ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - You might not want to go out in the cold this weekend. But the DNR hopes you help them out. It's as simple as sitting at your window.
Today is the start of the Great Backyard Bird Count. It is a survey that takes place across the country. The count helps researchers at Cornell University track bird populations.
"You go to the Great Backyard Bird Count Website. And you download a form, and you keep track of how many birds you see at your feeder and you fill out the form and submit it," says Jeremy Holtz, DNR Wildlife Biologist.
Anyone can take part. All you need to know is the common birds that come to your yard. That information is easy to find.
"There are all sorts of resources available. The local library has bird guides. You can find all sorts of bird species information on the internet as well," says Holtz.
You can find a link to the Great Backyard Bird Count below.
RHINELANDER - Rhinelander kindergartener Carlie Jahn watched her dad leave for his third overseas tour of duty last fall.
Usually, she gets to see him for two-weeks during his nine-month tour. But there was no leave for Guardsmen Justin Jahn this year. He will be in Afghanistan until July.
Instead of too much sadness, Carlie's mom is helping her by sharing at school.
"Once that time came through, it was hard for her to understand why he wasn't coming home. I thought this would be a fun way to have her realize that she's not the only one, that there's others out there," says Amanda Jahn.
Jahn talked with grade schoolers at Crescent Elementary today about living with a family member in the military.
Students also recognized veterans and active soldiers related to them.
RHINELANDER - You don't need to get a library card to check out a book theses days. Boxes that look like bird houses are popping up all over.
They're called Little Free Libraries. Anyone can stop by to take or give a book. It's all based on the honor system. Maureen O'Melia put her's up at home last night across from Pioneer Park.
"I contacted Ed Hughes from the library. He was excited about the idea as well and he, a week later, says I built you one Maureen. But I had to stain it and get it ready for the outdoors," says Maureen O'Melia, who built a Little Free Library.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - The back-and-forth between state lawmakers and the Lac du Flambeau tribe might be over.
Dean Kaufert is a Republican representing Neenah. He wanted to strip a quarter-million dollars of funding from the tribe. That money would have gone to fund a new cultural center.
His original move was a protest against the Chippewa lowering walleye bag limits. That happened on many lakes in the ceded territory this spring.
"I was kind of having some difficulty with some of my colleagues in the Legislature with convincing them that we needed to play hardball by holding this project back," says Rep. Kaufert.
Walleye spearing season by Chippewa fishermen is almost over. They only took about half as many as they expected. So, the DNR raised limits on 423 lakes in the ceded territory.
Kaufert now will not stand in the way of the cultural center money.
"The Governor asked me if I would consider releasing that project due to their ongoing discussions about trying to create a better environment up north for fish stocking and number of walleyes in our lakes," says Rep. Kaufert.
This week, Governor Scott Walker also proposed a state project to put more walleye in Wisconsin's lakes.
RHINELANDER - You might remember the name Shannon Wolf. He chased his wife down, stabbed and choked her by the Hodag statue in Rhinelander last February. He'll now spend the next twelve years in prison.
Today Latoya Wolf testified she was partly to blame for what happened. She told the court Shannon Wolf was trying to cut his own wrists. But she got in the way and was cut in the struggle for the knife.
Prosecutors said the violent encounter and the victim's backtracking was a classic example of the domestic abuse cycle.
"I believe that there are significant pressures on Mrs. Wolf," says Assistant District Attorney Scott Moller.
Moller presented Wolf's extensive criminal history. He said there's also a documented history of domestic abuse.
Moller asked Judge Patrick O'Melia to sentence Wolf to 30 years.
Judge O'Melia said he believes this case is one of classic domestic abuse.
He sentenced Wolf to 24 years. He'll spend 12 in prison and 12 years extended supervision.
Wolf is not allowed to have any contact with his wife. He's also not eligible for early release or boot camp.
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