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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
First ever school Garden Symposium at TreehavenSubmitted: 08/19/2014

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TOMAHAWK - Treehaven in Tomahawk kicked off its first ever School Garden Symposium Tuesday.

Educators from schools all around the state were invited to attend. It's an opportunity for them to come and learn how to incorporate healthier habits into their schools.

"Some of them are new to gardening completely," said Jasmyn Schmidt, a presenter at the symposium. "So they're learning how to start a garden, what you have to do for a garden, and what supplies are needed to start a garden. Some of them are a year or two into their gardens and are looking to learn maintenance or funding strategies to keep those gardens going."

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Price County Fair starts WednesdaySubmitted: 08/19/2014

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PHILLIPS - People come from as far away as Milwaukee and Green Bay every year for the Price County Fair.

This year's fair starts Wednesday.

The same fairgrounds area just outside of Phillips has hosted the fair for more than a century.

We caught up with organizers and helpers making some final preparations at the fair.

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Will the highway department relocate?Submitted: 08/19/2014

RHINELANDER - The highway department may need to relocate.

Kwik Trip has made a formal offer to purchase the current highway department for a new highway Kwik Trip location.

If the purchase is approved, the highway department will move facilities. The details of the proposal have yet to be released. But, the county board has discussed the proposal in numerous closed sessions.

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Hunting stores seeing more crossbow interest as new season approachesSubmitted: 08/19/2014

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NORTHWOODS - More hunters will get to use crossbows during the upcoming bow season.

Workers at hunting stores see more customer interest in crossbow hunting.

The Natural Resource Board approved the new season last week. It will run at the same time as the archery season which runs from Sept. 13 - Jan. 4, 2015.

Businesses are seeing more people looking at crossbows as the season approaches.

"We've seen a definite spike in interest in this past year, and especially more now with the season in place for the fall," says Mitch Mode of Mel's Trading Post in Rhinelander.

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Some Rhinelander High School Students to get Chromebooks this upcoming school yearSubmitted: 08/19/2014

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RHINELANDER - Some students in the School District of Rhinelander will get Chromebooks starting this school year.

Freshman and sophomores at Rhinelander High School will get the computers to use at school and at home.

Some elementary and middle school students will also get to use them in the classroom.

Leaders think this will benefit students.

"They're not just learning about how to use the tool," says Instructional Technology Coordinator Heidi Catlin. "Digital literacy, digital citizenship, how to use it appropriately, when is it appropriate to use it, and the different resources that are out there."

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Cranberry harvest numbers may slide compared to last several years Submitted: 08/19/2014

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MANITOWISH WATERS - Cranberry growers in Wisconsin work hard every year to produce the fruit. But they may not be able to harvest as many berries this season.

Cranberry growers don't expect an overly large crop this year. This comes after several years of great harvests in the state.

The numbers might not be as high, but farmers say they won't be disappointed with this year's cranberry results.

"Overall I think it will be a decent crop," says Bob Winter, owner and manager of Vilas Cranberry Company. "There's been some hail in the southern part of the state and even in western Wisconsin, so that takes its toll, but cumulatively how much that really is remains to be seen. You never know until you get it all in the barn at the end of October."

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Another option? Studying weevils' ability to control invasive species in Northwoods lakesSubmitted: 08/19/2014

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BOULDER JUNCTION - The problem of invasive Eurasian Watermilfoil in Northwoods lakes never seems to stop.

Lake groups can cut it, but it often grows back.

Chemical treatments often work, but they put artificial ingredients into lakes.

What if there was another option?

We found one group that's on the hunt for one.

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