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NEWS STORIES

Governor Walker Signs Bill Allowing Wolf Hunting in WisconsinSubmitted: 04/02/2012
Story By Lex Gray

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WOODRUFF - In Woodruff today, Governor Walker signed a bill allowing wolf hunting in Wisconsin.

The bill establishes a hunting and trapping season that will run from mid-October through the end of February.

The state has been able to manage the wolf population since January, when wolves were federally delisted as an endangered species.

But there's still plenty of controversy surrounding the new measure.

"I think if more people knew the true facts about wolves, there wouldn't be so much negativity out there," says Norm Poulton, regional coordinator for the DNR's Wolf Recovery Program.

Poulton has been tracking wolves on the ground for nearly two decades. He says the wolf hunting bill was based on politics, not biology and he's worried the population plummet because of attitudes about wolves.

"If you look at these bumper stickers, they don't say 350 wolves they say no wolves," Poulton says.

But Kurt Thiede, the DNR's spokesperson for the wolf hunting bill, says it was drafted in a way that won't let "no wolves" happen.

"What we looked for in the legislation was making sure that we had, through rule authority, the ability to regulate permit numbers, set goals, establish zones, and then also close the season by emergency order, if necessary," Thiede says.

And although the DNR's policy is not to take an official position on the bill, they recognize the most recent count of over 750 wolves is too high.

"The current level which they're at, there are problems being caused across the north for landowners, farmers, that have to coexist with wolves. So we see this as an opportunity, through our delisting and the federal delisting, to help manage that problem," Thiede says.

As the DNR prepares for a wolf hunt as early as this fall, tracking methods like weekly flights will continue.

But Poulton says many volunteer trackers will stop because they're so upset about the bill. They don't want their work to point hunters toward wolves.

"I just think they're a magnificent animal, they have a rightful place in our environment," he says.

Poulton says he's going to continue making his voice heard and he expects the tribes to continue fighting this bill as well.

Thiede says part of creating the rules for the hunt will be consultation with the tribes, since most wolves are on ceded territories.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Students get opportunity to plan for life after high schoolSubmitted: 09/17/2014

MINOCQUA - High School students need to start thinking about life after high school during their junior and senior year.

On Wednesday Lakeland Union High School and Nicolet College hosted the Wisconsin Education Fair to help them with that.

Nearly 80 colleges, universities and branches of the military offered information to high school juniors and seniors from all across northern Wisconsin. Schools from as far away as Nevada and Alabama came to the fair.

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Fab Lab prepares students for the modern workforceSubmitted: 09/17/2014

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THREE LAKES - Students in Three Lakes will learn how to use new technology like 3D printers and laser cutters this year. It's all part of the district's brand new Fab Lab.

Fab Labs have the most modern manufacturing equipment. Students will learn to use the same tools that businesses use. The lab manager thinks that will help students from Three Lakes get better jobs.

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Drug Endangered Children Program in Price CountySubmitted: 09/17/2014

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PRICE COUNTY - Some children in the Northwoods live in environments where their caretakers abuse drugs.

The Price County Sheriff's Office hopes a new program will help those children.

The Drug Endangered Children Program, or DEC, assists children whose caretakers abuse, sell, or manufacture drugs.

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Wisconsin drivers often uninhibited by citationsSubmitted: 09/17/2014

APPLETON - Many Wisconsin drivers who lose their driving privileges have continued to operate their vehicles and commit additional violations.

According to Wisconsin Department of Transportation data, there have been more than 57,000 convictions for operating while suspended, without a valid license or after revocation this year. That number follows last year's trend, when nearly 114,000 licensing-related convictions were reported.

During the first six months of 2014, more of the state's residents were convicted of driving with suspended licenses than speeding 11-19 mph over the limit.

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Merrill Area Public School District's online charter school lags behind rest of district in mathSubmitted: 09/17/2014

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MERRILL - The Merrill Area Public School District found out how their district compares to others in the state.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction evaluates districts and schools and gives them report cards every year.

But the district's online school did much worse than the rest of the district in math.

Students at Bridges Virtual Academy learn almost entirely online.

About 29% of Bridges students are proficient in math. But the state average is about 49%, and the district is almost 52%. That could be because many of the students at Bridges used to be homeschooled.

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Search continues for missing boater in Kenosha Co.Submitted: 09/17/2014

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KENOSHA - Authorities have been searching a Kenosha County lake for a missing fisherman from Illinois.

The search on Silver Lake began Tuesday night after family members reported 66-year-old John Spoor of McHenry, Illinois, had not returned from his fishing trip. Sheriff's officials located the man's boat, but there was no sign of him.

Kenosha County Sheriff's Sgt. Bill Beth says the department had five boats on the water Wednesday. The search was halted Wednesday evening because of darkness, and the Kenosha News reports search teams are expected to return to the scene Thursday morning.

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Students learn about natureSubmitted: 09/17/2014

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TOMAHAWK - More than 50 fourth graders from Tomahawk learned about nature on Wednesday as part of long-lived education program. UW-Stevens Point staff at Treehaven host programs to teach elementary students about nature. The program has been around Tomahawk Public Schools for more than 25 years.

"We are doing a lot about the history of Tomahawk, the people that were here in the early 1800s and just a little bit about the land," explained Naturalist Rachel Anderson. "Right not we've been doing some tree identification and forestry measurements, but this morning they were learning about the voyagers and the Native Americans in this area."

The program covers more than just fall-learning, Treehaven leaders host learning programs in the spring and winter as well. You don't have to be a student to take part in some of the programs at the learning center. They include group hikes where you practice and discuss identifying plants and trees.

"We've had two this fall, and I'm hoping that is something we can continue to do in all seasons and continue to offer," said Anderson. "We've been getting a lot of positive reinforcement that it's something that the public is really interested in, so we hope to continue to offer more in the future."

Treehaven leaders regularly offer programs to the public involving nature, education, and artistry. If you are interested in learning more about these programs and events, you can follow the link listed below the article.

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