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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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LINCOLN COUNTY - Imagine cleaning out an old garage and finding a hand grenade.

It happened in Lincoln County.

A call came in to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m..

A man was cleaning the garage at some property he had just purchased between Merrill and Tomahawk.

He found what looked like a hand grenade.

A Lincoln County Deputy and a member of the Marathon County Bomb Squad checked it out.

The grenade was confirmed to be live, and was secured for future disposal.

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RHINELANDER - After all the 4th of July events Saturday, people definitely got hungry. People were able to stop at the Oneida County Senior Center's fundraiser for a bite to eat.

The senior center sold walking tacos, drinks, and desserts for people to eat in or take out. It was the second year the center held the event.

"We have an assembly line right on the kitchen counter there with whatever people want on them," said Oneida County Senior Center Activities and Volunteer Coordinator Stephanie Schroeder. "I thank everyone for stopping in. We really appreciate it."

The center hoped 200 people came out. They wanted to raise about $1,000. All the money was for a good cause.

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The Eagle River Fire Department said the fire started in the garage just after midnight Sunday morning.

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PHELPS - One person died after their car caught fire in Phelps early Sunday morning.

The Vilas County Sheriff's Office got a call around 1:00 a.m. Sunday reporting a car on fire in the ditch alongside Highway 17 in Phelps. 



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BOULDER JUNCTION - Approximately 15,000 people came out to support the Boulder Junction Volunteer Fire Department Saturday as it held its 25th annual chicken barbecue fundraiser.

All the money raised during the barbecue will help the department pay for equipment upgrades and training.

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