Budget cuts forcing Oneida County's Second Story Store into limited hours
Story By Lane Kimble
RHINELANDER - The Oneida County landfill offers people a unique opportunity. You pay a discounted price to get other people's mildly used furniture, tables and chairs that would otherwise end up in the trash.
But budget cuts are threatening Rhinelander's Second Story Store. Grant funding helped open Second Story in 2011. But the grant ran out this year, as did the city's 10-year solid waste contract.
Now, garbage disposal is going up $13 a ton.
That means the county has to find ways to cut back, which includes scaling back the Second Story Store.
Solid Waste Director Freeman Bennett knows the store is important to everyone, whether they use it or not.
"It not only helps people for getting a good price on good merchandise, but it saves it from dumping it into the landfill and taking up air space and burying it in the ground," Bennett said.
The cuts would mean the store goes from being open every day to just two days the entire year. But a kindly woman might be able to change that.
Bennett took a phone call out of the blue the other day asking why the Store was so limited this year.
"I explained to her, we simply don't have the money for the manpower right now and she volunteered her services," Bennett said.
It only takes one person to run the store. Bennett hopes this woman is able to come through.
Bennett says if the woman is able to help, the Second Story Store will be open daily throughout the summer.
If not, it will only be open one day around July 4th and once in the fall.
WAUSAU - Enrollment for health coverage will end soon. That's why healthcare providers participated in "Super Saturday".
Bridge Clinic in Wausau welcomed people to sign up for health insurance options Saturday.
The Open Enrollment deadline is February 15th. If you don't sign up before then, it could cost you $325 or more depending on your income.
"We recommend just make an informed choice. Don't just let it lapse and get the penalty, be surprised with a penalty later on. Come in, make an informed choice. There are health care options," said Bridge Community Health Clinic Executive Director Laura Scudiere.
NEW YORK - More than 2 million Toyota, Chrysler and Honda vehicles are being recalled for a second fix for faulty air bags that may inadvertently inflate while the car is running.
The recall includes some Acura MDX, Dodge Viper, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Honda Odyssey, Pontiac Vibe, Toyota Corolla and Toyota Avalon models made from 2002 to 2004.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says all the vehicles covered in Saturday's announcement had already been under a recall for the faulty air bags, but the carmakers' original attempts to fix the defects only worked about 85 percent of the time.
PINE RIVER - Firefighters in Pine River had a tough day Saturday. They battled a house fire Friday night.
Crews didn't finish cleaning up the scene until 3:30 Saturday morning. Then they got called to a second fire in the afternoon.
The first fire happened at 9:12 p.m. The Lincoln County Dispatch Center got a call about a possible structure fire on County Highway WW in the Town of Pine River. That's east of Merrill, but when the Pine River Department got there, the house was in flames.
MADISON - A team of students from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, is conducting research on foxes and coyotes in hopes of learning how the animals and humans can peacefully coexist.
Forest and wildlife associate professor David Drake and his students are humanely trapping the animals, running tests, then fitting them with tracking devices. The goal is to learn about traveling patterns, diseases the animals might have, and how they interact with other animals and humans.
Drake says foxes and coyotes are moving into areas where people are living. And if that continues, and the animals lose their fear of humans, they could become aggressive in extreme cases.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says residents should stay a safe distance from foxes or coyotes, and shouldn't feed them.
NORTHWOODS - The U.S. Forest Service will hire thousands of temporary workers this spring. Leaders at the Chequamegon Nicolet Forest Service want to hire more than 50 temporary employees to work during summer. They're looking for people with diverse backgrounds and plenty of experience.
ST. GERMAIN - Bikinis and snowmobiles don't typically mix. Except, when you're at the St. Germain Bikini Run.
The event draws a huge crowd every year and it raised thousands of dollars for charity.
"We started with six girls and maybe $8000 seven years ago. Now, we're up to 33 girls today and more than $50,000," says Mark Hiller, the St. Germain Radar Run race director. "Every year it just grows, and grows."
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