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Local interest in solar energy growingSubmitted: 08/19/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

Local interest in solar energy growing
EAGLE RIVER - No matter how high energy prices get, our dependence remains the same. We see alternative energy production booming in other parts of the country, but many people feel like it's just not that feasible here.

One Northwoods couple says it is. Kevin and Marta Church own K and M Services, Inc. They've become certified to install solar panels, and decided to start with their own home.

The churchs aren't completely off the grid. That means they produce their own energy during the day, and use energy from WPS at night. But since the installation last October, the energy they buy from WPS has gone from 1,700 kilowatts per hour, to 400.

When they made the change, they found a lot of people had questions about solar energy.

"Some of the misconceptions are we don't have enough sun. We're on the same latitude line as Germany, and they're the largest solar producer in the world. It's just a matter of trees in the area," says Kevin Church.

The couples 24 panel project cost about $32,000. They hope it will have paid for itself in seven years.

But projects can be on a much smaller scale; even as small as four panels for about $1,500.

Energy companies like WPS encourage people to look into their options.

"For customers that do install solar generation or wind generation, Wisconsin Public Service does have a specific program to buy back any excess energy produced by those programs. It's called our net metering program," says Leah Van Zile, says Wisconsin Public Service.

There are other incentives too. For example, the Churchs got $1,200 from Focus on Energy for their solar panel project. They also got a 30 percent federal tax credit.

The Churchs are among only a handfull of people certified to install solar panels in far Northern Wisconsin. But they say interest is picking up.



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 IN OTHER NEWS

LINCOLN COUNTY - The man who died when his ATV hit a bear in Lincoln County lived in Tomahawk.

Lincoln County Sheriff's Deputies tell us 51 year old Kevin Ives died in the accident northwest of Tomahawk Thursday night.

Ives had been headed west on County Road CC, east of Poplar Drive in the town of Wilson.

The ATV rolled when it hit the bear, and then Ives was thrown off.

He was taken to the hospital, but died of his injuries.

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MADISON - Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos calls three fellow Republicans "terrorists" over how they negotiated the state budget with Governor Scott Walker.

Vos made the comment in an interview aired Sunday. 

Vos was referring to a deal Walker cut with three Republican state senators to veto parts of the budget they objected to in order to win their support for the larger plan.

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RHINELANDER - On Saturday you could bring your four-legged friend to the Bark in the Dark event for some Halloween fun.

This was the third year the Rhinelander event has been held.

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RHINELANDER - Local organizations got the chance to give back to their communities at Saturday's Fall Fest.

 This year it also gave a mother and daughter the chance to get even closer than they were before. 

During Fall Fest on Saturday Nicole Fondie felt a little déjà vu watching her daughter. 

"It's neat to repeat it and see her grow with it," said Nicole. 

As a child Nicole was involved with the girl scouts, but this is her first year as a troop leader to her daughter Zoey's Girl Scouts troop.

"It gives them an opportunity to give back to other people and give back to their communities," said Nicole.
This year the scouts volunteered at Fall Fest. 

"Very proud of her, seeing everything she does, and the way she likes to interact with people," said Nicole. 

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ACKLEY - One person died in a single vehicle rollover in Langlade County Saturday afternoon.

The Langlade County Sheriff's Office says it responded to the crash at Highway 64 and Ackley Road around 1 p.m.

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RHINELANDER - A car crash took place at Highway 8 and County Road G in Rhinelander Sunday night around 7 p.m.

It appeared that two cars collided.

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Missing 84-year-old man foundSubmitted: 10/21/2017

EAGLE RIVER - A woman reported her 84-year-old husband who suffers from dementia missing, at around 5 a.m. Saturday morning, in Eagle River.

The Vilas County Sheriff's Office searched the home and buildings on the property when they arrived on scene.

At around 9 a.m. a member of the Newbold Fire Department Search and Rescue and his K-9 found the man near his home.

He was not injured.

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