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Firewood restrictions may tightenSubmitted: 01/13/2014
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - People looking for firewood might need to find it closer to where they plan to camp.

The DNR board will consider tightening firewood movement restrictions to slow the spread of the emerald ash borer.

The DNR in 2006 prohibited out-of-state firewood on state properties.

The following year it prohibited people from bringing firewood onto state lands from further than 50 miles out.

In 2010 the agency shrunk that radius to 25 miles.

Now the agency has proposed reducing the radius to 10 miles.

Out-of-state firewood would again be allowed if it came from within 10 miles.

DNR officials say they want to make the change because emerald ash borer infestations are rising around the state.

The tighter perimeter could slow the beetle's spread.

The Natural Resources Board will consider the change later this month.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)


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AMHERST - The small town of Amherst recently broke ground to replace their aging dam.

The dam was built on the Tomorrow River decades ago for power to the local feed mill.

The Wisconsin DNR believes the structure does not meet it's 500 year flood criteria.

This designation gave the town residents a choice.

"The determination of the DNR that the dam had to meet the 500 year flood lead us to the idea that we had to be able to release more water. The DNR basically brought this to the forefront and the village responded then," says Amherst Village President Michael Juris

This close knit town of just over 1000 residents took the decision very seriously.

"The residents of the village really had the opportunity to speak on what they wanted the vision of their village to be for the future. Whether to maintain the dam and the pond or to take it out and rehab it," says Juris.

Residents chose to keep the dam and thus the millpond.

With the decision made, the bidding process moved quickly and work has just started.

The new improved structure will use parts of the current one.

"Basically the stop plug structure of the dam is going to remain as it is because we found that in order to meet the 500 year flood requirements of the DNR we're going to be able to use the water that flows through the generating station," states Juris.

There were many options on the table and some that were just too expensive.

"It's been our determination that to dredge the millpond would be an expense that the taxpayers of the village at this time aren't going to be able to shoulder," says Juris

Still, bracing the structure to meet the DNR's strict 500 year criteria does not come cheap.

"We spent a fair amount of time in discussion before this decision was made because this is an expensive decision for a community our size. The original estimate was around 1.2 million dollars," says Juris.

Work moves quickly in Amherst as a completion date is set for this September.

"We expect that the substantial completion will be towards the end of August and with final completion early in September," says Juris.

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LANGLADE COUNTY - Langlade County wants to become the new home for the state's forestry headquarters.

Lawmakers have asked the DNR to consider moving the department's headquarters from Madison to northern Wisconsin.

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MEQUON - Authorities say remains found in the Milwaukee River have been identified as those of a Mequon woman who disappeared in November.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office used dental records to identify 53-year-old Jacquelyn Ranallo.

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MADISON - The state Department of Natural Resources board has unanimously approved shrinking the number of counties where hunters can shoot only bucks this fall.

The board signed off Wednesday on a fall season framework that makes 10 northern Wisconsin counties buck-only. That number is down from 19 counties in 2014 and 12 last year.

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ASHLAND COUNTY - Investigators want to know what caused a car crash in Ashland County Tuesday morning that killed a Northland College student.

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MADISON - Wisconsin is joining a multi-state lawsuit against the Obama administration over its directive to U.S. public schools to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identity.

The lawsuit was announced by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and filed in federal court in Texas on Wednesday.

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