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NEWS STORIES

Moratorium on utility disconnections expiresSubmitted: 04/15/2014
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - People behind on their utility bills could start getting shut off today.

That's because the state's winter moratorium on disconnecting utility customers is ending.

The law prohibits utilities from shutting off a customer's heat between November 1st and April 15th.

Nearly 26,000 Wisconsin Public Service customers got at least 4 months behind on payments this winter.

That number is slightly higher than last year.

Harsh winter weather pushed up heating bills.

Utility companies encourage those who are behind on their bills to get in touch.

They will work with customers to make payment arrangements.

Help is available for people whose household is at, or below 60 percent of the state median income level.

That's about 47,000 for a family of four.

People can apply for assistance through county social service offices, tribal governments and private nonprofit agencies.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)


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 IN OTHER NEWS
Sex offender charged for allegedly making booklet filled with photos of young girlsSubmitted: 10/29/2014

MINOCQUA - A Rhinelander sex offender could go back to prison.

Albert Chagnon allegedly made a booklet filled with photos of young Northwoods girls while he was still in prison in Oshkosh.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office had a community meeting Wednesday. Parents at the meeting were given details about the booklet.

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Candidates spar over Ebola, mining, minimum wage and other national topics during debateSubmitted: 10/29/2014

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WAUSAU - Candidates for the 7th Congressional District debated over topics like mining, jobs, Ebola, healthcare, and other issues in Wausau Wednesday night.

Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wisconsin) and Kelly Westlund (D-Ashland) are running for the 7th Congressional District seat. The district covers part of 20 counties across northern Wisconsin.

The area lags behind the rest of the state economically. That was one of the reasons mining was a topic of focus. The Gogebic Taconite project would involve a four mile open pit mine in Iron and Ashland County. The project could mean more than 600 jobs with other secondary jobs connected to the mine.

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Rapture Education Group hosts Halloween eventSubmitted: 10/29/2014

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ANTIGO - The Rapture Education Group will give a special presentation on owls on Halloween (Friday). The meeting will be geared for children and adults. Live owls will be at the event and three of them will be released in the wild at the end of the meeting.

"We get all the species you can find in Wisconsin, they come in for rehab," said Director of Education Abbey Krumrie. "We get a lot of baby owls in during the spring and we have foster parents that help take care of them.
So that's what we have to release on Halloween."

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Wisconsin study to probe farm kids' allergiesSubmitted: 10/29/2014

MARSHFIELD, WI - Marshfield Clinic researchers are enrolling pregnant Wisconsin farmers in a study of children's allergies and asthma.

News-Herald Media reports (http://mnhne.ws/1FSghvR ) the clinic's National Farm Medicine Center plans to enroll about 100 expectant mothers who live on farms and 100 non-farm women. The center will work with the University of Wisconsin's asthma and allergy research center to track kids' development of allergies and respiratory infections for two years, starting before the babies are born.

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Boy Scouts receive a big donationSubmitted: 10/29/2014

WESTON - A big donation will help scouts in central and northern Wisconsin.

A man who went to a scouting camp in Rhinelander wants to help send more kids to camp.

The Samoset Boy Scout Council announced the $3 million donation Tuesday. It was made by Chicago real estate executive and former scout Albert Hanna.

The money will help send under-served kids to summer camp.

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White Lake School could face more cuts; will try to pass referendum on TuesdaySubmitted: 10/29/2014

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WHITE LAKE - People in White Lake didn't pass a school referendum last spring. The referendum failed by two votes.

The school will ask taxpayers for more funding again on Tuesday.

The school has a history of referendums because of state aid. The White Lake School district got more than a million dollars of state aid in 2008. Now, they only get about one third of that.

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Professional cartoonist paints Hodag mural Submitted: 10/29/2014

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's beloved Hodag will come to life thanks to a local cartoonist this week.

Thomas Barnett is painting the mural inside the Northwoods Community Elementary School.

"Mr. Losch, the principal, showed me this penciled Hodag that they had on the wall for years that no one ever did anything with. He had heard that I was an artist and asked if I'd be interested in coming in one of these days and doing something on the wall," said cartoonist Thomas Barnett.

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