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Eagle River could have to run water until end of AprilSubmitted: 04/04/2014
Story By Kaitlyn Howe


EAGLE RIVER - Most people expect some sun and warm weather in early April, but we don't always get that lucky in the Northwoods.

And that doesn't help workers dealing with frozen pipes.

Some utility companies are still asking customers to run water to prevent frozen pipes.

Customers in Eagle River have been running water since the first week of February.

Meaning the city has gone through a lot of water.

"In February and March we're pumping about what we do in July and August. Somewhere between 250-300 thousand gallons a day. Normally this time of the year is our slower time. Sometimes we don't go through much over 100 thousand in a day," says Patrick Weber, Eagle River Light and Water Manager.

Customers aren't being charged for running the extra water, they're being charged the same amount they paid in January.

Customers could be running water until the end of April.

Utility workers say customers have been cooperative.

"They've been very understanding. Some of them are starting to get a little antsy. Especially when it gets warm out. They think that it's safe, can we turn it off yet?" says Weber.

The city will let people know when they can stop running water.

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It appears Merrill City leaders won't punish two of its workers for taking items from a now demolished building on the Lincoln County Fair Grounds. 

After about a month-long investigation, Mayor Bill Bialecki sent out a statement Thursday morning on behalf of the common council with a decision.

It said, "The actions of City Administrator Dave Johnson and Fire Chief Dave Savone, although not in violation of city Ordinances or policies, were in poor judgment. They have been advised to follow City ordinances and policies to avoid improper conduct or the appearance of such conduct, as it reflects poorly on City Government."

Back in July, Savone got the okay from Johnson to help a friend take some shutters and tables from the 
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The Merrill City Common Council then hired an outside firm to investigate.

Now that that's done, Johnson still feels the same way he always did.

"I've stated from the beginning that there were no laws, ordinances or policies that were violated, and that is what the investigation showed," Johnson said. "So, I mean, how can I feel other than vindicated?"

Johnson and Savone did return the items.

Savone did not want to talk on camera but told Newswatch 12 he did not violate any ordinances.

Opponents of this decision believe the city leaders violated state open meetings laws.

According to documents obtained by Newswatch 12, those opponents filed a complaint Thursday afternoon with the Lincoln County District Attorney.

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The kids got to hang out with peers they will be going to high school with in a couple of years.

Though it all looked like fun and games, each exercise opened the floor to more serious topics like cyber-bullying, drug use, and underage drinking.

"There are little things that we are planting seeds and as those seeds are planted, later on others can help it grow as well," said UW Extension Youth Agent Nancy Ann Miller.

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