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Batttle simmers in Northwoods national forest Submitted: 10/19/2013
Story By Associated Press

LAONA - A century after lumber barons cut down 1.5 million acres of timberlands now protected within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, timber industry managers say the riches within the regrown forest are being squandered at taxpayers' expense.

Gannett Wisconsin Media report (http://post.cr/17USEyd ) the battle pits loggers and mill owners against environmentalists and the woodland-recreation industry.

Records show the government could have sold 1.3 billion board feet of wood in the past decade under the forest's management plan. That would have represented roughly $110 million in revenue. But loggers cut just 755 million board feet, a little more than half the allowed quantity.

Forest supervisor Paul Strong points out that the Chequamegon-Nicolet serves multiple purposes.

University of Wisconsin botanist Don Waller says the priority has swung in favor of tourism and environmental appreciation.



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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 04/29/2016

- Local schools have stepped up to show their support for the Antigo community after last weekend's prom shooting. We'll show you what that effort looks like at Lakeland.

- Plus, a local greenhouse that was destroyed by a tornado in 2011 and was rebuilt is celebrating it's20th anniversary. We'll take you to the celebration.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MADISON - Many businesses in the northwoods rely on money from visitors.

Last year, tourists spent nearly $12 billion in Wisconsin.  That's according to a report the state Department of Tourism released today.  It found tourism spending went up about $500 million from 2014.

Last year marked the sixth straight year of increasing spending.

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS - Wisconsin Rapids Police expect to release the three names from Wednesday's double-murder suicide soon. The department is waiting for today's autopsies to be finished before releasing those names.

Officers search the Wisconsin Rapids home Wednesday morning and found three bodies.

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ANTIGO - Police Chief Eric Roller keeps his emotions pretty well in check.  But as the Antigo Police Department break room fills with food and thank-you cards, Roller cracks—just a bit.

"Seeing that and seeing all the responses on Facebook, I mean, that's the part that chokes you up," Roller said in his office Thursday afternoon.

Just five days earlier, essentially the entire Antigo police force (and many other departments across northern Wisconsin) scrambled to stop a teenager from killing anyone at the high school's prom.  Two party-goers were hurt, and the 18-year-old shooter, Jakob Wagner, was killed, but thanks to officers Andy Hopfensperger and Ryan Bula already at the scene, the threat ended there.  Hopfensperger shot Wagner "multiple times,"according to court documents released earlier this week.

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WESTON - A new health clinic in Weston hopes to help women with different health issues.

The Couri and Smyth Health for Life Medical Center had its ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday. The clinic is led by two doctors, Dr. Kimberly Couri and Dr. R. Louise Smyth, who specialize in helping with women's health issues.

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EAGLE RIVER - After what happened last weekend at Antigo High School's prom, many people can't help but think about increased security measures at other schools. But Northland Pines High School wants teens to think about other issues before their prom on Saturday.

Tri-County Council was at Northland Pines Thursday talking about dating violence. They want kids to be respectful of each other and have fun this weekend.

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MONICO - A heavy equipment operating class at Nicolet got the chance to do some real hands on learning.
 
The class visited a John Deere construction and forestry equipment dealer Thursday in Monico.
 
Nortrax invited students to test out equipment and get real life experience. The students tried a simulator and operated machines.

The Nortrax general manager sees a demand for skilled operators in the industry.

"You can see in the industry today, whether it's the construction industry, forest industry, farming industry, or production class machines, and if you talk to those independent producers or those companies, they'll tell you there's a need for skill operators," said Nortax General Manager Matt Hanson.

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