RHINELANDER - You know technology moves fast. That means you probably have old cell phones laying around. Now, you can put them to good use.
The Cell Phones for Soldiers program started today in Rhinelander. It's one of many ways the Oneida County Military Support Group continues help troops overseas.
"The last Saturday of every month, we gather up the items that we are going to ship and then we pack them and ship them. This Saturday we had, I think there was ten girl scouts here helping us pack, which was really nice," says Ray Zastrow, Onieda County Military Support Group.
Now the group teamed up with AT&T to get cell phones to soldiers. Many people were there to support the program, including State Representative Rob Swearingen and State Senator Tom Tiffany.
"If you have phones at home that you are not using, cell phones, there's several collection spots in Rhinelander right now that you can drop off the phones," says Ray Zastrow.
You can take your old cell phones to Trig's, Nicolet College, the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce, the V. F. W. Club House, the American Legion Building, and Wal-Mart.
CONOVER - June 22 makes it the 14th day of rainfall for us this month, and it's not been very convenient.
People all over northcentral Wisconsin have had to deal with storm damage or flooding in some way.
Pioneer Lake in Conover has had a particularly tough time with flooding not only because of the rain, but also because of a dam upstream.
"We've got 20 piers here, and they're floating away, they're underwater," said Maple View Resort and Campground Owner Tony Osiecki. "I've never seen it like this in fifty years."
Osiecki blames the deluge of rain we've gotten in the past few weeks for the flooding in his resort. But he and many others on the lake also blame a dam upstream.
It's located on the southwest side of South Twin Lake in Phelps. It's owned by Wausau-based Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company, and it's meant to maintain the levels of the Twin Lakes. Peter Hansen, the company's Vice President of Operation, admits they are releasing a lot of water--because they are federally required to.
"We are releasing an amount of water that is more than the 500-year rain event," Hansen said. "That means the rain that we've had, according to our calculations, is only supposed to happen every 500 years...We're doing everything within our federal license to lower the water level on Twin."
Downstream of the dam is the Twin River, which flows into Pioneer Lake. Hansen says the company is not responsible for what happens downstream.
That leaves some people frustrated
"[People] have been calling wanting to know what we're doing about the water and what they've got to do to fix it," said Pioneer Lake Association President Terry Wright. "If it's affecting us we have to have somebody we can call to change it."
In the meantime, Osiecki deals with the flooding.
"Move everything back a bit and try to get someone to close the dam and compromise," Osiecki said.
Hansen says the company has been able to cut back on the water release in the past few days, but with more rain in the forecast, that might change. He says Pioneer Lake does not have a controlled structure to help with the lake's water levels.
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