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NEWS STORIES

Central Wisconsin Potatoes - From Field to ForkSubmitted: 10/09/2012

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PLOVER - The rush to pick the potato crop has hit central Wisconsin.

A rainy day couldn't spoil Tuesday's harvest.

But beyond just digging those spuds, we explore the life of a potato - all the way to your plate.

It's the peak of potato harvest season in central Wisconsin, and Gagas Farms near Stevens Point is in full swing.

"Some of our neighbors are claiming really fantastic yields. Some of our fields were, and others have been kind of average. Quality has been pretty good this year," says Cliff Gagas of Gagas Farms.

Cliff Gagas has been growing potatoes here as long as he can remember.

His farm produces several different varieties.

Today they were harvesting Burbanks, which will eventually go to McCain Foods near Plover.

They'll get there after being sorted, the rocks taken out, and put on one of as many as 60 truckloads in a day.

Those Burbank potatoes from Gagas come to McCain.

"It goes through a washing, a scrubbing, a peeling, then a preheating, which takes the potato to a temperature where it's able to be cut. We then cut the potato into strips, which in turn is French fries, we cook them, fry them, freeze them, and then package them and send them out as a delicious McCain product," says Dan Snyder of McCain.

Those potatoes don't come from just anywhere - it's mostly local.

"We get 70 percent of our raw product from the central sands area, which is about a 30 mile radius from the Plover facility," he says.

After McCain's packages the products, it heads to supermarkets all over the region - and country.

Shopping at the store, you can get anything from hash browns to crinkle cut fries to potato wedges for your table at home.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 07/23/2014

- EPA workers are inside Lindey Cleaners this week. We look at how the clean-up process is going and what it means for the City of Rhinelander.

- A new type of foundation could give homebuilders a better and more efficient way of building homes. The idea and production of the improvement starts right here in the Northwoods. Coming up on Newswatch 12 you'll hear how the composite panels can help improve living conditions in basements, and how the panels compare to a tradition concrete foundation.

We'll have the details on those stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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Woman dies in swimming accidentSubmitted: 07/23/2014

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STAR LAKE - Update: 7/23/14


47-year-old Karen Wessell of Star Lake died in yesterday's swimming accident in Vilas County. A boater pulled 2 people out of the water after they started drowning on Star Lake. We now know Wessell died shortly after.

Wessell went under water during a rescue attempt.

The Vilas County Sheriff says 3 women and 4 kids were along Trampers Trail. 3 boys swam across the channel and were told to come back. They got tired swimming back to shore so the women had to help. Wessell used herself to push one of the boys above the water to keep him from going under. A boater saw them, pulled them out, and started doing CPR.

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Gardens need some help with large temperature swings in summerSubmitted: 07/23/2014

RHINELANDER - Northwoods heat the past few days forced plants to endure different weather, but you don't need to do extra gardening just because it's hot.

Experts at Hanson's Garden Village in Rhinelander say plants can manage the heat just fine. On hot, sunny days, many plants will wilt, but that doesn't mean they need more water.

"If the soil is moist on a hot day, I wouldn't water more. That's probably more harm. The plant can only take up so much moisture at a time, so I would just hold off on watering," says Sue Hanson, Hanson's Garden Village Co-Owner.

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Hoggie Doggies celebrates National Hot Dog DaySubmitted: 07/23/2014

WOODRUFF - Americans will eat about 7 billion hot dogs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Wednesday, millions of Americans celebrated National Hot Dog day. That was the case in the Northwoods.

Hoggie Doggies Snack Shack is a staple in Woodruff. Their All-American favorite is the Chicago Style Dog.

The owner Judy Rossi has been there for 12 years and says they go through a lot of dogs.

"Last season we went through almost 17,000 hot dogs. This year we're on track for about 18,000," says Rossi. "Statistically we go through about 8 tons of potatoes in a season, which is close to 16,000 pounds for our homemade french fries. Those are some big numbers for this little place."

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Fourth suspect at large in interstate shootingSubmitted: 07/23/2014

MILWAUKEE - Authorities are looking for a fourth suspect in a shooting on an interstate in Milwaukee County.

Sheriff David Clarke says people in a minivan and another vehicle were shooting at each other in a ``running gun battle'' on Interstate 43 Tuesday afternoon. One vehicle struck the other and the minivan spun into the ditch near Fox Point. Three people in the van were arrested. Authorities say a fourth person left the scene.

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EPA cleans up chemicals from Lindey Cleaners buildingSubmitted: 07/23/2014

RHINELANDER - You could find EPA crews cleaning chemicals out a building in Rhinelander Wednesday.

It's been a year and a half since the city decided something needed to be done about the deteriorating Lindey Cleaners.

You might not notice much change on the outside of Lindey Cleaners, but inside crews from the Environmental Protection Agency were hard at work.

The building on Stevens Street has been empty since 2009. EPA workers think 100 to 150 different chemicals were inside the building.

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Man claims he robbed bank to pay off court obligationsSubmitted: 07/23/2014

RICE LAKE - A northern Wisconsin man probably could have found a better way to pay his court obligations.

The 19-year-old Rice Lake man told police he robbed a local bank to get money for court obligations...so he wouldn't go to jail.

The man was arrested last week.

He had been spotted running from the Sterling Bank in Rice Lake.

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