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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
Rhinelander Premier Resort Tax will be on spring ballotSubmitted: 11/23/2014

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RHINELANDER - Some Wisconsin cities rely on tax money from tourists to pay for certain things.

Rhinelander's city administrator wants to know if people would support raising sales tax on tourism related businesses.

The question will be on the ballot next spring.

City leaders think the extra tax could bring in about $400,000 every year.

Businesses like restaurants and department stores would see the increase.

The money would help improve the city's roads.

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Opening weekend deer hunt number downSubmitted: 11/23/2014

RHINELANDER - Hunters from all over got out on opening weekend to enjoy the start of gun hunting season.

But this year's opening weekend hasn't been as successful as last year's.

About 103 total deer were registered on opening day.

DNR workers say that number is actually down 25% from last season, and that downward trend is continuing into Sunday.

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Bottled milk makes a comback in Crandon Submitted: 11/23/2014

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CRANDON - Not many people buy bottled milk anymore. But a locally owned store in Crandon recently brought it back.

"Grandpa sold bottled milk in 1935 when he came to Crandon and for many years after that,"

Now third generation Jay Schaefer is continuing the tradition at Schaefer's IGA in Crandon.

He's selling another locally owned business product on his shelves.

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DNR announces new wetland restoration planSubmitted: 11/23/2014

MADISON - The state Department of Natural Resources and federal environmental officials have developed a new plan to promote wetland restoration.

Currently the DNR requires parties that get permits to fill in wetlands to offset the impact by either restoring wetlands elsewhere or by purchasing credits from banks established by other entities that have done restoration work.

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Wisconsin gun hunt beginsSubmitted: 11/22/2014

MADISON - A Wisconsin tradition is continuing as the state's nine-day gun deer hunt gets underway.

The season opens as the sun rises Saturday and will run through Nov. 30. Forecasts for opening weekend called for freezing rain and fog with highs ranging from the upper 30s to the low 40s both days.

As of Wednesday the state Department of Natural Resources had sold 615,644 licenses, about 15,400 fewer than at the same point last year. The agency sold 635,165 licenses in all last year.

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Tiffany, Wisconsin GOP skeptical of billions of dollars of budget requests from state agenciesSubmitted: 11/22/2014

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MINOCQUA - A quick glance at Wisconsin's governmental finances could convince you the state has a hole to fill.

Projections show the state will take in $2.2 billion fewer than its agencies want to spend from mid-2015 to mid-2017.

The state legislature and Gov. Scott Walker will need to figure out how to make the numbers work.

Northwoods Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) points out the money the agencies want is more than the agencies will get.

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Wives and girlfriends enjoy Holiday Open HouseSubmitted: 11/22/2014

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RHINELANDER - The start of the deer hunting season normally leaves wives and girlfriends at home by themselves, but an organization in Rhinelander wants to get them out of the house.

This was the first time Downtown Rhinelander Inc. hosted Holiday Open House Saturday. Businesses along Brown street welcomed wives, girlfriends and families into the their stores.

The owner of Hext Theater in Rhinelander believes this is kind of like a kick-off for the holiday season.

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