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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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Inmate walks away from Marathon County JailSubmitted: 09/29/2014

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MARATHON COUNTY - Marathon County deputies want to find an inmate who walked away.

Tommie Rothenberger was let out of jail Friday morning to go to school at Northcentral Technical College. He never came back.

Around 4:25 p.m. Friday afternoon, a call came in saying Rothenberger was at a hotel in Clintonville with his girlfriend.

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Deer crashes may increase across the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 09/29/2014

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Free internet marketing help offered to small businessesSubmitted: 09/29/2014

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Cranberry crop estimated at 5.3 million barrels; still a surplus in the marketSubmitted: 09/29/2014

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WISCONSIN - Cranberry growers don't expect another unprecedented harvest, but the industry does expect to keep Wisconsin's cranberry crown.

Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association Executive Director Tom Lochner says the state should produce 5.3 million barrels of cranberries from the 2014 harvest. Lochner says a barrel holds 100 pounds of cranberries.

The state produced 5.8 million barrels in 2013. Lochner credits the weather in September 2013 for that large harvest.

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Naked, screaming man arrested at Capitol rotundaSubmitted: 09/29/2014

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A Capitol Police officer quickly led him away.

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