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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
Bundle Up program aims to keep families warm; how you can helpSubmitted: 11/27/2014

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RHINELANDER - You can help families stay warm this winter by donating your extra winter clothing to the Big Bundle Up Campaign. Tourism groups across Wisconsin are looking for mittens, scarves, coats, and other winter gear.

"Those would be really helpful for a lot of people in the area," Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dana DeMet said. "And I think the biggest challenge in the Northwoods is that it's just not as visible, so it's a little harder sometimes to garner that support if you are not faced with it on the streets every day."

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Friendship House provides free Thanksgiving meal for the communitySubmitted: 11/27/2014

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RHINELANDER - Many local businesses want to pay it forward this Thanksgiving. That includes Friendship House in Rhinelander.

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National forest seeking committee membersSubmitted: 11/27/2014

RHINELANDER - Federal officials are looking for people to join two Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest advisory committees.

One committee serves the Chequamegon portion of the forest in northwestern Wisconsin. The other serves the Nicolet portion in northeastern Wisconsin. Both panels work to improve relationships between forest users and advise forestry officials on which projects to undertake and spending.

Each committee is made up of 15 members who represent diverse interest groups. Members must be Wisconsin residents and be willing to serve a four-year term.

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Madison College to train police on use of dronesSubmitted: 11/27/2014

MADISON - Madison College is developing a program to train law enforcement officers on how to operate drones.

Several law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin are considering the use of drones, for situations such as search-and-rescue missions or tactical operations.

Madison College is coming up with training that will show police and firefighters how to fly the unmanned aerial devices, as well as how to use them ethically.

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Lead found in City of Wausau drinking waterSubmitted: 11/27/2014

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WAUSAU - Wausau Water Works recently found elevated levels of lead in drinking water.

Now they're asking homeowners to be cautious when using that water.

The city stopped installing lead service lines in 1965.

They stopped using lead solder in 1986.

Today most pipes are made of either copper or plastic.

Any home with lead service lines could have lead in its water.

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How you can "Go Green" this holiday season Submitted: 11/27/2014

RHINELANDER - Many people "go green" by recycling or riding a bike instead of driving a car to work.

You can also "go green" by shopping this year.

Green Tuesday asks people to buy gifts in their communities.

It also encourages you to keep the environment in mind when shopping.

That could mean buying organic toys or clothes or even meals from organic restaurants.

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Chimney fire significantly damages Conover homeSubmitted: 11/27/2014

CONOVER - Firefighters blame a chimney fire for damaging a Conover home, according to the Vilas County Sheriff's Office.

The fire happened around 4:49 p.m. Thursday at 3950 E. Pioneer Rd. That's south east of Conover near Pioneer Lake.

The sheriff's office says the fire significantly damaged the house.

No one was hurt.

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