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NEWS STORIES

Central Wisconsin Potatoes - From Field to ForkSubmitted: 10/09/2012

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PLOVER - The rush to pick the potato crop has hit central Wisconsin.

A rainy day couldn't spoil Tuesday's harvest.

But beyond just digging those spuds, we explore the life of a potato - all the way to your plate.

It's the peak of potato harvest season in central Wisconsin, and Gagas Farms near Stevens Point is in full swing.

"Some of our neighbors are claiming really fantastic yields. Some of our fields were, and others have been kind of average. Quality has been pretty good this year," says Cliff Gagas of Gagas Farms.

Cliff Gagas has been growing potatoes here as long as he can remember.

His farm produces several different varieties.

Today they were harvesting Burbanks, which will eventually go to McCain Foods near Plover.

They'll get there after being sorted, the rocks taken out, and put on one of as many as 60 truckloads in a day.

Those Burbank potatoes from Gagas come to McCain.

"It goes through a washing, a scrubbing, a peeling, then a preheating, which takes the potato to a temperature where it's able to be cut. We then cut the potato into strips, which in turn is French fries, we cook them, fry them, freeze them, and then package them and send them out as a delicious McCain product," says Dan Snyder of McCain.

Those potatoes don't come from just anywhere - it's mostly local.

"We get 70 percent of our raw product from the central sands area, which is about a 30 mile radius from the Plover facility," he says.

After McCain's packages the products, it heads to supermarkets all over the region - and country.

Shopping at the store, you can get anything from hash browns to crinkle cut fries to potato wedges for your table at home.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Summer temperatures impact local toy salesSubmitted: 07/25/2014

RHINELANDER AND MINOCQUA - Summer gets us outside playing games on the lake or in the yard, but with cooler temperatures this year, trips to the lake may not be as popular.

That impacts certain businesses in a good way. Imaginuity toys stores in Minocqua and Rhinelander have noticed a difference in the toys they've sold this summer.

"We're definitely getting a lot more traffic with the cooler temperatures. A lot more people in the door, which we're loving. We are seeing a lot more people buying more project based items. They're buying a lot of the active play but not so much the water active," said Jessica Hatch, Store Manager.

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Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team to play in Northwoods this weekendSubmitted: 07/24/2014

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - Wounded warriors won't let their injuries stop them from playing softball this weekend.

The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team will travel to Lake Tomahawk to play the Lake Tomahawk Snowhawks this weekend.

The Lake Tomahawk Snowshoe Baseball Team needed to raise $40,000 to bring the team to Lake Tomahawk.

They also had to renovate the field.

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New treatment for ringing in the ears Submitted: 07/24/2014

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MINOCQUA - A Northwoods doctor of Audiology offers a new treatment for ringing, buzzing and swishing in the ears, known as Tinnitus.

50 million Americans suffer from Tinnitus.

Some people aren't bothered by it, but it can be debilitating for others.

Dr. Christine Albertus of Minocqua's Marshfield Clinic uses a new technology to re-train the brain to ignore the sounds.

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Program focuses on possible climate change in the Northwoods Submitted: 07/24/2014

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NORTHWOODS - A warming climate could challenge many of the plants and animals that live in the Northwoods.

People in Boulder Junction learned about some of those risks at the Community Center Thursday night.

The speaker says even though we've had harsh winters these past two years, the lack of ice in the long term could impact fish, evaporation rate and skiing.

"Winter's kind of the limiting factor of the Northwoods. So when you reduce winter, those species that are adapted to being here in this kind of winter, they're going to move further north and actually follow where the winter is because, it's hard to believe, but a lot of species can't live in warmer temperatures," said Naturalist John Bates.

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Local children explore emergency fields at NTCSubmitted: 07/24/2014

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MERRILL - Instead of just dreaming of being a firefighter, some children in Merrill actually got to try it out.

The Boys and Girls Club of Wausau went to Northcentral Technical College's Public Safety Center of Excellence in Merrill on Wednesday to explore careers in emergency fields.

"They're going to do one scenario where they're actually going to get put up into fire gear. And they're going to hook up a hose line on a fire truck and they're going to put out a dumpster fire," says Bert Nitzke, the Executive Director of Northcentral Technical College's Public Safety Center of Excellence.

Student's putting out the fire's say it was more difficult than it looked.

"It's kinda hard cause like the hose is pushing back really hard," says Jordyn Schalow, one of the students that took part in the training.

Students also got to experience EMS and police scenarios.

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Oneida County wants your opinion on boathouses and piersSubmitted: 07/24/2014

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Leaders in Oneida County want to know what you think of boathouses and piers on lakes in the county. The online survey they've put together could give them better information on the issues.

Planning and zoning workers say the two topics have been debated for years. Oneida County Planning & Zoning's Karl Jennrich says the county started allowing boathouses and regulating piers in 2000 when it rewrote its comprehensive plan.

The board looked at both topics a year ago, but didn't take any action to change current rules.

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Boating accident puts three people in the hospitalSubmitted: 07/24/2014

WOODRUFF - Three people rest in the hospital after a boat crash on Lake Tomahawk.

It happened near Indian Shores in the township of Woodruff. The Woodruff Police Department says a ski boat carrying eight people hit a fishing boat with two people on board. Authorities also believe the fishing boat was anchored at the time.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

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