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Preventing Septic Systems From FreezingSubmitted: 01/16/2013
Story By Lex Gray

Preventing Septic Systems From Freezing
RHINELANDER - Bare ground, no snowmobiling, and freezing fingers and toes might seem like the worst of this winter's no-snow problems.

But there's one more - this weather might make your septic system freeze.

By the time temperatures drop this low, there's usually enough snow to insulate the ground.

That's not the case this week.

But you can still prevent problems before you have to call a service company.

"I personally am going to put hay over my septic system," said A-1 Septic Service owner Tom Arts. "A lot of people don't know exactly where their drain field is, or they don't know exactly where the pipe is that goes to the drain field. In a case like that, they're better off to spend a few extra dollars get a little bit more straw and put more straw down."

Putting down four to six inches of straw could save you thousands of dollars.

Another easy fix - reduce foot traffic.

Arts says a lot of people feed deer, let their dogs out, and run vehicles over their drain field.

"That's one of the worst things, because that foot traffic of deer or dogs or even people, for that matter, drives the frost down," he said. "It can create problems."

You'll know when your system freezes when the alarm goes off or when waste water backs up into your lowest point of plumbing.

That's usually a floor drain in your basement.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 11/17/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll bring you the latest on a shooting that took place on West Mohawk Drive in Tomahawk Thursday evening. Police found and arrested the suspect near Eau Claire.

We talk to a registered sanitarian from the Vilas County Health Department about how to avoid getting sick from your Thanksgiving turkey.

And tonight on Friday Nights Blitz the Blitz team announces the winners of this year's Fall Awards in local high school sports.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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ANTIGO - Blaze orange and camouflage swarmed the front of Mills Fleet Farm in Antigo this morning.

People started lining up for Orange Friday 2017 around 4 a.m. for free hats and gift scratch offs!

More than 500 people filed in as the doors opened at 6 a.m.

The line didn't slow down for 15 minutes after that.

Many customers came to grab last-minute hunting gear including hunting licenses.

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WASHINGTON - The chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers says he met yesterday with a senator who opposes the senate's tax overhaul plan.

Kevin Hassett tells reporters at the White House Friday that he met Thursday with Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, who opposes the Senate bill that would slash the corporate tax rate and reduce personal income tax rates for many.

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MERRILL - The Brown family lost everything when David Ostrowksi burned their Merrill home down about two years ago. 

Ostrowski said he wanted someone to feel what it was like to lose everything. He will serve a 19 year prison sentence. 
 
Joe Brown lost everything in the fire including an irreplaceable antique car he spent ten years working on.

 Last year Joe got back to one of his passions for the first time. 
 
"I didn't feel like I deserved it," said Brown.

About two years ago 23- year- old David Ostrowski said he wanted someone to feel what it was like to lose everything.

"The guy that did it didn't even know them. I just didn't understand why," said Brown family friend and general manager of Peterson Sand and Gravel in Merrill Brandon Peterson.

Ostrowski got almost two decades in prison for burning down the Brown's family home in Merrill. 

He snuck in their garage and lit Brown's 1935 Ford Sedan on fire.

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RHINELANDER - A man threatening to hurt himself and others with a knife sparked an hours-long standoff in Rhinelander Thursday. 

Police were called to the home of 21-year-old Mathew Smith on Highway 8 just before 10 a.m. All afternoon, police tried talking to Smith who wouldn't come out of his home. Smith, along with other people, and a child were inside the home at first. Police say within the first half an hour, everyone expect Smith got out safely.  

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LAONA - Spruce saplings his students planted decades ago have grown to tower above Don Kircher as he stands on a forest trail near Laona.

Kircher was a science teacher for 34 years in Laona, and he's visiting the Laona School Forest.

"The trees, of course, some of these trees are unbelievable," Kircher said.

The history of the forest itself might be hard to believe for some people. Little Laona has the nation's first school forest, dedicated in 1928. The Town of Laona bought the property and gave it to the school.

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TOMAHAWK - A shooting in Tomahawk killed one person Thursday night.  Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins confirmed a male victim died after the shooting, which happened on West Mohawk Drive. Elvins wouldn't identify the victim or the suspect, who as of 7:45 p.m. police still had not found.

"I don't know the motive behind it, what triggered it, what was said. I have a detective now writing a search warrant. We have some evidence inside the house that we want to secure," said Elvins. "It appears to be an isolated incident." 

The chief did not believe anyone else is in danger.


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