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NEWS STORIES

Cranberry Harvest Underway in Manitowish WatersSubmitted: 10/01/2012
Story By Kailey Burton

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MANITOWISH WATERS - The state fruit of Wisconsin is ready for harvest. This year 4.5 million barrels of cranberries will come from Wisconsin marshes- That's almost 60% of the nation's crop.

Today we got a behind-the-bog look at one family's tradition in growing cranberries.

"My great grandfather first started with just a few acres. He came up here with no machinery, along with a few other growers in the area and started planting cranberries, and it's just evolved into what we have today."

Now the Bartling family produces nearly 42,000 barrels of cranberries each year. Picking them by hand would be painstaking, but Wisconsin's lakes allow for an easier harvest- By flooding the beds.

After the berries are ripe, each 4-acre recessed "bed" is filled with water. Machines shake the fruit from the vines, and the float on the water to be skimmed off.

"We don't use water, we borrow water, because it's all returned eventually back to the resevior," said 4th generation cranberry grower Steven Bartling. "We'll reuse that water over and over and over and eventually, it'll seep back into the lake."

Over the years the Bartlings have gotten cranberry harvesting down to a science- From an intricate pattern for skimming the fruit off the water, to high tech sensors that monitor the soil and temperature.

Even this year's early spring couldn't throw them off. In fact, the longer season made their fruit better.

"We got a better sugar content developed in the berry," said Bartling, "Which is actually what the color red is, it's the sugar."

Today was the first full day of harvest for the deep crimson colored berries. Harvest typically starts October 1st, and lasts 3 weeks.


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 IN OTHER NEWS
Bad weather takes a toll on local vineyardsSubmitted: 09/19/2014

TRIPOLI - A cool summer and a lot of rain hurt grape growing conditions this year. Some winemakers in the Northwoods don't have enough grapes to make wine and they worry the harsh weather may have hurt their vineyards.

"Here's a couple of vines that we lost," explained David Welbes, owner of Brigadoon Winery. "They died."

Many vineyards in the Northwoods don't look good this year. The bad weather has made it nearly impossible for grapes to grow into a healthy crop.

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Child sex-related crimes send Rhinelander man to jailSubmitted: 09/19/2014

RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander man inappropriately touched a young girl this May.

The victim was younger than 10 years old.

Blaine Ciardo admitted his actions and apologized in Oneida County Court on Friday. But Ciardo will spend another year in jail. He has spent almost four months in jail so far.

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Man gets 20-year sentence for punching jail workerSubmitted: 09/19/2014

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WAUSAU - 22-year-old Fredrick Morris will spend more than 18 years in prison for punching, and nearly killing, a Marathon County Jail employee in 2014. Morris was sentenced in Marathon County Court Friday.

Julie Christensen was critically injured and admitted to the hospital after the attack. Prosecutor Kenneth Heimerman said her life was saved because of the work of medical officials shortly after the attack.

Christensen didn't attend the sentencing in Wausau, but Heimerman read a letter from Christenson to the court about how difficult it has been after the attack.

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Human Service Center welcomes new executive directorSubmitted: 09/19/2014

RHINELANDER - A familiar face will lead a Northwoods organization dedicated to helping individuals and families.

Tamara Feest became Executive Director of the Human Service Center earlier this month.

The center is located in Rhinelander and serves Oneida, Vilas and Forest counties.

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UWSP student, instructor teaming up on safety appSubmitted: 09/19/2014

STEVENS POINT - Two members of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point community are developing a safety app that allows students to track the location of friends when they go out on the town.

Stevens Point Journal Media (http://spjour.nl/1DmZSyb ) reports UWSP senior Jenna Furger and instructor Drew Frisk are working together to conduct the smartphone program's first beta test. They hope to roll out the app within the next couple of months.

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Fall color contest looking for best shots in NW WisconsinSubmitted: 09/19/2014

PRICE COUNTY - Fall could give you the chance to win some cash for your photography. Travel Northwest Wisconsin is looking for the best fall photos from the area.

The photos must come from areas in northwestern Wisconsin like Iron, Rusk and Sawyer County. Price County Director of Tourism Kathy Reinhard believes her area will offer good opportunities for photographers.

"It's just spectacular. It doesn't matter if you're on the trails doing silent sports, motorized sports, or if you prefer the water trails canoeing down the Flambeau River, you'll find beautiful color throughout the county."

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Sentencing planned for attack on corrections officerSubmitted: 09/19/2014

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WAUSAU - A man convicted of attacking a jail officer in Marathon County will learn his sentence today.

22 year old Fredrick Morris pled no contest to agrivated battery and battery by a prisoner.

Prosecutors say Morris was the inmate who threw a punch which knocked a Marathon County jail officer unconscious.

The attack happened last year in March.

Julie Christensen was critically injured and admitted to the hospital.

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