hot meal Tuesday. They don't ask for an ID or any type of income verification.

They started this because they saw more people ending up on the streets.

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Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Open HouseSubmitted: 10/21/2014

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RHINELANDER - The new Rhinelander Area Food Pantry features new aisles for easier shopping, a sitting area, and large scale for weighing food.

You could see the updates at the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Tuesday. The pantry held an open house to celebrate its new location.

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Teal pumpkins to signal allergy-safe trick-or-treating in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 10/21/2014

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NORTHWOODS - Teal pumpkins will act as a beacon to some trick-or-treators in the Northwoods this Halloween.

For kids with food allergies, gathering candy might not be an option.

A new program by the Food Allergy Research & Education organization wants to help those kids. They've come up with the Teal Pumpkin Project.

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Merrill's old DNR Ranger Station will become brew pub Submitted: 10/21/2014

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MERRILL - The old DNR ranger station in Merrill will become a brew pub.

The city of Merrill sold the building to a company that plans on opening up the pub within the next year. The company plans on eventually becoming a microbrewery.

The building was built in 1940. The DNR opened up a new ranger station in a different spot in Merrill a few years ago.

"When the ranger station rebuilt this building was turned back to the city and we've used it for a couple of years now since we've had it for the park and recreations summer program," says Merrill City Administrator David Johnson. "We decided to sell the property when there was an interest shown in turning it into a business."

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