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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
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 02/23/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We show you how the Tomahawk Speedway staff is preparing for this weekend's Winter Hatchet Nationals in spite of the mild weather.

We take you to the grand opening for the new AODA center in Minocqua and find out what services the center will provide for the community.

And we stop by the Eagle River store that sold a winning 50 thousand dollar Powerball ticket.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MINOCQUA - People suffering from alcohol and drug addiction can now seek treatment at a new center in Minocqua.

The Family Health Center of Marshfield opened its new clinic Thursday.

The HOPE Consortium is a group of medical providers dedicated to treating addiction. 

FHC Executive Director Greg Nycz said they came together to make this center happen.

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GREEN BAY - Wisconsin is seeing another jump in flu cases with five times the amount of confirmed cases compared to this time last year.

Data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services shows the state has had nearly 940 confirmed flu cases, compared to nearly 180 at the same point of last year's flu season.

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EAGLE RIVER - The owner of Nobbe's North on Highway 70 in Eagle River knew that one day someone would buy a winning lottery ticket from her store. Wednedsay she found out she was right. 

One lucky local man bought the winning Powerball numbers on Saturday and won $50,000. Owner Carolyn Nobbe said that the winner is a frequent customer and decided to buy the $10.00 ticket on his way home from dinner. 

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MADISON - Relatives of an unarmed black teenager who was fatally shot by police in Madison, Wisconsin, say they have settled a federal civil rights lawsuit for $3.35 million.

Attorneys for Tony Robinson's family announced the settlement Thursday. City Attorney Mike May says the city doesn't have an immediate statement. The Robinson family plans to address the media Thursday afternoon.

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CANNON BALL, N.D. - Authorities have declared a Dakota Access pipeline protest camp in North Dakota officially cleared after going through the camp and arresting the last remaining holdouts.

Nearly three dozen people were arrested in Thursday's operation. It took about 3½ hours. Officers methodically checked buildings and arrested anyone they encountered, including a man who climbed atop a building and stayed there for more than an hour before surrendering.

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RHINELANDER - Fruity Pebbles and Boston cream pie donuts don't mix themselves every morning at one bakery in Rhinelander. 

Mad Batter Bakery opened about two months ago on Brown Street in Rhinelander. 

Patty Oleinik owns the bakery and comes up with most of the unique flavors. 

Patty got the name from one of her favorite stories. 

"I'm a huge Alice in Wonderland freak. I actually have a Cheshire cat tattooed on the back on my neck," said Oleinik.

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