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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
Vilas Food Pantry needs helpSubmitted: 10/24/2014

EAGLE RIVER - A Northwoods food pantry could struggle to put food on their shelves this fall. Vilas Food Pantry volunteers need more donations and money to feed people in need, this includes more than 250 local families. This is the first time they've needed to ask the public for help in more than ten years.

"People get laid-off and they have needs," said Vilas Food Pantry Director Richard Short. "That's what we're here for, we want to make sure everyone knows that if they have a need, you're welcome to come."

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A local author launches first novel of a new seriesSubmitted: 10/24/2014

MINOCQUA - A new novel may catch your eye this weekend at a local bookstore. On the cover is a picture of girl by a Northwoods Lake. The book is titled "Exit Point" and is written by new author Alicia Sanftleben.

Sanftleben grew up and lives in the Minocqua area. Her novel focuses on a young girl who, after a near death experience, is forced to rethink her life's path.

The novel is the first part of a series of books. It follows the young girl's journey on her new life and efforts to save the world from destruction.

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Kids with disabilities tour local businesses, practice networking skillsSubmitted: 10/24/2014

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RHINELANDER - Kids with disabilities can sometimes have a difficult time finding a job.

Special education teachers at Rhinelander High School want to change that. They set up the "Amazing Race To Employment" for their students.

Students with disabilities went to different local businesses today. The race gave them a chance to ask managers questions about working at the business.

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DNR thinks registering deer online and by phone easier for huntersSubmitted: 10/24/2014

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WISCONSIN - The DNR will make changes to how people register deer. This year they're starting a program allowing hunters to register deer online or by phone.

Only some hunters will take part in the program. Next year it will be in full effect.

"Right now we're doing a pilot program in 2014, where there's 14,000 people who've been picked to practice this registration. And next year everybody will be able to either register by phone or on the internet. They will still have the opportunity to register at a station as long as there is a telephone or a computer for them," says DNR Conservation Warden Paul Hartrick.

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Hulsey launches write-in candidacy for governorSubmitted: 10/24/2014

MADISON - Just 12 days before the election, state Representative Brett Hulsey says he is running for governor as an independent write-in candidate.

Hulsey lost the Democratic primary to Mary Burke, earning 16 percent of the vote.

Hulsey announced Thursday that he was mounting a last-minute write-in campaign, but if it appears the effort is helping Republican Governor Scott Walker, he will stop.

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Wisconsin health officials start Ebola hotlineSubmitted: 10/24/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin state health officials have launched an Ebola hotline.

The state Department of Health Services announced Friday that the line is for fielding questions Wisconsin residents have about the Ebola virus. The toll-free number is 844-684-1064.

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Educating the Northwoods about human trafficking Submitted: 10/24/2014

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WOODRUFF - Human trafficking makes an estimated 32 billion dollars every year. It's the third largest criminal industry in the world and Wisconsin is right in the center of it.

Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery.

The two biggest types of trafficking are sex trafficking and labor trafficking.

Sister Celine Goessl has been researching Wisconsin's human trafficking problem for a few years.

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