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NEWS STORIES

Rhinelander Leader Bucks Governor to Fight for Local ControlSubmitted: 04/18/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander requires its police officers and firefighters to live within 20 minutes of town.

That's to make sure they can respond quickly to a safety problem.

The city is one of more than 125 cities and villages in Wisconsin to have similar rules.

For example, Milwaukee requires all city employees and school teachers to live within city limits.

But Gov. Walker's budget bill would to prohibit cities and towns from enforcing so-called "residency rules".

One Rhinelander leader is fighting that legislation - city council member Alex Young.

"It's really an issue, as far as I'm concerned, of local control, and the city being allowed to make its own decisions. There's bipartisan opposition to this. There have been some Republican lawmakers that have been fairly vocal opposing this," says Young.

Walker has said he wants cities to hire people based on merit, not on where they live.

Young says that might work in dense urban areas, but creates problems in the rural Northwoods.

"If we aren't able to have employees that can respond fast, trying to call them in from another neighboring municipality is going to add some time and decrease public safety," he says.

If Walker's proposed law change passes, it would trump the local proposal by Young.

Whether the Governor's rule change will go into law should be decided by this summer.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Will the highway department relocate?Submitted: 08/19/2014

RHINELANDER - The highway department may need to relocate.

Kwik Trip has made a formal offer to purchase the current highway department for a new highway Kwik Trip location.

If the purchase is approved, the highway department will move facilities. The details of the proposal have yet to be released. But, the county board has discussed the proposal in numerous closed sessions.

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Cranberry harvest numbers may slide compared to last several years Submitted: 08/19/2014

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MANITOWISH WATERS - Cranberry growers in Wisconsin work hard every year to produce the fruit. But they may not be able to harvest as many berries this season.

Cranberry growers don't expect an overly large crop this year. This comes after several years of great harvests in the state.

The numbers might not be as high, but farmers say they won't be disappointed with this year's cranberry results.

"Overall I think it will be a decent crop," says Bob Winter, owner and manager of Vilas Cranberry Company. "There's been some hail in the southern part of the state and even in western Wisconsin, so that takes its toll, but cumulatively how much that really is remains to be seen. You never know until you get it all in the barn at the end of October."

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First ever school Garden Symposium at TreehavenSubmitted: 08/19/2014

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TOMAHAWK - Treehaven in Tomahawk kicked off its first ever School Garden Symposium Tuesday.

Educators from schools all around the state were invited to attend. It's an opportunity for them to come and learn how to incorporate healthier habits into their schools.

"Some of them are new to gardening completely," said Jasmyn Schmidt, a presenter at the symposium. "So they're learning how to start a garden, what you have to do for a garden, and what supplies are needed to start a garden. Some of them are a year or two into their gardens and are looking to learn maintenance or funding strategies to keep those gardens going."

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Sen. Ron Johnson: Submitted: 08/19/2014

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FOREST COUNTY - Forest and timber leaders in Northern Wisconsin hosted Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) in Forest County Tuesday. The group of timber experts was touring areas of the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest (CNNF).

Both of Wisconsin's senators toured forests and forest industries in the north over the last two days.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) toured wood products businesses in Laona on Monday.

Foresters and timber experts were urging, to both senators, for more harvesting in the more than one million acres of national forest that covers Northern Wisconsin. The harvest this decade has been far below what it was in the 90s.

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Hunting stores seeing more crossbow interest as new season approachesSubmitted: 08/19/2014

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NORTHWOODS - More hunters will get to use crossbows during the upcoming bow season.

Workers at hunting stores see more customer interest in crossbow hunting.

The Natural Resource Board approved the new season last week. It will run at the same time as the archery season which runs from Sept. 13 - Jan. 4, 2015.

Businesses are seeing more people looking at crossbows as the season approaches.

"We've seen a definite spike in interest in this past year, and especially more now with the season in place for the fall," says Mitch Mode of Mel's Trading Post in Rhinelander.

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Another option? Studying weevils' ability to control invasive species in Northwoods lakesSubmitted: 08/19/2014

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BOULDER JUNCTION - The problem of invasive Eurasian Watermilfoil in Northwoods lakes never seems to stop.

Lake groups can cut it, but it often grows back.

Chemical treatments often work, but they put artificial ingredients into lakes.

What if there was another option?

We found one group that's on the hunt for one.

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Brand new Spudmobile hits the road in Wisconsin Submitted: 08/19/2014

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STEVENS POINT - The Spudmobile is Wisconsin's newest addition in potato education.

The Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association unveiled the Spudmobile at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in Stevens Point last week.

"It was a big project, 4 years of planning and development. It cost a lot of money and we don't want it to sit parked. We want to get it out there and get people touring through it and seeing it on the road," said Tamas Houlihan.

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