Thousands without power across the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 11/18/2013
Thousands without power across the Northwoods
Story By Dan McKinney

RHINELANDER - You may have woken up in the dark this morning. That's because strong winds caused widespread power outages across the Northwoods.

Wisconsin Public Service estimates 2,500 customers are currently without power.

In this case with the wind that can be very damaging for lines because of all the tree branches, the dead tree limbs, or actually trees being uprooted coming over the lines and that could either cause a fuse to blow or it could actually take the line down or break a pole," says Leah Van Zile, Wisconsin Public Service Community Relations Leader.

During the storms peak WPS says more than 10,000 customers were affected by the outages. If you come across a downed power line you should call Wisconsin Public Service.

"That line could still be energized so please keep your distance, keep everybody away from that do not try and remove any tree branches or limbs off of power lines because it could be energized or become energized at any time," says Van Zile.

For real-time power outage updates you can visit www.wisconsinpublicservice.com

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WAUSAU - Seven of the Democratic gubernatorial candidates participated in a public forum this weekend. Citizen Action of Wisconsin held the event at the Wausau Labor Temple.

Citizen Action is a statewide grassroots organization. Dozens of people came out to hear the candidates' opinions on many topics including prison reform. health care, and rural broadband.

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MADISON (AP) - An environmental organization and the U.S. Forest Service are working together to harvest timber in northern Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that the 2014 Farm Bill has allowed the two groups to enter into a stewardship agreement. The conservancy will hire loggers, sell timber and use the proceeds for projects the Forest Service can't afford to do.

The conservancy plans to use some money to restore Simpson Creek by rerouting the channel and exposing the gravel floor that fish need to spawn. The group also plans to rebuild a handicap accessible boardwalk on the Oconto River and will use funds to restore habitat for the endangered Kirtland's warbler.

Forest Supervisor Paul Strong says the Forest Service's budget has been stretched by efforts to fight wildfire that have become more frequent and more intense.

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MADISON (AP) - Wisconsin voters will decide April 3 whether to eliminate the office of state treasurer.

The little-known position dates to territorial days, but Republicans say it's outlived its usefulness. The office has already been stripped of most of its duties over the past decade.

But it has defenders, who say it's an essential check on executive power. They argue it should have powers restored so it can function as a strong independent watchdog.

Attempts to remove the office have been voted on in the Legislature for decades, but it's never gotten enough support to go to voters until now.

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RHINELANDER - A New York based dance company brought their talent to Northern Wisconsin.
The Equus Projects performed at ArtStart in Rhinelander Sunday.
ArtStart Program Director Ashley McLaughlin was excited to bring art the community usually doesn't get to see
She also wanted to bring new talent to the area.

The group doesn't perform traditional choreography.
"[I's] improvisation of dance so they're reacting off of each other. [Their] acting off the spot. Very little is choreographed. So that goes to the whole emotion of the group," said McLaughlin.
ArtStart collaborated with the Ware House in Eagle River.
The Equus Projects will participate in dance classes at ArtStart all week.

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TOMAHAWK - A popular Tomahawk event welcomed a sold out crowd over the weekend.
350 people attended the 15th annual Taste of Tomahawk.
Local restaurants, breweries and wineries displayed the best they had to offer at the Inshallah Country Club.
Organizer Jesica said the event successfully shows what Tomahawk has to offer.
"We want to feature the region and all the wonderful things we have to offer. So we hope we get a lot of folks to come to Taste of Tomahawk, that maybe don't visit us other times of year. We can really show them what Tomahawk's all about," said Jesica.

Some vendors used the event as an opportunity to show products and flavors people may not be familiar with.
The Silver Birch Supper Club has attended Taste of Tomahawk since the beginning.
"[It's great] seeing it grow, from just starting out to seeing what it is today. The costumes are great. Great costumes for St. Patty's Day," said Silver Birch Supper Club General Manager Chris Copiskey,

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CLARK COUNTY - David Farris has been found safe according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice. 

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RHINELANDER - Some members of the Hyms and Hyrs singing group have shared a stage together for more than 30 years.
However, they almost had to stop when one of their key members passed away.
"When it all works really well, nothing can top it," said Hyms and Hyrs singer Corky.
The 25 members of the Hyms and Hyrs singing group are used to hitting the right rhythm together.

"We have a lot of fun," said Hyms and Hyrs singer Jim Priovolos.
However, when the group's director and founder of the group died, they thought they would have to put their beats on hold.
"We were wondering where we were going to end up with that," said Hyms and Hyrs singer Ken.
Just a few months before their talent showcase at Nicolet College Sunday, Priovolos stepped in.
"I feel very honored to be conducting them," said Priovolos.
Priovolos got the group to pick up exactly where they left off.
"He's kept us going," said Ken.

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