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NEWS STORIES

Early winter may rev up snowmobile salesSubmitted: 12/16/2013
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - Snowmobile dealers hope the fresh snow blanketing much of Wisconsin will rev up sales.

Robert Hintz is general manager at Engelhart Motorsports in Madison.

He says if it continues to snow and stay cold through January, he'll run out of machines.

Wisconsin has 25-thousand miles of trails, some of which are already open in Iron, Douglas, Sawyer and Vilas counties.

Doug Johnson of the Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs says others are likely to open this week.

Wisconsin ranks second in the country in snowmobile registrations with nearly 225-thousand.

That's behind only Minnesota with nearly 252-thousand.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says registrations have been relatively steady since 2001.

That's despite some winters with little snow and the rising costs of high-end sleds.

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)


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 IN OTHER NEWS
New York leaders: Doctor has Ebola, 1st in citySubmitted: 10/23/2014

NEW YORK - A law enforcement official and a New York City official say a doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus.

It's the first confirmed case in the city.

The officials received notification of preliminary test results and told The Associated Press but weren't authorized to discuss the case publicly before a Thursday night news conference.

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Expera gets WEDC loan for headquarters improvementsSubmitted: 10/23/2014

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KAUKAUNA - Expera Specialty Solutions will use a $1 million loan to upgrade its headquarters in Kaukauna.

The company runs four mills in Wisconsin, including the ones in Rhinelander and Mosinee.

Expera will get the loan from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). That is the quasi-private state job creation agency.

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International group considers Wisconsin one of four most improved states in energy efficiency Submitted: 10/23/2014

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WISCONSIN - An international energy efficiency group ranked Wisconsin in the top four most improved states in the U.S. when it comes to energy efficiency.

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is an international non-profit. The group pushes for better energy efficiency around the world.

They ranked Wisconsin 23rd in the U.S. last year, but Wisconsin made their most improved list for 2014.

"A shift in efficiency administrators had caused a temporary drop in saving," ACEEE State Policy Research Analyst Annie Gilleo said. "We are seeing that Wisconsin is once again realizing consistent levels of electricity and natural gas savings."

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Social media app causes problems for Medford High School, app banned from school groundsSubmitted: 10/23/2014

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MEDFORD - A Northwoods high school evacuated earlier this month because of an anonymous message on the social media app called Yik Yak. Someone posted a bomb threat on the app for Medford High School.

That hasn't been the only issue with the app. Some students used the app to anonymously bully their peers.

"People, especially students but even adults too, are much, much braver behind a computer screen," says Medford High School Dean of Students Justin Hraby.

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Partial solar eclipseSubmitted: 10/23/2014

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NORTHWOODS - Most of Northern Wisconsin was too cloudy to make out the partial solar eclipse Thursday evening. A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and the earth. The last partial solar eclipse that could be seen in Northern Wisconsin was more than 10 years ago. Calculations for when and where solar eclipses occur are quite precise, according to local astronomer and planetarium owner Frank Kovac.

"The solar system is like a clock," explained Kovac. "We can predict eclipses many years out and it is very geometric, it's very mathematical."

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Grant to help improve Vilas trails appSubmitted: 10/23/2014

VILAS COUNTY - Tourism leaders hope updates to a smartphone app will bring in an extra $350,000 to Vilas County.

The app will now offer GPS services to the county's non-motorized trail app.

Vilas County Tourism & Publicity will pay for it with a nearly $40,000 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant from the state department of tourism.

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State Representative will plead no contest, could face jail timeSubmitted: 10/23/2014

WISCONSIN - Wisconsin state representative Bill Kramer could spend nine months in jail.

Kramer faced trial next week for two felonies of second-degree sexual assault. The case won't go to trial, though. Kramer has agreed to a plea deal.

He'll plead no contest to two misdemeanors. Those were for fourth-degree sexual assault.

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