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NEWS STORIES

College students fill staff needs at WPSSubmitted: 06/13/2013
Story By Kailey Burton


RHINELANDER - Severe storms and construction during the summer often leave Wisconsin Public Service short-handed. Luckily summer also means college students are back in town, with time on their hands.

"Wisconsin Public Service for a number of years has been employing students throughout the summer to do our maintenance on our electric and gas type facilities," said Leah Van Zile with WPS.

Checking gas meters for leaks is not difficult- a sensor "sniffs" the ground and meters for natural gas and points out leaks. Workers then spray a soapy mix on the meter and watch for bubbles to pinpoint the leak. The process is fairly simple, but very important. Hiring college students to handle the job frees up full-time employees for bigger issues.

"If we have power outages or any other kind of emergencies those employees are available to respond to those and other customer work isn't pushed back because of the maintenance we need to do every few years," said Van Zile.

If you see young people in neon WPS vests in your yard, don't be alarmed, but DO consider how your dog might respond to a stranger on their turf. Every year several WPS workers are attacked by dogs.


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ANTIGO - It can be hard to find unique clothing in a smaller community like Antigo. But two sisters-in-law have perfected a business for the small town.

Schroeder's in Antigo has changed a lot over the years. The business began as a farm market.

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MADISON - The Wisconsin Senate has approved a bill that would create statewide regulations on ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft.


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NORTHWOODS - 24% of people living in the Northwoods say they don't do any physical activity.

One organization is teaching employers why they should have wellness programs in the workplace.

Northwoods LEAN hosted a Wellness Seminar Tuesday to teach employees how to start or add to wellness programs at their business. Organizers say people here in the Northwoods need wellness programs to promote healthier lifestyles.

"Healthcare costs are rising," said Northwoods LEAN Worksite Wellness Committee member Dr. Wendy Henrichs. "People are getting sicker within the United States and that's translating into lost dollars in terms of productivity. So we want to give employers in the area resources to be able to incorporate wellness into their businesses."

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MADISON - The state Senate will consider eliminating Wisconsin's 48-hour waiting period to buy a handgun.

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CRYSTAL FALLS - Loons called and spring peepers chimed in brightly at Bewabic State Park. In the pitch dark, the stars sparkled brightly.

"The night sort of brings out a different side of the park that you don't normally see," said Kasey Mahoney, the park supervisor.

Bewabic, located between Iron River and Crystal Falls in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, played host to part of International Dark Sky Week last week.

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RHINELANDER - Some gardeners may have gotten a jump start on their planting with last week's warm temperatures, but the return to snow and cooler temperatures the last few days could cause some concern.

Experts suggest covering plants to prevent them from freezing. However, that might not save tropical plants like Coleus.

Some annual plants like pansies, however, should be able to bounce back. Trees and shrubs should also be okay in the cooler temperatures.

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