THREE LAKES - You could soon get to your favorite websites faster in parts of Central and Northern Wisconsin.
The state will use $4.2 million from the federal government to boost broadband at libraries in Wisconsin.
That includes the Demmer Memorial Library in Three Lakes. Demmer Memorial Library Director Janet Dixon says the upgrade will make their internet three times faster for the same price they pay now.
"Our patrons are doing a lot of research on our computers now and sometimes they're awfully slow and we would really like to have that consistent speed for them," Dixon said.
More than 350 libraries across Wisconsin will get the internet speed boost.
Dixon says the fiber broadband will get their connection from 3mbps to 10mbps. She believes the upgrade will help rural areas avoid falling behind in technology and opportunity.
"I think the speed is important for them (patrons)," Dixon said. "So we want to be able to provide that even though we're up here in the Northwoods, we want to have good internet service."
Workers will start laying the broadband fiber lines in April. That means libraries could get the broadband boost by November. State Superintendent Tony Evers is excited for the project.
"More than 60 percent of our public libraries report inadequate Internet connection speeds to serve library patrons," Evers said in a press release. "Many of our libraries are the only public Internet access in their small, rural communities. Our libraries provide online education resources for students of all ages including BadgerLink services for job seekers and information on government services so this upgrade of Internet connectivity will be a welcome improvement across the state."
Planning for the project started in 2013 and is a part of improving the state's BadgerNet broadband connection.
RHINELANDER - For better or worse, drivers in Rhinelander will get an extra week to use the Davenport Street bridge. The city's contractor for its downtown reconstruction project delayed closing the bridge for repairs to May 8th.
Crews first planned to close the bridge in mid-April, then pushed that back to May 1 due to weather. Now, weather has further delaying the month-long repairs to the concrete decking.
This is part of a larger project to finish up the downtown reconstruction, which began in March 2016. The city reconstructed 21 blocks, replacing underground utilities and modernizing the downtown area.
MINOCQUA - Police officers often meet people on their worst days: after a death, crime, or other bad situations. The Minocqua Police Department hopes some unpaid additions to their staff can help victims, families, and officers cope with those situations a little better.
The department is looking to add a team of clergy members to form a chaplain program. The chaplains would be on call and show up to scenes when needed. Chief David Jaeger had been considering the idea for a while when he heard about police in Oneida County using the same program.
ANTIGO - Pushups, wall sits, and sit ups may sound like a tough workout for most of us. But dozens of kids from the Boys and Girls Club of Langlade County did that and more as part of a national fitness competition Friday afternoon.
Boys and Girls Clubs from around the country are teaming up to help kids become more active with the Nestlé's National Fitness Competition.
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