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NEWS STORIES

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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 IN OTHER NEWS

WISCONSIN - With the Fourth of July right around the corner, many people will enjoy the holiday out in the warm weather. If you do, it's important to remember food safety to avoid getting any food illness this weekend.

Bacteria spreads much faster in the heat. Any food left out for more than an hour could go bad. 

Health Department workers say to keep your food out of what they call the "food danger zone".

"It's 140 degrees Fahrenheit to 40 degrees Fahrenheit and ways that they can do this is to put cold food items on top of ice and water baths and hot items, you're going to want to keep them covered with foil or kept on the cooler side of the grill," said Forest County Health Department Nutritionist Karly Johnson.

Food kept inside at room temperature should be put away after two hours. Make sure to wash any utensils or plates used for raw meat before reusing. That's the best way to avoid common food illnesses.

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MADISON - Update: 6/30  5:40pm

Republican Sen. Luther Olsen says the budget-writing committee hopes to meet on Thursday to complete its work so the Legislature can vote on passing the state budget next week.

Olsen commented Tuesday after leaving a five-hour closed meeting with Republican senators.

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker will greet President Barack Obama when he comes to La Crosse on Thursday to talk about the economy.

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MADISON - Leaders of the Senate and Assembly plan to hold a news conference on Wednesday morning to announce terms of the agreement. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos's spokeswoman Kit Beyer said Tuesday the deal had been reached and details would come out Wednesday.

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VILAS COUNTY - Earlier this month, legislators put a proposal into the state budget that would take away a county's ability to make its own shoreline zoning regulations. Here in the Northwoods, two counties have come out against that proposal.

If the state budget went through as it's written right now, individual counties and lake associations could lose their power to set zoning regulations. That's a big issue for many in the Northwoods. Vilas County alone has 1,300 lakes. The proposal has caused great concerns.

"The concern was that the proposal had the potential for doing great damage to the environment, had the potential for causing a severe problem as far as assessment procedures, and generally was opposed by the citizens-the residents-of this county," said Chuck Hayes, a Vilas County supervisor.

Vilas and Oneida counties both held board meetings last week. Both counties voted to ask for removal of zoning changes from the budget. They argue the issue of shoreline zoning was never given any time to be discussed.

"At the very least, I think the public should have had a chance to weigh in on this issue that affects the environment," said Hayes. "The counties, the municipalities and individual residents, their opinion wasn't sought on this. It was simply put in."

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ANTIGO - A new grant program could bring new businesses to downtown Antigo. The area has had trouble filling empty buildings for the past few years, but county and city leaders say Downtown Antigo is making a comeback.

Now, business owners who open a store downtown can get some money back.

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WISCONSIN - Wisconsin's maple syrup season saw success in 2015.

Maple syrup production rose 14 percent compared to last year.

The total production was 215,000 gallons.

That amount is the second highest ever for the state behind 2013.

Newswatch 12 visited Whataview Farm in Phelps in March.

They had a great season and are excited to supply its customers.

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