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NEWS STORIES

New Member is Appointed on the Governor's Council on ForestrySubmitted: 05/10/2013

Melissa Constanzer
Morning Meteorologist/Reporter
mconstanzer@wjfw.com


TOMAHAWK - Most people know the Northwoods for its beautiful woods. But it's no easy job protecting these forests. However, a newly appointed council member is up to the challenge.

Thomas Hittle, the Director of Forestry and GIS Operations at Steigerwaldt Land Services in Tomahawk, is a new council member. He was appointed to Governor Walker's Council on Forestry.

"The Council's role is to advise the Governor and the legislature and the Department of Natural Resources on issues that relate to the sound and sustainable forest management of Wisconsin's forest resources," says Tom Hittle, Steigerwaldt Forestry and GIS Operations Director.

Hittle works daily with forestry issues like logging and timber management. He said the appointment is a huge honor but also a big responsibility.

"Having worked in the industry here in Wisconsin for the past 28 years, I recognize the important part that it plays in not only our local economy but the state economy as a whole," says Tom Hittle.

The Council is made up of 18 members from across the state. It consists of forest land owners and managers, as well as members from the forest and timber industry.



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 IN OTHER NEWS

ONEIDA COUNTY - Last Thursday, 15 members of the Oneida County community graduated from Leadership Oneida County. The nine-month program aims to give participants a better understanding of the county's resources and to improve participation in organizations throughout the county.

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HAZELHURST - A two-car crash made the slow stream of traffic heading south on Monday even slower. Two SUVs were heading south on Highway 51 when they hit each other near Hazelhurst at about 1:30 this afternoon. That caused damage to both cars.

"One person apparently came over the hill and hit a car that was slowed in the road. It appears to be minor injuries," said Hazelhurst Fire Chief Pat Winger.

The driver of one car was taken to Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff. The crash forced emergency responders to put in even tighter traffic controls in the area.

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RHINELANDER -  A Northwoods veterans group wants people to remember those who died serving our country. 

The Oneida County Veterans Council held a Memorial Day ceremony in Rhinelander on Monday.

The Rhinelander High School band and choir performed at the ceremony.

Mayor Dick Johns was the speaker. 

Event organizers hope people take time on Memorial Day to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. 

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MINOCQUA - Many golf courses in the Northwoods need to work hard to make a profit each year. Cold northern springs and falls mean a shorter playing season than other parts of the state. Many increase their rates near the peak of tourism season.

One Northwoods course went the other direction during the last week of April and tried something new. Timber Ridge Golf Club in Minocqua offered something unheard of - completely free golf for everyone.

"We all just kind of thought, what a nice idea, to just say thank you to all of our customers. (We thought,) come on out for a free week of golf," said Timber Ridge PGA Professional Jerry Collins.

The course was in great shape by late April. Golfers flooded in to play during the entire week.


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MERRILL - Hundreds of people gathered in Merrill on Monday to honor the lives of the service men and women lost over the years.

"From the Second World War, there were over 400,000 men and women who lost their lives, and it took a tremendous toll on our young people," said World War II veteran Richard Bjorklund.

The ceremony featured a guest speaker and acknowledged those still alive who served. People young and old remembered friends and family who are no longer here.

"Everybody worked together, and we still lost guys," said Vietnam War veteran John Jirovec. "It's hard to forget. Really hard to forget."

For one mother, every day is Memorial Day.
 
"My son Ryan, Sergeant Ryan Jopek, was killed in action on August 2, 2006," said Jopek's mother Tracy. "He just turned 20 and was coming home in a couple weeks, but fate didn't have it quite that way, and he didn't make it home, and we miss him every day."

Tears were shed thinking of the memories of loved ones, remembering freedom comes with a price.

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EDGAR - Marathon County authorities say a woman has died from drowning in a pool in Edgar in central Wisconsin.

Lt. Tim Burkholder of the Marathon County Sheriff's Department says it happened sometime after midnight Monday.

While the investigation is ongoing, he says the drowning appears to be accidental.

The department is withholding the victim's name and other details for now.

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ST. GERMAIN - A popular Northwoods tradition kicked off its 40th season today. The St. Germain Flea Market draws thousands of bargain hunters each week during the summer.

The market attracts nearly 400 vendors every week. Vendors showcase everything from homemade crafts and artwork to plants and homemade treats.

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