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DNR lifts burn ban statewideSubmitted: 05/17/2013
Story By The Associated Press

MADISON - The state Department of Natural Resources has lifted a statewide burning ban.

The DNR temporarily suspended all burning permits on Wednesday because low humidity, windy conditions and high temperatures had created conditions ripe for fires and dozens of fire departments were already committed to battling a massive wildfire in Douglas County.

DNR fire officials said they lifted the burning suspension early Friday morning. They say the Douglas County fire is now all but extinguished, firefighters have returned to their home jurisdictions and conditions have improved with low humidity and diminished winds.



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 IN OTHER NEWS

BLAINE, MINNESOTA - Firefighters from Upper Michigan put themselves at risk to battle fires in Utah.

On the way home, two were killed when the bus they were riding in crashed over the weekend in Minnesota.

Now the firefighter who was driving the bus is facing charges.

According to a criminal complaint, 28-year-old Michael Johnson told authorities he'd slept just 45 minutes the previous 28 hours as he drove a bus with 8 other wildland firefighters returning from a fire in Utah to their home base near Baraga in Michigan's Upper Penninsula.

Officers say Johnson was combative and showed signs of impairment at the crash scene, and later admitted to using marijuana the morning of the crash - and cocaine two days earlier.


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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander City Administrator Kristina Aschenbrenner walked into what she thought would be a routine performance review Monday night.

She left without a job.

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MINOCQUA - Three local cyclists planned to bike in the Ride Across Wisconsin event just for fun this year, but a few days before the ride, a good friend of theirs became unexplainably sick. In that moment, the purpose of their ride changed.

"This is nothing. This is a day. This is an hour, a minute that I can keep going," said cyclist Connie Trapp.

For Trapp, riding 178 miles was a small hurdle compared to the struggle of a close friend.

"Just having somebody to ride it for and be encouraged that you're doing it for someone else besides yourself really helped," said Trapp.

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's Highway 8 is finally getting its long-awaited renovation.

Beginning this week, construction will begin along two busy intersections on Rhinelander's busy bypass.

Michael Wendt, the Department of Transportation project development supervisor said, "This is probably something we should have done a little while ago, but it takes some time to get these projects going.

Construction at Highway G and 17 South started this week, and crews will lay new surface and install new stoplight sensors. 

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MERCER - This year, almost 40 northern Wisconsin communities formally expressed interest in becoming the new home of the DNR's state forestry headquarters. But there's a chance the headquarters stay right where they are--in Madison.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/30/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll update you on the Rhinelander City Council's decision to remove Kristina Aschenbrenner from the City Administrator position.

We'll tell you about a group of people from Minocqua who took a bike ride across Wisconsin and dedicated it to a friend with serious health problems.

And people driving down Highway 8 in Rhinelander may have to watch out for construction for a while. We'll tell you what crews are doing on two intersections of the bypass.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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WOODRUFF - The amount of blood donations usually drops during the summer, but this summer has been particularly challenging in northern Wisconsin.

"Over the course of the summer, our blood supply has declined considerably. It has dropped 35 percent over the course of the summer, and it is approaching dangerously low levels," said Community Blood Center Donor Services Vice President Kristine Belanger.

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