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NEWS STORIES

A boost for honey beesSubmitted: 02/26/2014

Matt Brooks
Morning Meteorologist/Reporter
mbrooks@wjfw.com

MIDWEST - The USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service will make a nearly 3 million dollar investment in Midwestern farmers.

The goal is to improve honey bee health in order to protect American crop production.

According to the USDA, beekeepers have lost nearly 30 percent of their honey bee colonies per year since 2006.

Bee pollination plays an important role in crop production and helps to produce over 130 different types of fruits and vegetables.

Pollination from honey bees helps to support nearly 15 billion dollars worth of agricultural crops.

This investment targets farmers in Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

It will help to provide a better environment for honey bees by providing them safe food, a more secure habitat, and fewer harmful invasive species.

Applications to receive funding are due by March 21st.




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 IN OTHER NEWS

ONEIDA COUNTY - Drivers in Woodruff and Minocqua might want to avoid a popular shortcut soon. A several month long road project will start next week on County Highway J between Highways 51 and 47.

Last year, the intersection of County Highway J and Highway 51 was completely redone.

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MERRILL - It can be a frustrating sight when your gas light comes on in the car.

One North Central Wisconsin fuel company may make it a little more pleasant going to the pump.

Riiser Engery and R-Stores will donate two cents for every gallon pumped on "Pride Pumps" to area schools districts.

The Wausau based company has pride pumps in five different locations across north central Wisconsin.

You can find them in Gillett, Schofield, Wausau, Edgar, and Merrill.

Riiser says each pride pump should raise between $4000 to $7000

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MINOCQUA - Many kids like to take art classes over the summer. The Campanile Center for the Arts in Minocqua has one project for kids that is made out of all-natural materials.

The project is called Uprooted. It started in July and was supposed to end in August, but the kids had so much fun working on the art project that it was extended until the fall.

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RHINELANDER - September might not seem like the best time to plan your garden, but taking steps now can mean better results later.

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NORTHWOODS - Children went back to school across the Northwoods Tuesday. That's why it's important to make sure you're prepared for anything.

Emergency workers say it's important to have a plan in place for all possible emergency situations. That plan should include emergency contacts, safe meeting locations, and emergency kits in homes and cars. Officials say taking time to plan and practice is crucial.

"Look at things before it happens," says Dawn Robinson, Oneida County Emergency Management Program Assistant. "Make sure your family, your loved ones, your neighbors, make sure everyone has a plan and practice those plans. That way when something does happen, it becomes more, that you know what to do, so be prepared as much as possible, and practice."

Part of being prepared is communication and knowing who to contact. Officials encourage parents to make sure that schools have up-to-date emergency contact information, especially for small children.

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HAZELHURST - You won't find any alligator-filled moats at an upcoming medieval festival in Hazelhurst. But you will get the chance to step back in time during the Northwoods Medieval Faire at Tommy O's Playhouse next weekend.

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WISCONSIN - Bicyclists in Wisconsin could get new, marked routes to use.

The DNR is working to mark new routes throughout the state, and other routes that go out of state.

But before it marks those routes, the department needs rider's opinions.

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