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North Fourth Street road construction startedSubmitted: 06/25/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray


Photos By Shardaa Gray

TOMAHAWK - If you plan to travel in Tomahawk on north fourth street, you might want to take an alternate route.

Construction started July 17th between Somo Avenue and River Street.

Construction workers are repaving the road, fixing sidewalks and putting in decorative street lighting.

The 1.3 million dollar project will be paid for a few ways.

These include general tax roll, finance through the city and a new special assessment tool.

The road will be open and functional in early September.

But crews will continue working on landscaping and light poles after then.

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AMHERST - The small town of Amherst recently broke ground to replace their aging dam.

The dam was built on the Tomorrow River decades ago for power to the local feed mill.

The Wisconsin DNR believes the structure does not meet it's 500 year flood criteria.

This designation gave the town residents a choice.

"The determination of the DNR that the dam had to meet the 500 year flood lead us to the idea that we had to be able to release more water. The DNR basically brought this to the forefront and the village responded then," says Amherst Village President Michael Juris

This close knit town of just over 1000 residents took the decision very seriously.

"The residents of the village really had the opportunity to speak on what they wanted the vision of their village to be for the future. Whether to maintain the dam and the pond or to take it out and rehab it," says Juris.

Residents chose to keep the dam and thus the millpond.

With the decision made, the bidding process moved quickly and work has just started.

The new improved structure will use parts of the current one.

"Basically the stop plug structure of the dam is going to remain as it is because we found that in order to meet the 500 year flood requirements of the DNR we're going to be able to use the water that flows through the generating station," states Juris.

There were many options on the table and some that were just too expensive.

"It's been our determination that to dredge the millpond would be an expense that the taxpayers of the village at this time aren't going to be able to shoulder," says Juris

Still, bracing the structure to meet the DNR's strict 500 year criteria does not come cheap.

"We spent a fair amount of time in discussion before this decision was made because this is an expensive decision for a community our size. The original estimate was around 1.2 million dollars," says Juris.

Work moves quickly in Amherst as a completion date is set for this September.

"We expect that the substantial completion will be towards the end of August and with final completion early in September," says Juris.

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THREE LAKES - First responders handle different types of emergency calls every day. 

Those calls can be even more challenging if they involve someone who has autism.

A Northwoods group is encouraging local fire and police departments to train their staffs to help people who have autism.

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MADISON - Wisconsin is joining a multi-state lawsuit against the Obama administration over its directive to U.S. public schools to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identity.

The lawsuit was announced by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and filed in federal court in Texas on Wednesday.

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ASHLAND COUNTY - Investigators want to know what caused a car crash in Ashland County Tuesday morning that killed a Northland College student.

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MADISON - The state Department of Natural Resources board has unanimously approved shrinking the number of counties where hunters can shoot only bucks this fall.

The board signed off Wednesday on a fall season framework that makes 10 northern Wisconsin counties buck-only. That number is down from 19 counties in 2014 and 12 last year.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Oneida County will soon house a lot more inmates and get paid for it.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office recently signed a contract with Wisconsin to keep state prisoners in the county jail.

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