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NEWS STORIES

Harsh winter blew up budgets for road maintenanceSubmitted: 05/02/2014
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - This year's harsh winter blew up the budget for road maintenance.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation spent more than planned on plowing, salting and other expenses.

The department next week will ask the Legislature to approve spending another 27-million dollars for expenses related to the long winter.

The state contracts with counties to help maintain state highways in addition to county roads.

Bills are still coming in from counties for work plowing and salting roads this winter.

The department expects it will go over its original maintenance budget by about 16-million.

The other 11-million comes from the additional 160-thousand tons of salt purchased in mid-winter.

The money would come from a transportation revenue surplus.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)


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Humane societies see influx of kittens Submitted: 10/21/2014

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NORTHWOODS - We know fall for pumpkins, football, and falling leaves but it's also known for kittens.

Shelters in northcentral Wisconsin refer to both fall and spring as "kitten season."

The Oneida County Humane Society has already found homes for 30 kittens just in the last month.

Right now the adoption center has 25 kittens.

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Wisconsin DNR encourages composting Submitted: 10/21/2014

MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wants homeowners to compost or mulch fallen leaves. This will help keep the leaves out of landfills and lower the chances of burning piles.

DNR leaders say composting means more room and landfill and less chance of stray sparks from burning piles that can start wildfires.

Fewer burning piles will also helps maintain a high level of air quality.
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Merrill's old DNR Ranger Station will become brew pub Submitted: 10/21/2014

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MERRILL - The old DNR ranger station in Merrill will become a brew pub.

The city of Merrill sold the building to a company that plans on opening up the pub within the next year.

The company plans on eventually becoming a microbrewery.

The building was built in 1940.

The DNR opened up a new ranger station in a different spot in Merrill a few years ago.

"When the ranger station rebuilt this building was turned back to the city and we've used it for a couple of years now since we've had it for the park and recreations summer program," says Merrill City Administrator David Johnson. "We decided to sell the property when there was an interest shown in turning it into a business."

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Promoting feed beets in Wisconsin Submitted: 10/21/2014

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BRYANT - Only one farm in all of Wisconsin grows sugar beets.

Rine Ridge Farms is northeast of Antigo, in Bryant.

They hope more farmers will catch on to alternative dairy feed.

"They're 80% digestible where corn is usually only around 40% digestible. They're high in sugar they're 20% sugar," said Dan Rine of Rine Ridge Farms.

Beets are easy to grow in our neck of the woods.

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Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Open HouseSubmitted: 10/21/2014

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RHINELANDER - The new Rhinelander Area Food Pantry features new aisles for easier shopping, a sitting area, and large scale for weighing food.

You could see the updates at the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Tuesday. The pantry held an open house to celebrate its new location.

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Rennes Health and Rehab Center to expandSubmitted: 10/21/2014

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RHINELANDER - The Rennes Health and Rehab Center in Rhinelander will add an extra 10,000 square feet to its facility.

The center hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday. It offers rehabilitative and skilled nursing services.

Right now the facility has 72 beds.

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Thousands of Walker-related emails releasedSubmitted: 10/21/2014

MADISON - Thousands of emails prosecutors collected during the first secret investigation into Gov. Scott Walker's former aides and associates when he was county executive have been released.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele's office on Tuesday made public the nearly 16,000 emails and attachments that prosecutors seized from county and personal computers.

The investigation ended in 2013 with six of Walker's aides and associates convicted on charges ranging from theft to misconduct in office.

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