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Late Spring Shouldn't Affect Potato CropSubmitted: 05/20/2013
Story By Lex Gray

Late Spring Shouldn't Affect Potato Crop
ANTIGO - Most of us waited eagerly for spring so we could start our summer hobbies.

But farmers wait for spring so they can get to work.

John Schroeder runs a potato farm in Antigo.

He says the late spring could mean a bad harvest for crops like alfalfa, but potatoes should be just fine.

"It generally started a little wet and cold, he said. "We were probably three or four days behind planting right now, but we had a good week last week, so we're catching up."

Schroeder farms 2,200 acres.

He started planting May 2 and says he's on schedule to finish by the first week of June.

No matter what the summer weather is like, Schroeder is confident in his crop.

"Our crop is 100 percent irrigated, so we're pretty much not dependent on the rain," he said. "The ground is in really good shape, so we're expecting a good crop coming out this fall."

Langlade County is one of the top producers of seed potatoes in the state.

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WAUSAU - Every year, firefighters around the country ask their communities to fill up boots with money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Wausau Fire Department kicked off its "Fill the Boot" campaign Tuesday morning.

The fire department will be at local events throughout the summer to collect donations.

The fundraiser helps with research and treatment for neuromuscular diseases for kids and adults.

"It's kind of a rewarding part of the job. Most of what we do is off camera, you don't really get to see all aspects of the fire department. It is a great chance for us to get out there and see all the programs we are involved in to help,"says firefighter Matt Tormohlen.

The fundraiser also gives Wausau-area kids the chance to go to a MDA camp.

15-year-old Roy Thorson lives with spinal muscular atrophy and has gone to the camp for the last ten years.

You can find him collecting "Fill the Bucket" donations right alongside the firefighters this summer.

"It's nice to see the generosity of the public. It's nice to the firefighters willing to put their times towards this. It's just cool to see a group come together for a good cause," says Thorson.

You can also send in "Fill the Boot" donations online.

See link below.

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FOREST COUNTY - Bringing your pet along to watch fireworks might seem like a fun way to spend the Fourth of July, but you could be doing more harm than good.

July 5th is one of the busiest days of the year for most animal shelters.

That's because fearful pets try to escape the bangs and flashes from fireworks and end up lost.

Forest County Humane Society president Jay Schaefer says don't let yourself add to your pet's stress.

Play it down, and make the fireworks a good thing with positive talk and treats.

"They're reading cues from us constantly. So be careful of your body language and the cues you're giving them. If you act like fireworks are a big scary thing they're gonna be like, 'oh my god fireworks are scary,'" says Schaefer.

Exercise can be another way to calm your pet before the big light show.

Burning off the energy earlier in the day may help your pet go to sleep early.

"Take them for a jog on the Fourth of July. I know it's hectic, but do something so they're not all amped up at night when the fireworks go off," says Schaefer.

Like many humans, pets like the smell of lavender.

You can try diffusing the scent around the house to put your pet at ease.

Make sure you have a well-fitting collar and identification tag on your pet.

If flashes are too bright, you might want to close the curtains.

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WAUSAU - Many of us try to honor our veterans whenever we can.

Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) added one more way.

The Governor visited several veteran-owned businesses across the state Tuesday for Veteran-Owned Business Day.

Tuesday afternoon he stopped at Prosthetic Orthotic Center in Wausau.

He says veteran-owned businesses are good for other veterans and the economy.

"We found statistically that veterans are about 30 percent more likely to hire fellow veterans as employees," Walker said. "So it's good all the way around."

If you are a veteran-owned business, you can register with the state at WisVets.com

That way you can get a decal that says Wisconsin Veteran-Owned for your business window or door.

You also get listed in a state veteran-owned business directory.

"We're branding it, letting the public know that businesses that are owned by veterans, letting them know whether it's in a sign in their window or whether it's on the website, or other ways that we can draw attention," Walker said.

About 390,000 veterans live in Wisconsin, and about 11 percent of the state's businesses are veteran-owned.

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MERRILL - Six years ago, Merrill promoted the River Bend Trail across the city to try to get people to use it. Now, the trail sees more than 100 people every day and is scheduled for more expansion.

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The Marathon County Sheriff's Office reports a 37-year-old Shawano man died after apparently overdosing on methamphetamine.  

Witnesses say 37-year-old Lucas Groshek and his wife, Carolyn, were shaking and convulsing in a car in the eastern Marathon County town of Norrie.  Mr. Groshek died before getting to the hospital.   Mrs. Groshek, 33, is in stable condition as of Tuesday afternoon.

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MADISON - Budget talks between Wisconsin state Assembly and Senate Republicans have broken down.

On Tuesday, leaders from both sides called each other's positions on how to pay for road construction projects "laughable." A meeting with Republican leaders abruptly ended after 40 minutes.

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