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Students build energy star home to bring down utility billsSubmitted: 06/07/2014
Story By Karolina Buczek

Students build energy star home to bring down utility bills
RHINELANDER - Attention to small details will help two families save some money on their utility bills. Rhinelander High School students in the Building Trades Program built an energy star duplex.

"There are about ten percent of homes north of Highway 29 that can say they have that label," said building instructor, Russ Germain. "I think it only makes sense if we're in the education business to educate possible future builders and homeowners."

An energy star home has most of its small cracks sealed up tightly to stop heat from escaping.

"In a normal energy star house, there's 500 CFM units of leakage. In our house, there's only 240 and 220 so we're 45 percent better than a normal energy star house," said Rhinelander High School senior Logan Rudis.

The program uses more expensive products to make sure the house conserves energy.

"We use different products," said Germain. "We spend more money on things that will essentially make the house tighter while providing good ventilation so it's a healthy home as well."

Getting the energy star certification wasn't easy. The students had to build the entire house differently than normal.

"We frame differently. We insulate differently. When it comes to air sealing, we try to do a really good job of eliminating leaks," said Germain.

The students used a unique framing technique.

"We wanted to try to frame so that it's a good, strong, safe home but we're not wasting a lot of material. We're actually adding more insulation to our walls so ultimately the customer is going to benefit," said Germain.

The duplex is finally done and will be available for rent sometime in July.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 09/21/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll tell you why the Northwoods Transit Connection which provides transportation in Oneida and Vilas Counties may discontinue some operations temporarily.

We'll bring you the details of a Rhinelander swimming coach who has resigned from her position after her third year as head coach for the girls and boys team.

And we talk to a group of people who are walking from Portage County to Madison to help bring awareness to the dangers of drinking and driving after a motorcyclist was killed by a drunk driver in July.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MADISON - Republican legislators are circulating a bill aimed at ending the federal requirement to use reformulated gas in six southeastern Wisconsin counties.

The legislation asks President Donald Trump's administration to grant a reprieve from use of the specially formulated gas that reduces ozone pollution. The requirement was implemented in 1995 in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington, Racine and Kenosha counties. Supporters say the gas is no longer needed because of advancements in emission control equipment.

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MANITOWISH WATERS - Heavy, gray smoke poured out of Kay Lackas's home in Manitowish Waters on Wednesday morning while firefighters rushed in, keeping her in a daze.

"I feel like that smoke, foggy," Lackas said.

Lackas was sleeping inside around 8:20 a.m. when she heard a loud bang of thunder, but she didn't think much of it until she smelled smoke.

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RHINELANDER - An Oneida County detective believes that if a toddler hadn't been left in the care of his stepmother, 28-year-old Ellen Tran, he might still be alive.

Twenty-month-old Avery Edwards died in April of blunt force trauma at a Rhinelander home, and Tran is charged with first-degree reckless homicide in the death. She said the child slipped in the shower, but evidence pointed to an intentional act.

On Wednesday, Ellen Tran's husband, Trung, was also charged in the death of his son. Prosecutors say he knew leaving the toddler with his wife was dangerous, and he deserves some of the blame.

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MERRILL - Autumn brings amber colors, acorns, and a lot of apples.

One local apple orchard is booming even though it underwent a few changes right before the picking season hit.

"I've taken over the farm, and we're transitioning now to ownership," said Olivia Telschow, who was a nurse for more than 12 years. But that all changed two years ago.

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PRICE COUNTY - Fall officially starts Friday, but you can already see signs of it in the trees.

One of the best places to view those colors is the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

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PRENTICE - To some people, a pile of scrap metal may look like garbage. But to Prentice High School teacher Quan Banh, many of the things he finds inside still have life to them. 

"I see that there are certain resources in there that could be used," said Banh. 

Banh has spent the last four years collecting old and new bikes as well as bike parts. 

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