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NEWS STORIES

Volunteers us sonar to 'hear' and track bats for the DNRSubmitted: 06/27/2013

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MANITOWISH WATERS - Farmers and anyone who hates mosquitos should be VERY thankful for bats. The journal ‘Science’ estimates they provide US farmers with 3.7 billion dollars in pest control.

In nearby states though a fungal infection called White Nose Syndrome is killing them by the thousands. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is working on a plan for our bat population, but first they have to find them.

Bats are small, hard to see, and mostly silent to the human ear. However, with special sonar equipment we can hear them, and track them. The DNR wants to use this technology to study Wisconsin’s four bat species most at risk.

"Those are the hibernating bats and those are the bats that are susceptible to White Nose Syndrome because it is a cold loving fungus that attacks and gets the bats during hibernation,” said Licia Johnson with the North Lakeland Discovery Center, “Some do leave the state and go down to Illinois to hibernate where there has been White Nose Syndrome found in caves."

North Lakeland Discover Center has trained 80 volunteers so far to use sonar equipment to track bats. All the information they gather goes to the DNR’s database.

"If we ever were to have an issue with our bat population, white nose syndrome infecting our bats and getting a large amount we would know baseline information of how many bats we had where they were located throughout the state, so if there ever was a reintroduction program necessary they would have that information."

For more information about the North Lakeland Discovery Center or the bat monitoring program, click the links below.


Related Weblinks:
North Lakeland Discovery Center
Wisconsin Bat Monitoring Program

Story By: Kailey Burton

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Asian Lady Beetles come out after winteringSubmitted: 04/17/2014

ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Do bugs seem to be everywhere in your home, even though there's snow outside? One type of bug in Wisconsin spends the winter inside our houses! They look like Lady Bugs, but they are actually not native to this country.

"They're actually called a multi-colored Asian Lady Beetle. They can be anywhere from a pale yellow to a darker orange and they have black spots on them but you'll see some that don't have spots," says Kerri Ison, UW Oneida County Extension.

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Record breaking snowfall knocks the power out Submitted: 04/17/2014

RHINELANDER - Our record breaking snow storm left more than 6,000 people across the Northwoods without power.

WPS had to rely on 20 extra crews from Green Bay, Wausau and Menominee to get the job done.

But getting to the outages was a challenge.

A representative for WPS says workers are expected even more outages to be reported.

"Not all of the back roads are plowed yet and that's where a lot of outages are located," said Leah Van Zile, WPS Community Relations leader. "Throughout the day as the temperatures warm, we expect to receive additional calls due to the unloading of snow off of the tree branches."

Eagle River had one of the highest number of customers affected by the outages.

Representatives for WPS say this was one of the hardest winters they've had to deal with.

"We've had some really really severe wind chills which has really made the temperatures below zero. Typically, only in emergencies do we work in those conditions," said Van Zile. "But pretty much any other time, whether it's a rain storm, a snow storm, a wind storm, our guys are out there working, getting that power back on."

The number of outages dropped below 4,000 since earlier today.

If you're still without power to call 1800-450-7240.

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Rhinelander food pantry volunteers Submitted: 04/17/2014

RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Area Food Pantry relies heavily on volunteers. Here is a look inside the operation.

(Click the video to watch)

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New suit filed over gay marriage banSubmitted: 04/17/2014

MADISON - A same-sex couple wants the Wisconsin Supreme Court to strike down the state's gay marriage ban.

The couple filed a lawsuit directly with the high court Wednesday, bypassing the trial and appellate courts.

The lawsuit says the pair lives in Milwaukee County and married in San Diego.

They claim Wisconsin's gay marriage ban denies them federal rights afforded to opposite-sex married couples.

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Circumstantial evidence enough to convict man accused of murdering his wife Submitted: 04/16/2014

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MERRILL - A Lincoln County jury found a Merrill–area man guilty of three charges in court Wednesday in connection to the disappearance and murder of his wife.

The jury deliberated for more than 7 ½ hours over a two day period. That was also after six days of testimony and evidence from both the prosecution and defense.

50-year-old Mark Bucki will get a mandatory life sentence for his first-degree intentional homicide conviction.

His wife Anita went missing after going to the couple’s house on the evening of April 25, 2013. Bucki claimed the two had an emotional conversation about the coming divorce between the two of them.

According to testimony, Anita wanted to get back together with Bucki, but Mark was seeing another woman and wanted to move on. He said he went to bed around midnight that evening. He said she was gone just before she woke up at five the next morning.

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Meth bust in town of Pine LakeSubmitted: 04/16/2014

RHINELANDER - Police arrested four people in a meth bust near Rhinelander.

The Oneida County Sheriff’s Department says the bust went down yesterday in the town of Pine Lake.

Arrested were 38 year old Gerry Frederick, 55 year old Thomas Franz, 40 year old Scott Dumpprope and 46 year old Carrie Steinmetz.

Potential charges include conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house.

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Rare opportunity; old Rhinelander pictures shown Submitted: 04/16/2014

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RHINELANDER - You can find historical pictures of Rhinelander at a library or at a museum.

But there are some pictures people haven't see in more than a decade.

Those pictures were released Thursday.

The Rhinelander Historical Society showed old pictures of Rhinelander at ArtStart Thursday night.

More than 50 people saw what Rhinelander looked like in the late 1800's and early 1900's.

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