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Economic Development the Goal of Better CoverageSubmitted: 04/03/2013
Story By Lex Gray

THREE LAKES - Three Lakes wants to bring more people to their town.

The draw is great technology.

That's the philosophy behind the town's push to provide high speed internet and cell phone coverage to all of its residents.

Town chairman Don Sidlowski has been working toward that goal for five years.

He hopes that better access will bring in more permanent residents.

"If you want to not only survive but thrive in the 21st century, you have to give people access to the tools they need, and that comes through the internet," Sidlowski said. "In order to have all the benefits of the city, you need access to that high speed internet."

Internet and cell phone coverage are a major part of what Sidlowski calls the "Three Lakes Model."

It's his plan for economic development - but it's not just for the benefit of future residents.

"The other part of it is because your citizens just deserve it," Sidlowski said. "They need to have the same kind of access that people can have from other places in the big cities, and that's really the underpinning for putting this technology into place."

Wisconsin Rural Partners awarded Three Lakes for their development of the network.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - State superintendent candidate Lowell Holtz sent a campaign-focused email detailing his support among Republicans using his Whitnall Public School email address during a school day.

The email sent in May appears to be in violation of the state law prohibiting the use of government resources for campaign work.

The email was provided to The Associated Press by the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now which received it through an open records request.

Holtz did not respond to a request for comment.

Former chief state elections administrator Kevin Kennedy says the email does break the law, but it's not likely to rise to the level of something warranting prosecution. Kennedy says it shows more of a lack of judgment than criminal act.

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NEW ORLEANS - 8:30 p.m.

New Orleans police say the number of people injured after a vehicle crashed into a crowd watching the Krewe of Endymion parade in the Mid-City section of New Orleans has increased to 28 and a suspect is in custody.

Police Chief Michael Harrison says one person in custody and that he is being investigated for driving while intoxicated. Harrison says police do not suspect terrorism.

Harrison says that 21 people were hospitalized after the crash with five victims in guarded condition. Seven others declined to be hospitalized.

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OCONOMOWOC - A Wisconsin couple is charged with child neglect and suffocation after police say they gagged and "hog-tied" a 12-year-old boy with duct tape while they went out to dinner in December.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the victim's mother and stepfather, of Oconomowoc, each face misdemeanor counts of child neglect and felony counts of suffocation as parties to the crime. The woman faces an additional charge.

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RHINELANDER - The Oneida County woman accused of mistreating animals in her rescue won't go to court next week.

The Oneida County District Attorney's Office confirmed Friday morning that Stephanie Schneider's court appearance Monday has been pushed back.

Police seized 39 dogs from her "It Matters to One" animal rescue in Sugar Camp earlier this month.

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HAYWARD - Organizers of the American Birkebeiner ski race have canceled this year's event in northern Wisconsin.

A snow storm that's dumped more than 10 inches of snow in parts of Wisconsin since Thursday missed the Hayward and Cable area where the annual cross-country race is held. Officials say record high temperatures and rain recently have left the Birkie course unsafe for a race on Saturday.

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MERCER - Kids across northcentral Wisconsin woke up to the two best words they could hear on Friday: snow day.

Districts all over the area cancelled school because of the winter storm.

As far as we can tell, Mercer was the only school in the area to have class today.

Believe it or not, that was good news for most kids in the area.

View the attached video to see more.

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MERRILL - A school bus crashed after hitting a plow truck Friday morning.  It happened on U.S. Highway 51 near the County Highway K exit near Merrill around 11 a.m.

The State Patrol says the bus tried to pass a plow truck when it hit the plow. A Lincoln County Deputy on scene said the bus hit the plow's wing .  There were children on the bus at the time.  One child was treated for a minor injury, but troopers say everyone will be OK.

The children boarded a second bus to continue on their way.  The wrecked bus needed to be towed from the scene. The bus was labeled as a Lamers school bus. Newswatch 12 reached out to the Green Bay-based company for comment and further info, but the message was not returned.

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