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NEWS STORIES

Be on the Lookout in National ForestSubmitted: 05/01/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


RHINELANDER - Campers, hikers and fishers: you need to be on the lookout. This is the time of year drug cartels scout for places to plant marijuana in the national forests.

If you're fishing or hiking on national forest land be on the look out for these things:

Pieces of land in the middle of the forest recently cleared out, garden tools or fertilizer bags, signs of digging for mass planting and roughly built structures for shelter. There are also often piles of garbage left by growers.

"These are dangerous people. They're dangerous criminals doing illegal activity. So if you do see something that is unusual your best bet is to leave the area as quickly and quietly as possible. And if you have a good idea of where you were that would be helpful to law enforcement but we don't want you to stay and linger to try and get that kind of information," says Suzanne Flory, from the U.S. Forest Service.

Three major grow sites have been found over the past few years. Each originally discovered by people passing by.

Each ranger has hundreds of thousands of acres of forest land to look after. So the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest depends on your help when something illegal is happening inside.



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EAGLE RIVER - A fire in Eagle River severely damaged a garage on McKinley Boulevard early Sunday morning.

The Eagle River Fire Department said the fire started in the garage just after midnight Sunday morning.

15 firemen were on the scene for about two hours. Three children and two adults were in the house when the fire started.

The fire department says someone going by the house went in to wake them up and called 911. The fire went partially into the attic and house.

The garage and everything in it were completely destroyed. No one was hurt from the fire. 

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MADISON - A Wisconsin prison guard has served a one-day suspension for a joke on Facebook about President Barack Obama and lynching.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1H0kn2U ) that Collin Visser posted in December a photo of Christmas tree ornaments depicting Obama and the text: "Look guys. Obama Christmas ornaments. Suddenly it's legal to hang a black man from a tree again!"

Visser has worked at the Dodge County Correctional Institution in Waupun since April 2014. The newspaper obtained documents revealing his punishment months after requesting them under the state's open records law.

Warden Marc Clements told Visser in January he'd be suspended for one day and required to attend diversity training for what the warden called a "serious act of misconduct."

Visser did not immediately return a call seeking comment Sunday.

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RHINELANDER - Fourth of July and fireworks go hand in hand.

It's been a while since Independence Day fell on a Saturday.

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BOULDER JUNCTION - Parades and marching bands go hand in hand, but Boulder Junction has gone without a band in their Fourth of July parade for more than 20 years. One marching band, though, is changing that tradition.

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WAUSAU - A crash in Wausau left one man injured after a van collided with his motorcycle Friday night.

The Wausau Police Department got a call about a southbound crash around 9:00 p.m. on Grand Avenue near Ruder Street.

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MIAMI BEACH, FLA - Green Bay Packers tight end Andrew Quarless has been arrested for allegedly firing two shots into the air during an argument outside a Miami Beach parking garage.

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MADISON - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he and GOP legislative leaders have agreed to completely remove a part of the proposed state budget that would severely roll back the state's open records laws.

Walker announced the decision in a joint statement Saturday with Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, and the co-chairs of the joint budget committee.

The statement says the records proposal "will be removed from the budget in its entirety." They say the plan "was never intended to inhibit transparent government in any way."

The restrictions, which Republicans slipped into the proposed budget late Thursday, would exempt nearly everything created by government officials from Wisconsin's open records law.

The statement says the Legislature will form a committee to study the issue and allow for public discussion.

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