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NEWS STORIES

NRA Convention Held in WausauSubmitted: 02/09/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

WAUSAU - Hundreds of National Riffle Association members came to Wausau for the annual state convention this weekend.

Governor Scott Walker spoke to guests last night, and other state legislators will be at the banquet tonight.

Many of the events planned for the weekend were also open to the general public. People could attend workshops and seminars, and even got a chance to bend the ear of the NRA President.

"I'm traveling around the country to talk to our people, which I always do. This is our state affiliate here in Wisconsin, so I'm here to share my views with them and see what they've got to say," says David Keene, President of the NRA.

The last months have seen a dramatic increase in traffic to gun shows throughout the country.

Organizers say though membership hasn't necessarily picked up, they are seeing more interest in NRA activities.

"Naturally when it comes to the forefront people pay attention to things. They start to realize they can lose what they have. And they start to appreciate the concealed carry the NRA and the state association got for them. Before, everyone has busy lives, everyone has things to do, and so they maybe didn't pay as much attention. Now, yes, people are definitely taking notice," says Jeff Nass, Convention Organizer.

Hear more from David Keene in our in-depth look at Wisconsin's gun culture later this week. You can catch these feature stories, called, "Under the Gun" this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MERRILL - The Community Warming Center in Merrill finished up its first winter season a few weeks ago. The center provides a place to stay for people in need from November through April.

The guest's ages ranged from 22 to 45 years old. The center is run through the Merrill United Way. The Warming Center's director said its first year went much better than expected.

"It's kind of like building the field of dreams and not knowing if anyone will come to play, or to stay in our case," said Merrill United Way Executive Director Dee Olsen. "But what ended up happening was the community was responsive and we ended up with 11 guests throughout the season with 90 user nights."

The center is already preparing for the next season. They have new blankets and pillows ready for their next year.

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EAGLE RIVER - Many people enjoy freshly roasted coffee. But, the process to roast those coffee beans can be a science.

"We start with green coffee. It comes in 130 to 155 pound sacks of coffee," said owner of Eagle River Roasters Dan Beihoff.

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EAGLE RIVER - Many Northwoods cities need to make improvements to the roads now that it's spring.

Rhinelander wants to do it, enough to impose a new sales tax.

Another local city will make improvements to the road and the pipes under the road.

Eagle River will replace infrastructure on Division Street.

Eagle River's mayor Jeff Hyslop says it's about 70 years old.

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RHINELANDER - Last year, a valve malfunction in eastern Wisconsin sent natural gas leaking into the air. A similar situation in the Northwoods could cut off gas supply to a whole city and be dangerous to people in the nearby area.

Wisconsin Public Service wants to be ready in case something like that happens. A natural gas station near the intersection of Highways 8 and 47 provides natural gas to most of Rhinelander. Workers rushed there on Monday, simulating their response to a leak.

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RHINELANDER - Fields of an invasive plant called phragmites stand all along Wisconsin's Lake Michigan shore. Invasive species workers hope most of the plants stay away from the Northwoods.

Workers chopped down a stand of phragmites on Monday. It stood on Highway 8 just west of Rhinelander. It had been chemically treated in the fall. Hopefully, that will help control the spread of the species.

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ANTIGO - Dealing with allergic reactions to bee stings can be one of the biggest health threats to students.

"If we were seeing a reaction, for example a tingling of the mouth, swelling of the throat, a visual that a student might give us if they are unable to breath at that time, we would immediately administer an EpiPen," Director of Pupil Services Unified School District of Antigo Karen Baker.

Teachers watch carefully for possible allergic reactions, especially at recess and on field trips.

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Local kids help protect batsSubmitted: 04/27/2015

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RHINELANDER - Seventh graders in Rhinelander will help protect bats this summer. That's thanks to help from the U.S. Forest Service.

Kids in Rhinelander Monday learned about endangered bats across Wisconsin on Monday. A bat expert with Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest showed the importance of keeping bats healthy. The students helped local scientists by building new homes for the bats.

"Ms. Swaney showed us a presentation about the bats with a speaker and now we're building them," said 7th grader Jackie Wells.

"They have predators and it will kind of keep them safe in their little bat homes," said 7th Grader Connor Lund.

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