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NEWS STORIES

Minocqua 7th Grader Wins State Geography BeeSubmitted: 04/11/2013
Story By Melissa Constanzer


MINOCQUA - Most of us can name some state Capitols, a few major rivers, and hopefully all seven continents. But one Northwoods 7th grader can name all the ports in Africa. And it's that kind of knowledge that took her all the way to the state geography bee.

Asha Jain won the Wisconsin Geography Bee last weekend. When asked if she viewed this as a major accomplishment she replied...

"For me it was, but there's a next step ahead of it," says Asha Jain, Wisconsin Geography Bee winner.

...And that's Nationals. Part of her drive comes from her family. Her brother made it to Nationals three times and finished second there last year.

"It's a family thing because my mom, she spends time with us. She quizzes us all the time. My dad always tries to find out new stuff for us, business related obviously. So everyone puts in effort," says Asha Jain.

She is already preparing for nationals. She studies maps and politics for foreign countries.

"For the major cities, you have to research them online and see what they are famous for. What are the important things in the past that have happened there?" said Asha Jain.

The National Geographic Bee takes place in Washington D.C. in late May.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

WISCONSIN - Gogebic Taconite will no longer pursue mining in northern Wisconsin. The company scrapped its plans for a huge iron ore mine in Iron and Ashland Counties this spring.

But state Democrats aren't forgetting about the mining issue. They're proposing a bill which they say would close a loophole in the state's 2013 mining law. That law relaxed the permitting process for iron mines.

The Democrats' bill would make it illegal to fill or destroy the bed of a lake, stream, reservoir, or flowage to mine the materials underneath. Bill author Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire) said right now, mining could be done legally under flowages and reservoirs.

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PHILLIPS - Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett wants all city police officers to wear body cameras by the end of next year. He made that proposal this week after tension between police and the public in places like Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Ferguson, Missouri.

One Northwoods police department has been using the cameras for years. Phillips police officers have worn body cameras since 2008. They turn them on while responding to many situations in the city.

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VILAS COUNTY - Whether you're in the Northwoods for Labor Day Weekend or you call it home, you will have to be more careful around mosquitoes.

A dead crow in Vilas County tested positive for West Nile Virus, which is carried by mosquitoes.

According to a Vilas County Public Health Department press release, this is the first bird this summer to test positive for it.

Gina Egan of the Vilas County Health Department said over the years the county has found infected birds.

Egan suggests avoiding mosquitoes and wearing bug spray. She also suggests getting rid of standing water outside your home, such as bird baths or gutters.

Public health nurses stress that most people who do get West Nile do not get sick.

"Twenty percent of the people have it really mild," said Oneida County public health nurse Dawn Klink. "Eighty percent of the people have no symptoms. And less than one percent get really really deathly ill. And those are usually the ones that get tested for it and go in. Other people just think they've got a bug and don't go in."

Nurses want you to call the local health department if you do see a dead bird.

If you do feel you have severe symptoms of West Nile, nurses say to go to your doctor to get tested. 

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WAUSAU - A Marathon County inmate who ran away finds himself back in jail.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Matthew Hornung at the Wausau American Legion Golf Course Thursday morning.  Someone saw the 31-year-old man hiding in the woods near the golf course and called police.  

Hornung disappeared Wednesday.

He was cleared to go to an off-site meeting, but cut off his GPS tracker and vanished.

He is in custody on an Alernative to Revocation for his probation.

Court records show Hornung was convicted of misdemeanor battery in 2012.

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RHINELANDER - This year the PotatoFest in Rhinelander will still have the favorites, like the French Fry Frenzy and Polka Sunday.

But there will also be a few new additions like a beanbag toss tournament, and potato pantyhose bowling.

"The pantyhose bowling that's where you wear a pantyhose on your head and it's filled with a potato, and then you have to swing your head to knock pins, or knock the ball down to knock the pins over," said DRI Executive Director Maggie Steffen.

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MINOCQUA - Heading back to school makes many students stress about what they are going to wear, especially when it comes to that first day look. And educators at one Northwoods school want their students to know that dressing for success, is more important than dressing to fit in.

At Lakeland Union High School, the dress code is designed to promote making wise fashion choices. Administrators say they want students to get in the routine of dressing, as if they're going to work.

"We're teaching them how to get ready for college and how to get ready for a career that they're going to be going into, 'career and college readiness', we want to make sure that they understand 'dressing for success', and a lot of times we spend a lot of time talking from that point of view," said Lakeland Union High School principal Jim Bouche.

Lakeland Union High School doesn't require uniforms, but they do have specific guidelines in place. They don't spell out what students can wear, but instead tell them what they can't. The overall goal is to keep kids focused in class.

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PHILLIPS - Dozens of manufacturing workers in Phillips could face hard times in the next few months. The Georgia-Pacific plant in town will close on October 27, and 53 employees will be laid off.

Georgia-Pacific told us the workers are great, but a poor market for specialty wood board products is forcing the closure.

The plant closure could be a challenge for those laid-off workers, but it could also be an opportunity for a new career.

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