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NEWS STORIES

Northwoods Native Confirmed to Natural Resources BoardSubmitted: 05/07/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com

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LAONA - What should the rules be for wolf hunting in Wisconsin?

How can we deal with phosphorous runoff in state rivers?

Should we should be able to hunt in state parks?

Those are some of the big questions Wisconsin's Natural Resources Board deals with.

Now, a longtime scientist from a small Northwoods community will join the decision-makers.

Laona isn't typically a hotbed of state leaders.

But on Tuesday, Laona native Gary Zimmer joined a group with real power to shape how we interact with nature in our state.

All 33 state senators voted to confirm Zimmer to his new post on the seven-member Natural Resources Board.

His perspective should be a valuable addition to the group.

"Our Natural Resources Board is made up of a number of different individuals. I'm one of the few that has a scientific background on the board. There's folks with real estate or farming backgrounds, just a wide range of backgrounds, and that's really important to making good decisions out there," he says.

Zimmer has worked in Laona for the Ruffed Grouse Society for the last 13 years.

Before that, he spent 18 years with the U.S. Forest Service in the Northwoods.

He plans to make the interaction between forestry and wildlife management a focus of his as a new member of the board.

"The state forests, the county forests, and the state wildlife management areas are all forests that are certified. That shows the well-managed sustained-yield forests that we do have. Those forests are very, very important for wildlife management," he says.

Zimmer will sit down for his first meeting as an official board member two weeks from Tuesday.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Convicted sex offender to be released in NorthwoodsSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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RHINELANDER - A man convicted of breaking into a 15-year old girl's basement and sexually assaulting her will move to Rhinelander when he's released from prison.

26-year-old Jason L. Mullen will be released from prison August 5th. He'll move into a transitional living home in Rhinelander.

Mullen broke into a basement window of an Oneida County home. A 15-year-old girl he knew lived there. He told her he had a knife and sexually assaulted her. It turns out he didn't have a knife.

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UPDATE: Incredible video & 911 call sheds light on Marinette County police chase & shootingSubmitted: 08/1/2014

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MARINETTE COUNTY - New dash cam video from a police chase in Marinette County last Thursday afternoon shows just how dangerous the situation was for drivers on the road. 43-year-old Robb DeGroot of Green Bay was crossing lanes into traffic and also shooting at other cars along the way.

Audio released by the Marinette County Sheriff's Office shows the confusion and fear from drivers getting shot at by DeGroot.

"He just fired out the window again," said the Illinois man that called police about the July 25 incident.

DeGroot led police on a more than 20 minute chase in Marinette County. The caller told the dispatch officer that DeGroot was weaving between traffic.

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Northwoods caregiver talks importance of Silver AlertSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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RHINELANDER - More than 16,000 people in northcentral Wisconsin live with some form of dementia. They're some of the 110,000 people living with a cognitive impairment in the state. About 60% of them will wander at some point.

A new tool could help their families find them.

The Silver Alert program became available in Wisconsin Friday.

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Successful pea harvest despite cool Spring temperaturesSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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ANTIGO - A slow and shaky start to the summer growing season didn't hurt some farmers in Langlade County. That's because cooler temperatures can actually help some crops like peas.

Some farmers just finished harvesting their peas this week.It's the first vegetable crop of the season and farmers at Sunnydale Farms believe it was a great harvest.

They think cooler temperatures helped some of their crops stay healthy.

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Barbeque lovers come to the northwoods this weekend for Submitted: 08/01/2014

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ST. GERMAIN - In the south, you can find barbeque on every corner. Up here it's not that easy... But if you're craving it, you can head to Pig in the Pines this weekend.

It's the 10th annual year of the event in St. Germain. There are award winning ribs, live music and family friendly attractions to enjoy.

Barbeque lovers from across the midwest are drawn to Pig in the Pines...and of course everything is finger licking good.

"It does help the community," says St. Germain Chamber Director Penny Wiesmann. "It draws people from all over the Midwest. We have people talking about; this is their fourth or fifth annual year. The smells are incredible. You don't know where to go. You don't know if you should get ribs or pork or brisket or the corn. Try everything. Eat all day long."

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UW Trout Lake Station holds open houseSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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BOULDER JUNCTION - UW Trout Lake leaders want people to get interested in science. They invited people to come out and see what it's like to be a researcher at the Trout Lake Station in Boulder Junction.

More than 230 people showed up to the open house. People got the chance to go on a boat ride, learn about sampling and learn more about invasive species.

"The open house is a wonderful forum for us to be able to invite the community in and let them know what we're doing," says UW Trout Lake Station Director Tim Kratz. "Have a discussion about the kinds of research that we're doing on lakes, to hear the concerns or questions that people might have and just to enjoy a beautiful day on Trout Lake."

They also had activities for the kids.

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Minocqua Chamber names new directorSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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MINOCQUA - The Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce will welcome a new executive director later this month.

Krystal Westfahl will start at the chamber August 21st. She'll replace Kim Baltus who left to join the Howard Young Foundation.

Westfahl comes to the Northwoods from Appleton. That's where she has been in charge of fundraising for the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Wisconsin for the past seven years. Before that, she worked as director of the Sampson State Park World War II Military Museum in Upstate New York.

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