RHINELANDER - Northwoods lake agencies will get nearly $500,000 dollars from the state to fight aquatic invasive species.
The largest sum, $122,576, will be used to fight invasive species in the Unified Lower Eagle River chain of Lakes. The money will help with removal.
It will also help keep the unwanted species from spreading.
Michele Sadauskas, Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator for Oneida County, says prevention is the key.
"We're trying to put that money into prevention to stop it from even getting into a lake," Sadauskas said.
Sadauskas says 10 percent of lakes in Oneida County have invasive species.
The grant money will help pay for people to get rid of the species before they can spread.
"What we're trying to do is find it quick and manage it," Sadauskas said. "If we find it quick enough, we can just even hand pull the Eurasian (water milfoil) out of the water to where we don't have to use chemicals."
That's because chemicals are expensive. It can cost nearly $1,000 dollars an acre to treat lakes with invasive species.
Groups in Oneida, Vilas, Lincoln, Langlade and Price county received a total of $487,185 to handle aquatic invasive species.
A Minocqua/Kawaguesaga Lake proposal was not accepted. The group requested $199,958 for invasive species clean up. Despite the recent denial, the group has received $341,986 from the Wisconsin DNR over the years.
Sadauskas will use the funds to hire limited term employees for the summer to help spot and deal with invasive species.
The Oneida County Land and Water Department will host two Clean Boat, Clean Water workshops and present to schools to promote prevention of AIS.
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander factory that makes smoke flavoring caught fire early Monday morning.
Shortly before 6:00 a.m., Rhinelander, Crescent and Newbold Fire Departments responded to a fire at Red Arrow Products on Rhinelander's west side.
An employee says there were about eight workers inside at the time.
No one was injured.
"Flames were coming out of a conveyor area as high as the roof. We made an interior attack and knocked that flame down. Came in from the other side of the partition wall, then made another interior attack and knocked that down," says Chief Terry Williams.
As of 7:30 a.m. Monday morning, firefighters were still working to make sure the flames were out.
HARSHAW - Oneida County sheriff's deputies found three runaway sisters, ages 14, 14, and 12, in the woods in Harshaw just after 1 p.m. on Monday.
The sisters had been reported missing by their parents Monday morning. The parents had gone to wake the girls up for school, but instead found a note saying they had gone on an "adventure."
The missing girls triggered a search from the Oneida County Sheriff's Office Special Response Unit, Newbold Fire Department Search and Rescue, Minocqua Fire Department, Lake Tomahawk Fire Department, and Little Rice Fire Department.
MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker has selected a former legislator to run the state Department of Natural Resources.
Walker's office announced Monday that he has chosen former Republican state Rep. Dan Meyer to serve as DNR secretary. He replaces Cathy Stepp, who resigned in August to take a position in President Donald Trump's administration.
RHINELANDER - A large open lot on Rhinelander's east side could soon fill in with a chain restaurant.
Cory Moritz-Hoffmann and her husband hope to build a Pizza Ranch next to Kwik Trip on Eisenhower Parkway. The pair of former Pine Lake firefighters got the idea about six years ago when they first went to a Pizza Ranch in Iowa.
They considered pursing a franchise then, but it was more than they could afford at the time. About two years ago, the Hoffmanns contacted an investor and saw an opportunity to turn their dream into a reality.
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