RHINELANDER - The extra snow means extra, late-season snowmobiling.
In Arbor Vitae, this year has been a little safer than years past.
The Arbor Vitae Fire Department bought a John Deere Gator. They've been using it since mid-December.
The Gator can easily climb snow banks and drive through deep snow.
It will help rescuers reach people faster, even if they're deep in the woods.
"We have miles and miles of snowmobile trails up here, accidents can happen anywhere from one mile off of a highway up to about 20 miles off into the woods," said first responder Ben Woynich. "Vehicles like this give us the accessibility, give us safety and comfort on the way out there, we have great communication abilities with it."
Rescue Chief Stan Lewis used the gator to save a man's life in February.
A snowmobiler rolled into a ravine, and his sled landed on top of him while he was driving about a mile and a half off Highway 70.
It took the department just 20 minutes to reach him after they got the call.
"I was definitely glad, all the time and effort putting into researching and finding out what machine we wanted, and what we wanted the bed to look like," Lewis said. "It made me happy to finally use it and see that it does work and that we're able to use it in practical situations."
The gator cost $30,000. The department used money they get from responding to crashes on state highways.
THREE LAKES - The DNR hopes it won't find more Northwoods deer with chronic wasting disease.
Last year, a deer on a game farm near Three Lakes tested positive for the deadly disease. Although it hopes that incident is isolated, the DNR wants more data on the health of the Northwoods deer herd.
The agency is urging hunters near Three Lakes to give their deer heads to the DNR for CWD testing.
The Boulder Junction Town Board voted two to one Tuesday night to move forward with a town plaza plan. The plan will now go to a design phase.
The board estimated the cost of the design phase to be between $30,000 to $50,000, but it was dropped to about $25,000 at the meeting.
Town Chairman Dennis Reuss and Town Supervisor Dennis Duke voted in favor, with Town Supervisor Denny McGann voting against the plan.
A little more than $1 million may not seem like a lot of money to a city like Madison or Milwaukee. But for a town of fewer than one thousand people, it's a lot. The Boulder Junction Town Board could vote Tuesday whether or not to move onto the next phase of a $1.26 million town plaza project.
Dennis Duke has a vision of what Boulder Junction could look like in a few years.
"This one has a much more artistic flair, this has a more engineering flair if you will," said Duke while looking at potential design plans.
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