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NEWS STORIES

Zoning CommitteeTakes More Time on Helicopter Hangar PermitSubmitted: 05/01/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

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WOODRUFF - People live in the Northwoods for the peace and quiet it provides. But some important services create plenty of noise. Services like the Ministry Spirit 2 helicopter, which needs a new home.

It's currently housed at the Rhinelander Airport, but the hangar is for sale. Ministry proposed moving it to the Howard Young Medical Center, but some people in Woodruff don't want it there.

Tonight the Oneida County Zoning Committee had an opportunity to decide whether they'd approve the move.

Ministry says housing the chopper at the hospital will help them reach the majority of their patients in the quickest amount of time.

Doctors from the hospital told committee members it would cut down on critical time for heart attack, major traumatic injury and stroke patients.

"If they have a life-threatening problem having the helicopter at Howard Young will offer them a better, higher level of care," says Ministry Medical Group President Stewart Watson.

"I've had a heart attack. When I have my next one I want to be able to call 911, say, 'I'm on my way over. Get it running'," says Woodruff resident Corky Sheppard.

But plenty of people who live nearby object. One reason is noise; but many say it goes way beyond that.

"Several things we as a board had asked for, or questions we had put to the Howard Young Ministry staff simply were not acknowledged or answered," says Woodruff Town Supervisor Judy Allen.

Woodruff residents were given the chance to speak to the committee. Some voiced support for the hangar location. Others said they didn't oppose the helicopter moving to Woodruff, but rather the use of the land for housing and maintaining it right on hospital property.

"The reason that we're here is a land use issue. We're just opposed to how it's going. We would like to see some compromise and some common sense," says Woodruff resident Todd Albano.

Other people also said they wanted a compromise on the location of the hangar in the Woodruff Area.

The committee decided to pay a visit to the proposed site before they'll make a decision on the conditional use permit.



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Update-Inmate captured after failing to return to jailSubmitted: 09/30/2014

MARATHON COUNTY - An inmate who didn't return to jail from Huber release will now get a chance to think about his mistake.

The Marathon County Sheriff's department confirms inmate Tommie Rothenberger has been captured.

He was found in Waupaca County around 5:30 last night.

Rothenberger was let out of the Marathon County Jail Friday morning to go to school at Northcentral Technical College.

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Preserving Wisconsin's wetlands Submitted: 09/30/2014

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RHINELANDER - You can find hundreds of plant species, different types of animal life, and breathtaking views in Wisconsin's wetlands.

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One group recently released a book educating others on wetland conservation.

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UW-Marathon County issues voter IDs to students who need oneSubmitted: 09/30/2014

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UW-Marathon County is issuing voter IDs to students that don't have them.

Everyone in Wisconsin needs to have an ID to vote this fall.

The university started making the IDs Monday.

All UW schools will be issuing IDs to students who need one.

"The biggest reason that we're doing this is we really want our students to have that opportunity to vote," says Interim Assistant Campus Dean for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at UW-Marathon County Carla Rabe. "Some of our students may not have the proper voter ID, and so for us to offer that opportunity to our students really just encourages them to really take the importance in voting."

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Virgin Airlines lets some employees have unlimited holiday vacation days, experts say strategy won't work in Northwoods Submitted: 09/30/2014

NORTHWOODS - Unlimited vacation time might sound unrealistic, but Virgin Airlines is letting some of its employees take off whenever they want. Nicolet Staffing thinks that wouldn't work in the Northwoods.

Virgin Airlines got the idea from Netflix. One hundred seventy employees can only take the unlimited days off when they feel that their team is up to date with every project. They also need to make sure their vacation time won't damage the business or their career.

Nicolet Staffing branch manager Robert Erickson says with so many manufacturers in the Northwoods, that system isn't possible.

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Wisconsin gets record timber sales on state lands; catching up on land management planSubmitted: 09/30/2014

RHINELANDER - Wisconsin made a record amount of money from timber sales on state lands in the most recent fiscal year.

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"We'll actually come back down slightly looking forward a bit because we will have worked down that backlog," DeLong said.

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Firefighters practice rescue in sewerSubmitted: 09/30/2014

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Members of the Rhinelander Fire Department spent Tuesday in a sewer to practice rescuing people in a tight space.

Click "play video" to see how and why they do it.

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Iconic northern tree species could disappear as Northwoods climate warmsSubmitted: 09/30/2014

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FIFIELD - "Here's the paper birch, or white birch. It's one of my favorite trees," Linda Parker tells me as we walk through a part of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest near Fifield.

But her next thought on the tree is not so pleasant.

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