Wildfire Contained After Burning Thousands of AcresSubmitted: 05/16/2013
Story By Associated Press

DOUGLAS COUNTY - Firefighters work to mop up what's left of the wildfire that burned 9-thousand acres in northwestern Wisconsin.

Department of Natural Resources spokesman Robert Manwell says the fire in Douglas and Bayfield counties is 100 percent contained.

Manwell says fire crews will be handling small brush fires and reworking the lines that contain the wildfire.

Authorities opened all public roads in the area overnight.

Some residents headed back to their homes.

Others have no home to go back to.

The fire destroyed 17 homes and 30 other structures since it started on Tuesday.

The DNR says no one has been hurt in the largest forest fire to hit northern Wisconsin in 33 years.

Governor Scott Walker declared a state of emergency in Douglas and Bayfield counties.

That means the Wisconsin National Guard can help with recovery efforts.

The governor plans to tour the area today.

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)

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MINOCQUA - The Minocqua Town Board always knew it would need to replace Supervisor Bryan Jennings eventually. But the Board didn't think it happen so soon.

Jennings died September 8, two days after he was struck by lightning while walking his dog.

Town Chairman Mark Hartzheim says the Town is now accepting letters of interest from anyone wanting to fill Jennings's seat.

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MERRILL - The Merrill Fire Department sees the need for more, younger EMTs to get into the business. Like other area departments, it wants to ensure its staff will stay strong for years into the future.

People like Dylan Schielke can help make that happen.

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WISCONSIN - This year marks the third highest bear harvest in state history.

The totals cement Wisconsin's title as the best state in the U.S. for bear harvests with 4,643 registered.

But it wasn't all good news for bear hunters. 

This year also marked the highest number of hunting dog deaths.

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RHINELANDER - A Marathon County man who drove to Rhinelander to meet up with a 15-year-old girl for sex told police he nearly turned around.

Instead, Dustin Zernicke pulled into the Shopko parking lot Friday night and found officers waiting for him.

The 35-year-old Zernicke made his initial appearance in Oneida County Court Monday afternoon.  Undercover officers posted an ad on Craigslist pretending to be a 15-year-old girl.  The post said "Mom sent me [to] Rhinelander for the weekend and I have nothing to do."

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WAUSAU - This fall Wausau's Woodson Art Museum will bring together artists from all over the world. 

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RHINELANDER - We likely won't find out who Rhinelander's next police chief will be until early next year.  But the city is already working to replace Chief Mike Steffes.

Newswatch 12 learned earlier this month Chief Steffes is leaving Rhinelander to take a job with the Department of Justice.

Steffes beat out 34 other candidates to win the chief job in 2007.  Police and Fire Commission President Todd McEldowney expects to see dozens of new applicants this time.

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EAGLE RIVER - Many of us already put out the scary decorations and pumpkins for some Halloween spirit. But if you're looking to take it up a notch, dress like a zombie and grab your running shoes this Saturday.

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