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NEWS STORIES

Northwoods hit hard by snowstormSubmitted: 01/14/2014
Story By Dan McKinney


WAUSAU - Weather like this means preparation and work for highway departments across the Northwoods. The Marathon County highway department will use its 36 trucks to plow throughout the day. More than five inches have hit some parts of the area.

But the Marathon County operations director calls this a nice winter storm.

"We're going to just keep on plowing and try and stay ahead of it and keep the roads open so they're drivable," says Marathon County Highway Operations Superintendent Dan Raczkowski. "They definitely will not be bare. "

"After tomorrow when the snow stops and hopefully the winds die down that's when we'll go and scrap them down and probably have to hit them with a little more salt to try and get them bared up," says Raczkowski.

High winds have also caused the department to send out six of their motor graters.

"This is a nice winter storm is what I'd consider it," says Raczkowski. "Snow isn't really wet and heavy so it plows reasonable, the heavier the snow the harder it is on the equipment and everything so it's not too bad.

"I think the snowmobilers will be happy because the trails were getting kind of rough," says Raczkowski.

The coordinator says the 36 trucks running on the two lane state and county highways will get parked tonight. They keep a crew on for highways like 29 and I-39.




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 IN OTHER NEWS

SARATOGA - A crash in Wood County left two people injured early Sunday morning. They had to be flown by helicopter to St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield.

The Wood County Sheriff's Department got a call around 6:00 in the morning of a one car crash. The crash was on Ranger Road in Saratoga.

Officers found a pickup truck in the ditch heavily damaged from rolling over and hitting trees. One person was ejected from the truck while the other was in the backseat. Their current condition is unknown.

Both speed and alcohol are thought to be factors in the crash.

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WABENO - People went out to Wabeno this weekend for its first ever Art and Music Fest. Musicians performed in the band shell while local artists spread out to show their products.

There were food and drinks as well as workshops for people to learn more about art.

"This year we've had about 20 musicians performing on three stages," said Friends of Wabeno Chairperson Mary Beck. "And we've had maybe ten artists doing demonstrations, showing people what they can do and what they can buy."

The rain Sunday didn't stop people from having a good time. Volunteers hope to make this an annual event.

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ARBOR VITAE - The Arbor Vitae Fire Department hosted its 39th Fireman's Picnic and Summerfest this weekend.

Thousands of people came out to benefit the fire department while having a good time. The fire department held the crowd favorite lawnmower races again this year.

They also had a volleyball tournament and games for kids. The fire chief says all the proceeds help the department pay for equipment.

"When we purchased our new fire truck, the fire department funded a good portion of the money, the fundraiser money, to help keep the tax dollars down so the tax payers didn't have to foot the whole bill for the truck," said Arbor Vitae Fire Department Chief Mike Van Meter. "And we also use it to buy turnout gear throughout the year, new air packs. Anything we can do to keep it off the tax roll."

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BOULDER JUNCTION - It's no secret to anglers that the Northwoods makes for some great fishing.

That's why fishing club coach Jim Bondi brought a group of 30 kids and chaperones up to Boulder Junction for the week.

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RHINELANDER - County workers aren't the only ones who like to find issues and fix them on the roads. So does Delmore Consulting owner, Jeff Delmore.

Delmore is hired by county boards to evaluate roads, signs and culverts. He find the signs, the ranks them, helping the county prioritize what work they need to do.

"I check each sign, I mark it, GPS location and then I check the reflectivity of the sign, just the overall condition of it," said Delmore.

It usually takes three to four weeks to gather all the information for each town. Delmore's currently in the Northwoods working for towns in Vilas County.

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ST. GERMAIN - The last day of Pig in the Pines wrapped up Saturday. People were able to watch the rib eating contest in the afternoon.

Newswatch 12 got to help judge ribs from this year's four rib vendors. One of the big events happened on the main stage Saturday evening.

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Hunters, trappers and spearers can go on the DNR website to apply.

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