MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' board has approved sweeping new rules to reshape deer hunting in Wisconsin.
Some of the key provisions in the plan call for eliminating in-person deer registration in favor of online or phone registration, reducing the number of deer management units and creating county committees to advise the DNR on population goals.
The rules implement Texas researcher James Kroll's suggestions to improve Wisconsin deer hunting.
Gov. Scott Walker's administration hired Kroll in 2011 to review the DNR's deer management policies.
The board approved the package on a unanimous voice vote Wednesday.
DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp, a Walker appointee, said the rules will give hunters and the public a larger role in deer management.
BLAINE, MINNESOTA - Firefighters from Upper Michigan put themselves at risk to battle fires in Utah.
On the way home, two were killed when the bus they were riding in crashed over the weekend in Minnesota.
Now the firefighter who was driving the bus is facing charges.
According to a criminal complaint, 28-year-old Michael Johnson told authorities he'd slept just 45 minutes the previous 28 hours as he drove a bus with 8 other wildland firefighters returning from a fire in Utah to their home base near Baraga in Michigan's Upper Penninsula.
Officers say Johnson was combative and showed signs of impairment at the crash scene, and later admitted to using marijuana the morning of the crash - and cocaine two days earlier.
MINOCQUA - Three local cyclists planned to bike in the Ride Across Wisconsin event just for fun this year, but a few days before the ride, a good friend of theirs became unexplainably sick. In that moment, the purpose of their ride changed.
"This is nothing. This is a day. This is an hour, a minute that I can keep going," said cyclist Connie Trapp.
For Trapp, riding 178 miles was a small hurdle compared to the struggle of a close friend.
"Just having somebody to ride it for and be encouraged that you're doing it for someone else besides yourself really helped," said Trapp.
RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's Highway 8 is finally getting its long-awaited renovation.
Beginning this week, construction will begin along two busy intersections on Rhinelander's busy bypass.
Michael Wendt, the Department of Transportation project development supervisor said, "This is probably something we should have done a little while ago, but it takes some time to get these projects going.
Construction at Highway G and 17 South started this week, and crews will lay new surface and install new stoplight sensors.
WAUSAU - After struggling for a few years, Wausau's mayor hopes new management and building changes will revitalize the Wausau Center Mall.
On Tuesday, Mayor Robert Mielke announced in a press conference that Mid America Asset Management will take over management of the mall. Mielke says Mid America will focus on new marketing, maintenance, and leasing new tenants.
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