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NEWS STORIES

More details on WPS plan to bury power linesSubmitted: 07/26/2013
Story By Lex Gray


RHINELANDER - We learned more today about Wisconsin Public Services' five-year, $220 million project.

WPS doesn't want its customers to be out of power, so it will bury more than 1,000 miles of power lines underground.

The company chose mostly rural areas, like Vilas and Oneida counties, for the project.

That's because those areas have lots of trees that can fall on power lines during storms.

In the '50s, it wouldn't be uncommon for someone in the Northwoods to rack up days without power every year.

Thanks to efforts like tree-trimming, that number is way down.

"Today, we're talking minutes per year. There are still customers in the Northwoods that are still in hours per year, significant hours," said Richard Reitz, a WPS engineer. "We're targeting those areas where we can make the biggest improvement."

In 2014, WPS will bury lines in Minocqua and Boulder Junction.

They will also work on Highway 70 east of Eagle River.

Post Lake, Elcho, and Pelican Lake are also on the list for 2014, along with sections of Highway 101 in Wabeno.

In most places, existing poles and wires will be removed. Many lines will be bored 36 inches under the ground, while ther parts of the project will be a little messier.

"Other areas, we'll have to do some backhoe work," Reitz said. "We try to avoid backhoe work because it's mroe costly and there's more clean-up involved."

WPS has already contacted property owners who will be affected by the 2014 work.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Wisconsin prepares to analyze more DNA samplesSubmitted: 11/24/2014

MADISON - New collection requirements will mean thousands more DNA samples to be analyzed in Wisconsin.

The state Justice Department is getting ready by increasing staff at the crime lab in Madison.

Wisconsin currently takes DNA samples from everyone convicted of a felony.

DNA is also taken for certain misdemeanors.

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Opening weekend deer hunt number downSubmitted: 11/23/2014

RHINELANDER - Hunters from all over got out on opening weekend to enjoy the start of gun hunting season.

But this year's opening weekend hasn't been as successful as last year's.

About 103 total deer were registered on opening day at Rhinelander's main registration location.

DNR workers say that number is actually down 25% from last season, and that downward trend is continuing into Sunday.

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Bottled milk makes a comback in Crandon Submitted: 11/23/2014

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CRANDON - Not many people buy bottled milk anymore. But a locally owned store in Crandon recently brought it back.

"Grandpa sold bottled milk in 1935 when he came to Crandon and for many years after that,"

Now third generation Jay Schaefer is continuing the tradition at Schaefer's IGA in Crandon.

He's selling another locally owned business product on his shelves.

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Rhinelander Premier Resort Tax will be on spring ballotSubmitted: 11/23/2014

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RHINELANDER - Some Wisconsin cities rely on tax money from tourists to pay for certain things.

Rhinelander's city administrator wants to know if people would support raising sales tax on tourism related businesses.

The question will be on the ballot next spring.

City leaders think the extra tax could bring in about $400,000 every year.

Businesses like restaurants and department stores would see the increase.

The money would help improve the city's roads.

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Deer hunt impacts businesses in the Northwoods Submitted: 11/23/2014

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RHINELANDER - The gun deer hunt just started Saturday. Hunters can bring business to the area. Businesses are already seeing an impact.

Some people might travel to the Northwoods just for the deer hunting. That means they'll need a place to stay, but not all of the resorts in the Northwoods saw people dressed in orange or camouflage.

"It does not bring a lot of tourism for out of town guest to Holiday Acres, but it's certainly a big deal as far as the area's concerned," said Holiday Acres co-owner Kari Zambon. "I think there are other places that get traffic that we aren't seeing."

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DNR announces new wetland restoration planSubmitted: 11/23/2014

MADISON - The state Department of Natural Resources and federal environmental officials have developed a new plan to promote wetland restoration.

Currently the DNR requires parties that get permits to fill in wetlands to offset the impact by either restoring wetlands elsewhere or by purchasing credits from banks established by other entities that have done restoration work.

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Snow, warmer temperatures lead to successful hunting opener in parts of NorthwoodsSubmitted: 11/22/2014

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MERRILL - Northwoods hunters seemed to love the combination of warmer temperatures, light winds, and snow cover for Saturday's opener of the gun deer season.

In parts of the area, that led to day-one success for hunters.

This year, Northwoods counties are buck-only hunting counties.

Successful hunters brought those bucks to registration stations and told their stories.

Hunters liked what they saw in the woods and fields.

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