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Fair Promotes Northwoods SustainabilitySubmitted: 04/22/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Fair Promotes Northwoods Sustainability
RHINELANDER - Natural beauty surrounds us here in the Northwoods.

But living in a way that supports that natural beauty might seem tricky.

People who live in cities may have more access to sustainable, earth-friendly resources.

But there's plenty of that here in Rhinelander.

Monday was the third Sustainability Fair in Rhinelander, first in the new ArtStart building, and it was by far the biggest yet.

27 vendors, food, and music help show that people can live an earth-friendly life here in the Northwoods.

"There are sustainable services. You don't have to go to Madison, you don't have to go to California. There really are people up here that are providing services. We wanted to bring people together, both the providers and the possible consumers," a coordinator of the fair.

One of those providers is Rich Urban.

He evaluates houses to help with more efficient energy use.

"One of the things I try to bring into the discussion is the environmental aspects of their energy bill, their energy usage, and how that impacts the larger world," he says.

The event this year was the highest attended of the three years.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

NORTHWESTERN WI - Heavy rains have caused an earthen dam to fail in a rural area of northwestern Wisconsin.

Douglas County Emergency Management Director Keith Kesler says he's unaware of any evacuations from the damage Monday. Few people live in the area.

Kesler says water is overtopping the Radigan Flowage Dam west of Dairlyland after several days of rain.

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HARSHAW -
A culvert that collapsed after the weekend rainfall has caused Rocky Run Road west of Hwy 51 in Harshaw to be closed according to Cassian Town Chairman Tim Augustine. 


Augustine said in an email that the culvert is unsafe to be driven over. The Cassian Town Board has been working with property owners to get the culvert project underway. 

Construction to replace culvert is currently scheduled for July.

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - Camp American Legion recently opened up for visitors this year, but campers will notice some big changes.

The entire top floor of the main building was redone with new flooring and new bathrooms. The camp also cleared the way to put in concrete outside the front entrance to be used as a future spot for music and other outdoor gatherings.

But those aren't the only projects underway. 

"The other one that we worked on was the front entrance and the sunroom entrance out here actually on the second floor, and that got a complete facelift on it also," said Camp Director Don Grundy. "We got stone work on the outside, all new windows, that we'll now be able to use these spaces in the winter." 

Grundy hopes to be able to have winter programming in the future. The camp will also have a grand opening for a new building for families of the fallen this coming Wednesday.


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NORTHWOODS - The storms from the past few days have caused the Rainbow Reservoir near Lake Tomahawk to overflow to a height it hasn't reached in decades.

Two out of the five dam gates opened on Friday.

The water underneath the dam and reservoir reaches flood stage at six feet.

According to the National Weather Service, the water was measured at 6.48 feet Monday afternoon.

That's a height the water hasn't reached since the 1940's.

"I've never seen it like this before," said Lisa Dahlke who owns a house on the Wisconsin River near Rainbow Lake.

The water coming out of the dam is being released a little faster than 3,000 cubic feet per second.

"I don't know how much fishing we are going to get in but the high water kind of messes that up," said fisherman Dan Eiden.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Supreme Court rules against Wisconsin Democrats in the fight over the drawing of legislative boundaries.

Democrats believe current maps give Republicans an unfair advantage in elections.

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MERCER -
People knew "Bike the Heart" as Vilas County's bike trail system.

Now that's changing as Mercer is now a part of "Bike the Heart."

That means the entire trail is more than 50 miles long!

But you'll have to wait until next month for Mercer's piece to be totally paved.

"It's been going for a long time. To be the last sort of Northern point of the trail for now, we are honored and excited about it," says Mercer Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Beth Wetzler.

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RHINELANDER - Wearing his black gown and mortarboard, Derek Pranke looked every bit the part of a proud graduate on Monday afternoon.

"We all pulled straight A's," Pranke said of his graduating class.

But Pranke knew his outfit beat the one he got used to wearing the last few years.

"[Class was] better than wasting time and just sitting and doing nothing in prison," Pranke said.

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