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.
RHINELANDER - Building a robot may seem like a pretty lofty summer camp goal, but teens in the Northwoods love the technological challenge.
It's all part of a summer camp that's heavy on science and social interaction.
13-year-old Sean Timm says the eight day robotics camp at Nicolet College mixed the best of both worlds.
"I like technology a lot more than I do outside stuff," Timm said. "It's kind of nice to have technology like drones to bring me outside. It's really fun."
Camp Instructor, Mike Wojtusik has many years of experience as a technology education teacher and robotics advisor. He wants kids to see the importance in learning these skills.
"The kids are getting experience from a mechanical engineering side, electrical engineering side, design, prototyping," said Wojtusik. "We try and cover as much as we can about the whole entire system."
Learning about robotics isn't the only thing these students do. Some of them are also exercising skills they'll need in the future.
"I think it's a great experience for them to understand what really goes on in the real world as far as a career," Wojtusik said.
Certain careers that often require teamwork.
"Challenging part is working with a team because you don't always agree on the same thing," said 12-year-old Louis Malais. "When you build a robot you do the most teamwork than I think in any other job."
As their final project, students design and build their own version of a remote control robot.
They are required to work in teams to sketch a vision, make prototypes and design a working model with aluminum.
"It's not just you know operating a piece of machinery, it's learning how that machinery is put together," Wojtusik said.
Students are piecing together machines and building future careers at the same time.
"If I were to get an opportunity to do something like this in the future, I would definitely take it," Timm said.
Throughout the course of the camp, students were exposed to prototyping, brainstorming, modeling, safety and sketching.
The last day of the robotics camp is scheduled to be Thursday, July 28.
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