RHINELANDER - Yesterday, you might have had to go without email, Facebook, and even worse -- wjfw.com!
That's because a Frontier Communications fiber optic line was cut.
It happened in Merrill, where a Wisconsin Public Service crew was working.
The outage affected around 8,000 people. For most of us, it was just an annoyance.
But what about vital services, like police, fire and ambulance?
The Oneida County Sheriff's Office normally relies on Frontier.
IT Services Director Lynn Grube says the outage caused a few problems.
Police couldn't communicate with the sheriff's office software. Instead, they had to do manual data entry.
Deputies had to use their radios to talk to dispatch, and dispatch had to run license checks through Lincoln County.
"Inconvenient for sure. But these guys are professionals, they have these procedures in place," Grube said. "So that kind of ensures safety, knowing there's a fall back in place in case there's a malfunction like this."
The outage caused problems for other county departments, too. But Grube says law enforcement had the most trouble.
"Always, because of safety, we want to make sure they have the tools they need to do their job," Grube said. "So they're always our primary concern whenever there's a computer malfunction. So were they impacted the most? I would say yes, because they use a lot of computers in their day-to-day work."
Grube says this is the third internet outage she's experienced in her 23 years with the county.
Service to the sheriff's department went down around 11:30 a.m., and was back up by 6:30 p.m.
ST. GERMAIN - Bikinis and snowmobiles don't typically mix. Except, when you're at the St. Germain Bikini Run.
The event draws a huge crowd every year and it raised thousands of dollars for charity.
"We started with six girls and maybe $8000 seven years ago. Now, we're up to 33 girls today and more than $50,000," says Mark Hiller, the St. Germain Radar Run race director. "Every year it just grows, and grows."
MILWAUKEE - A winter storm warning will go into effect in the Milwaukee area and far southern Wisconsin on Saturday night â€" and the National Weather Service says as much as 10 inches of snow could fall in Kenosha County by early Monday.
Snow is forecast to begin falling late Saturday and continue all day Sunday. Lake-effect snow is expected to combine with a low pressure system from the south to drive up snowfall totals in far southeast Wisconsin. Milwaukee could see up to 9 inches.
Blowing and drifting snow is expected and winds could gust to over 30 mph, making travel dangerous.
Other parts of the state, including Sheboygan, Dodge, and Waukesha counties, will be under a winter weather advisory starting Saturday night. Snow accumulations could reach 4 to 7 inches.
MADISON - A team of students from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, is conducting research on foxes and coyotes in hopes of learning how the animals and humans can peacefully coexist.
Forest and wildlife associate professor David Drake and his students are humanely trapping the animals, running tests, then fitting them with tracking devices. The goal is to learn about traveling patterns, diseases the animals might have, and how they interact with other animals and humans.
Drake says foxes and coyotes are moving into areas where people are living. And if that continues, and the animals lose their fear of humans, they could become aggressive in extreme cases.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says residents should stay a safe distance from foxes or coyotes, and shouldn't feed them.
PINE RIVER - Firefighters in Pine River had a tough day Saturday. They battled a house fire Friday night.
Crews didn't finish cleaning up the scene until 3:30 Saturday morning. Then they got called to a second fire in the afternoon.
The first fire happened at 9:12 p.m. The Lincoln County Dispatch Center got a call about a possible structure fire on County Highway WW in the Town of Pine River. That's east of Merrill, but when the Pine River Department got there, the house was in flames.
WAUSAU - Enrollment for health coverage will end soon. That's why healthcare providers participated in "Super Saturday".
Bridge Clinic in Wausau welcomed people to sign up for health insurance options Saturday.
The Open Enrollment deadline is February 15th. If you don't sign up before then, it could cost you $325 or more depending on your income.
"We recommend just make an informed choice. Don't just let it lapse and get the penalty, be surprised with a penalty later on. Come in, make an informed choice. There are health care options," said Bridge Community Health Clinic Executive Director Laura Scudiere.
NORTHWOODS - The U.S. Forest Service will hire thousands of temporary workers this spring. Leaders at the Chequamegon Nicolet Forest Service want to hire more than 50 temporary employees to work during summer. They're looking for people with diverse backgrounds and plenty of experience.
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