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NEWS STORIES

UPDATE: Storm knocks out power for thousands across the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 08/26/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson


ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - More than 6,000 Wisconsin Public Service customers got ready for the day in the dark Monday morning.

Storms caused major power outages across the Northwoods.

"3:45 a.m. this morning the storm kind of came into our service territory starting in the Minocqua area moving through to kind of Eagle River, Rhinelander, down into the Wausau area," says WPS Community Relations representative Kelly Zagrzebski.

The majority of the outages were in Eagle River, Rhinelander and Wausau.

Merrill, Tomahawk, and Elcho had some outages, too.

"The majority of the damage that we're seeing from this storm is blown fuses, blown transformers, lots of lightning strikes. A little bit of wind up in the Rhinelander area, not so much down in the Wausau location," adds Zagrzebski.

WPS sent more than 20 crews out to turn the power back on.

4,000 homes got their power back by 10 o'clock Monday morning.

"We really want to encourage people to make sure that they give us a call when their power does go out. Don't assume that their neighbors are calling," says Zagrzebski.

They also want to remind customers to stay away from downed power lines.

Those lines may still be live.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

VILAS COUNTY - "Back in 2010, people wanted answers," remembers DNR Research Scientist Dr. Carl Watras, who works out of the UW-Madison Trout Lake Research Station in Boulder Junction.

Lake levels across the Northwoods were down. Way down.

"I'd get on my dock, I step off, and I walk another 20 feet, and I still haven't hit water yet," Watras says, echoing the situation of many other Northwoods lakefront property owners.

Early this decade, many Northwoods lake levels were down not simply by a matter of inches, but in some cases, several feet.

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WABENO - Wabeno prides itself on drawing more and more people to its small community. It's doing things like building new trails and coming up with new events.

This weekend, the town will host the first ever "Wabeno Art and Music Fest". People in Wabeno say they have a unique passion for the arts.

"The Wabeno Art and Music Fest, or WAM Fest, as we call it, is an outgrowth of the various art activities that have been burgeoning here in Wabeno over the last number of years," said Tim Friesen, a coordinator of the event.

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RHINELANDER - As temperatures rise in the dog days of summer, knowing how to prevent and react to heat exhaustion can save a life.

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CHICAGO -

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker wants to see changes to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

He thinks the E-P-A should become an "umbrella organization," with most of its powers shifted to state regulators.

Walker said he would not eliminate the EPA if he is elected president.

But, he would shift its powers and resources to state environmental agencies like Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources.

(Copyright 2015 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)


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WAUSAU - The name sounds scarier than most of the symptoms would suggest, but doctors take West Nile virus seriously.

This week, a dead crow in Marathon County tested positive for West Nile. The Marathon County Health Department reported the discovery Monday. Counties look mainly at crows, blue jays, and ravens to find the virus. It is spread mostly through mosquito bites.

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU - A crash on a Vilas County lake severely injured a Park Falls man over the weekend.

Twenty-five-year-old Joel Goll crashed into a docked boat while wakeboarding on Ike Walton Lake Saturday afternoon.

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PARK FALLS - Filling a downtown with businesses doesn't just happen overnight. Leaders in Park Falls found that out over the past six years, but slowly they're making progress. This year, the Park Falls Downtown Beautification Committee finished a plan to improve downtown.

"It's a very dedicated group, small group of people that just kept at it and at it and at it over the last six years until we came to the finished product," says committee chair Laurie Wagner.

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