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NEWS STORIES

Helium Shortage Affects Local Floral BusinessSubmitted: 02/12/2013
Story By Ryan Abney

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RHINELANDER - Helium-filled balloons will cost a little more this Valentine's Day.
There's a helium shortage. And some florists are worried about their store's biggest shopping day of the year.

Forth Floral Owner Ruth Hempel has seen helium prices rise over the past year. But her store is doing all they can to keep prices low.

"We've tried to do a better job on finding better deals on the actual balloons themselves to offset the increase. At this time of the year though, because it's Valentine's Day, the little bit extra they might have to pay usually isn't a big deal. For most, especially guys, if they want that balloon they're going to buy it."

Some parts of the country are out completely. Hempel said her business could deal without, but having balloons is an added perk.

"It's just that added exclamation point on the bouquet so as long as we can continue to do it we're going to hope we can. But if it gets to that point we're just going to have to find some other thing that gives that little punch."

Helium is also used for welding, medical devices, and some computer parts.


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Voters head to polls early in WisconsinSubmitted: 10/19/2014

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MADISON - Wisconsin residents can start heading to their local clerks' offices this week to cast early ballots for the Nov. 4 election.

Early voting is set to begin Monday and run through Oct. 31. Municipal clerks can hold early voting from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday during those two weeks, although each clerk can set his or her own hours. Clerks without regular office hours must make themselves available by appointment.

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Wisconsin park begins cutting dead treesSubmitted: 10/19/2014

MADISON - Workers have started removing nearly 140 dead or dying evergreen trees at Peninsula State Park Golf Course in Door County.

The Department of Natural Resources says a 2011 application of a broadleaf herbicide damaged the trees. The agency says federal environmental officials had approved the herbicide but later stopped its sale after determining it damages evergreen trees.

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100-year-old grandmother sees six generations in one settingSubmitted: 10/19/2014

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RHINELANDER - Most people don't get to meet their great, great, great grandchildren. It's one of the perks one Rhinelander woman has after turning 100 years old. All six generations of her family got together Sunday to celebrate their unique family.

"I wouldn't let anything ever happen to you," said 100-year-old, Bea Kofler.

Kofler held her nine day old great, great, great grandson for the first time Sunday.

"He's too precious," Kofler said.

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Madison police arrest 1 for urinating on squad carSubmitted: 10/19/2014

MADISON - A Wisconsin man has been arrested for allegedly urinating on a marked Madison Police Department squad car.

A police statement says officers observed the 21-year-old Dodgeville man relieving himself on the squad car late Saturday night near a bar on State Street in downtown Madison. It says several people warned the man that police were approaching, but he didn't stop.

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A unique way to view the stars Submitted: 10/19/2014

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MONICO - People living in the Northwoods get the chance to see dozens of stars on a clear night, but with the temperatures dropping, it might not be as enjoyable.

A planetarium in Monico gives you that experience without bone chilling temperatures.

Kovac Planetarium in Monico has been in business since 2007. It took the owner 10 years to build it. 5 to put the planetarium together. Then an additional 5 to actually get it inside.

The owner says when people come to his planetarium, most people don't know what to expect.

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Humane Society takes in more than 60 cats, two dogsSubmitted: 10/19/2014

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TAYLOR COUNTY - More than 60 cats and kittens will need to be nursed back to health. They were found in a home filled with garbage and junk.

The Taylor County Humane Society got the cats and two dogs last week after their owner passed away. The humane society says the animal's owner can be described as an animal hoarder.

Many of the cats are sick, hungry, and very weak.

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Packers set to demolish Lambeau area propertiesSubmitted: 10/18/2014

GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers will soon begin demolishing a former Kmart store and other buildings the team owns on property west of Lambeau Field.

Building permits at the Village of Ashwaubenon show that next week work crews will begin tearing down the former Pomp's Tire store, a Hardee's restaurant and several buildings left on the former Big Lots property. The Kmart building and a chiropractor's office will be razed in November after asbestos is removed.

Packers' spokesman Aaron Popkey says it makes sense to knock them down now, so the Packers don't have to heat the buildings through the winter. Some of the land will be used for parking. Popkey says the franchise is still exploring various concepts for the rest of the property.

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