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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: 12/02/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

Parking bans are now in effect in at least 2 Northwoods communities. We talked to police officials about the specific details of the ban.

Right now, 3.2 miles of the Conover-Phelps trail are finished and well-used. Now a matching fund is set up to help raise money for phase 2 of the project.

And the Rhinelander Railroad Association is doing their part to get people in the Christmas spirit with a model railroad display. We'll take you to Pioneer Park where the public will be allowed to see the 1,000 square feet layout.


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

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EAGLE RIVER - This years Capitol Christmas tree came from Eagle River, and now the choir performing at the tree-lighting ceremony will come from Eagle River, too.

The Northland Pines High School choir got in one last practice before they head down to Madison tomorrow.

More than 30 students will be performing in front of the governor.

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CONOVER - Great Headwaters Trails board members know people love to walk, run, and bike on the Conover-Phelps Trail.

Now, they need help expanding that trail another five and a half miles.

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EAGLE RIVER - Every year, a Christmas tree from Wisconsin helps brighten the Capitol rotunda in Madison. 

The Governor officially lit this years tree, which is from Eagle River, Friday.

While the trees decorations provided the light, the Northland Pines High School choir provided the sound.

"It's in the capitol and its, I mean, people from the state come to see it," said Northlands Pines sophomore Malcolm McCanles.

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MADISON - Supporters of President-elect Donald Trump want to stop Wisconsin's ongoing presidential election recount.

A lawsuit and request for a temporary restraining order was filed late Thursday in federal court in Madison. It was filed by the Great America PAC, the Stop Hillary PAC and Wisconsin voter Ronald R. Johnson.

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MADISON - Observers representing Democrat Hillary Clinton, Republican Donald Trump, and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein are spread throughout Wisconsin to watch as ballots are recounted.

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PINE RIVER - A 73-year-old male hunter was found dead outside Merrill Wednesday evening.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office said they got the call around 4 p.m. that the man was missing, and they found the body just after 6 p.m.

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