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Energy Saving ChallengeSubmitted: 01/30/2013
Story By Ryan Abney

Energy Saving Challenge
RHINELANDER - Going "green" seems like a popular phrase these days.
For some of us, that's as easy as reusing grocery bags and turning down the heat.

But for bigger organizations, it can be a bigger and more expensive transition.

That's why Wisconsin Public Service decided to make going green a competition.
Leader Leah Van Zile is the W-P-S Community Relations Leader.She said the challenge was created to not only educate but to entertain.

"There's a lot of information about ways to reduce your energy use and ways to save on your bill, but it's not really an exciting topic.So we thought of a way to really encourage community members to become excited about energy, and we thought pairing it with a grant opportunity with non-profits might be a neat spin a new avenue to increase energy awareness in the communities."

The Retired Senior Volunteer Program was one organization to earn a 750-dollar grant. By just switching out light bulbs, she's noticed a HUGE difference.

"I found out myself that if you don't have LED lights the average cost is 9-dollars a month just for a couple strings of lights, LED's is 90-cents...so what a savings."

The W-P-S serves over 700-thousand electric and natural gas customers in Northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander group working to maintain recreational trails in the area got some help in their mission. The Rhinelander Area Silent Trails Association received grants to help fund its various projects.

The group got two DNR Recreational Trail Act Grants totaled at a little more than $13,000. The WPS Foundation also gave a total of $1,800 in grants. The grant money will be used to help with multiple projects. 

One project is to construct a boardwalk over the wetlands of the Cassian Cross County Ski Trail. RASTA is also going to construct a new ski trail at Washburn.

For more information on all of RASTA's projects, visit their Facebook page lined below.


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ARBOR VITAE - Last summer the Northwoods LBGT community and allies come together to celebrate love, diversity and acceptance.

After last year's successful festival, the Rainbow Hodags planned an even bigger one for this year.

More than 75 people celebrated gay pride at the second annual Pride Fest in Arbor Vitae.

Lots of laughter, live music, and dancing filled the park. 

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - Back in the early nineties, an event in Lake Tomahawk gave thanks to veterans. This year, a group of community members decided to bring it back.

The Vets and Guides event invites veterans from King, Tomah, and other areas to come to Lake Tomahawk for a day of fishing, food, and a good time.

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FLORENCE COUNTY - Two high school students died in a car crash early Friday morning in Florence County. The wreck happened at around 6:20 a.m. according to the Florence County Sheriff's Office.

The vehicle was traveling north on County Highway N in the Commonwealth Township, when the driver lost control while making a turn. The vehicle crossed the center line, left the roadway, and hit a tree, bursting into flames upon impact.

The names and ages of the Florence High School students will be released after notifications are made.


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RHINELANDER - This summer a Rhinelander attraction will start up in Minocqua as well. "The Key to Escape" room owners will open a second location right on Minocqua's main strip.

Owner Nick Strupp says he and the other owner wanted to find a space to offer more puzzles to more people.

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RHINELANDER - People could drop off almost anything with a plug at an electronic recycling event in Rhinelander June 22.

Computers, laptops, and TVs filled boxes in the Charter NEX Films parking lot.

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- In the last week, more than a dozen people in the Wausau area found their cars damaged or broken into.

In a span of six days, at least 17 vehicles were either keyed, had windows bashed in or had stuff stolen from them.

"Some weirdo doings some weirdo stuff that's how I look at it," said Jon Radtke who lives in the neighborhood where items were stolen from a handful of unlocked cars."It's kind of (strange) for this area. We really don't have a lot of problems in the area."

Last Friday, two vehicles parked at the East High Apartments on Street and Adams Street and three more just down the street were broken into.

"We're working on who [is doing] this," said Wausau Police Officer Brian Burkhardt.

He says a few days after the break-ins around 7th Street; he received calls of 12 cars being vandalized, nothing stolen just vandalized.

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