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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
One person injured in Rhinelander crash Monday evening Submitted: 09/01/2014

RHINELANDER - A person got hurt during a one car crash near Rhinelander today.

The crash happened on North Shore Drive east of Rhinelander around 4pm.

Only one person was in the car.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office, Town of Pelican Fire Department and the Oneida County EMS were at the crash.

We don't know the cause of the crash yet.

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Manufacturer to move from Prentice to PhillipsSubmitted: 09/01/2014

PRICE COUNTY - The expansion of Northcentral Technical College's Phillips campus helped persuade one manufacturing company to move closer to the campus.

OEM Fabricators will move its Price County facility from Prentice to Phillips.

All 28 employees will also move to the larger shop, which will focus on welding.

The company's president said the tech college's manufacturing expansion factored into the decision.

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Two photographic exhibits to open next week at ArtStartSubmitted: 09/01/2014

RHINELANDER - The artists paired together in ArtStart's next exhibition couldn't have much different backgrounds.

Next Friday, the Rhinelander gallery will open with two very diverse displays.

"We have two photographic exhibitions opening. One is a solo artist, so the whole gallery will be their work, and the other is an artist who worked with teens as a kind of therapy program, photography and art as therapy," said ArtStart Development Director Melinda Childs.

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Special chair offers people with disabilities new opportunitiesSubmitted: 09/01/2014

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RHINELANDER - It can be difficult to get around the Northwoods, especially in the snow. For people with physical disabilities, it can seem almost impossible. A new piece of technology changed Bob Simon's life. Now he's hoping to help others with physical disabilities enjoy the outdoors.

"I used to love to hunt and fish," he said.

But when Simon, who is from Rhinelander, lost his legs during a work accident in 2008, he didn't know if he'd be able to enjoy the outdoors again.

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Locals get a good seat waving goodbye to visitorsSubmitted: 09/01/2014

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HAZELHURST - Tourists make a big economic impact in the Northwood, but they don't stay forever. Monday, locals thanked them for coming to the Northwoods this summer.

People stood outside of Whitman's Bar and Grill just off of Highway 51 in Hazelhurst to wave goodbye. The bar has been doing this for 44 years.

One of the owners says this isn't just a party for the tourists, but for locals as well.

"It's also a goodbye summer party for a lot of the locals. Most of the people that come, I know," said Whitman's Bar and Grill co-owner, Mary Whitman. "They may be tourists that come up for a week or weekends, but it's a party. We give away free street corn, free sloppy joes and it's just a thank you.

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Fewer people at Merrill's Labor Day Car Show because of weather Submitted: 09/01/2014

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MERRILL - You wouldn't find as many people at this year's car show in Merrill compared to years past.

The car show usually gets about 2,000 people each year.

Organizers say they got about half of that this year because of the weather.

The Merrill Lions Club organizes the event.

This is one of the group's biggest fundraisers of the year.

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Merrill businesses find counterfeit billsSubmitted: 09/01/2014

MERRILL - Someone might be making counterfeit bills in the Merrill area.

Several businesses told Merrill Police they were paid with counterfeit money in the last few weeks.

There are many simple ways to tell if a bill is real or fake.

We have a guide, and you can access it by clicking below.

Within the past year, businesses in Antigo and bars in Rhinelander have had problems with counterfeit money.

Contact the Merrill Police Department if you have any information.

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