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NEWS STORIES

Governor Walker Signs Bill Allowing Wolf Hunting in WisconsinSubmitted: 04/02/2012

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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.

Story By: Lex Gray

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Car break ins have police warning people to lock cars, put away valuablesSubmitted: 07/21/2014

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MERRILL - The Merrill Police Department wants you to keep your car doors locked. That's because a number of cars were broken into this weekend. There were also a few attempted burglaries.

All of the break ins happened in the neighborhoods north and east of the middle school in Merrill.

The Merrill Police Chief says this isn't unusual for this time of the year.

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50-year-old airlifted after getting hit by car on HWY 51Submitted: 07/21/2014

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MINOCQUA - One person is in the hospital after getting hit by a car on Highway 51 in Minocqua Tuesday.

The person was eventually airlifted to St Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield.

It happened around 3 p.m. just north of the north loop in Minocqua.

50-year-old Pennae Biersach from Forest, Wisconsin was originally sent to Howard Young Medical Center after the crash.

There is no word on Biersach's condition.

Police are still investigating the crash.

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Former 'woman of the year' pleads no contest to felony chargesSubmitted: 07/21/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - Last year's Eagle River "woman of the year" will soon be considered a convicted felon.

Monday, Michelle Albaugh pled no contest to a felony for stealing $16,000 from the Eagle River Jaycees.

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Hwy 51 closed by Minocqua bridgeSubmitted: 07/21/2014

MINOCQUA - Important news for folks heading to work, or summer camp. You'll need to plan for construction work on parts of Highway 51 if you're heading to Minocqua.

Lanes on highway 51, both Northbound and Southbound will be closed. Crews need to do some bridge maintenance. The Wisconsin DOT hopes all the work will be done by the end of the day on Thursday.

Those lane closures start at Country Club Road and go to West Park Avenue at Minocqua Lake.

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Police: Drunken 12-year-old taken to hospitalSubmitted: 07/21/2014

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WAUSAU - Wausau police say a drunken 12-year-old boy was taken to a hospital and kept overnight.

Lt. Mark Pankow says police were called to a Wausau home Saturday night after a neighbor of the boy reported he was intoxicated.

Pankow says a blood test at the hospital determined the boy's blood-alcohol level was ``well over'' the legal limit to drive, which is 0.08 percent in Wisconsin.

Pankow says the boy admitted drinking vodka, and told police he drinks alcohol ``about every three days or so.''

Investigators found empty alcohol containers in the boy's room. The boy was taken to a juvenile shelter after being released from the hospital.

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New opportunity for Northwoods potato seed farmSubmitted: 07/21/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - A Northwoods potato seed farm recently shared a big announcement.

Felix Zeloski Farms operates 1900 acres in Eagle River.

Zeloski Farms in Eagle River will now run under new ownership.

"It's been a real opportunity for all of us who are employed to do something that's important to the industry and we love it. We enjoy working every day here," said Ron Krueger.

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Michigan police seek public help in shooting deathSubmitted: 07/21/2014

MUNISING, MI - State police are asking for public help in their investigation of the shooting death of a 47-year-old man following a police chase in the Upper Peninsula.

First Lt. Gregory Cunningham said Monday that investigators want to talk with anyone who came into contact with Timothy Mitchell on July 14, the day he died.

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