ST. GERMAIN - Plans for a snowmobile trail in St. Germain have some residents upset with Vilas County.
Tom and Karen Martens have filed a lawsuit to stop the county from building a snowmobile trail that would cross their right of way on Highway 155.
Normally the county can use the right of way for highway purposes. But in 1937 when that right was granted to the highway department for the Martens' land it was through an easement.
The Martens say that means they're the ones who have to give permission for a snowmobile trail to cross their land.
"This is an easement for highway purposes as long as so used. The question is, is a snowmobile trail on the easement a highway purpose? That's what this lawsuit is about. We're in no way trying to stop the snowmobile trail. All we're trying to do is stop the trail from being on our property," says Tom Martens.
The Martens say they're also concerned about safety. President-elect of the Bo-Boen Snowmobile Club, Tom Christensen, says the DOT and Vilas County have deemed it safe.
He also says a snowmobile trail is proper highway use.
"Vilas County and the Department of Transportation have both agreed that the right of way along 155 is a right of way that allows for snowmobile traffic, snowmobile trail system to be placed along the side of Highway 155," says Christensen.
The Martens and other residents have also sent a petition to St. Germain to prevent the trail from crossing private land down the road. The town hasn't made a decision about the petition yet because the ordinance isn't specific about snowmobile trails.
There should be a ruling on the lawsuit December 18th.
RHINELANDER - Our record breaking snow storm left more than 6,000 people across the Northwoods without power.
WPS had to rely on 20 extra crews from Green Bay, Wausau and Menominee to restore power.
But getting to the outages was a challenge.
A representative for WPS says workers are expecting even more outages to be reported.
"Not all of the back roads are plowed yet and that's where a lot of outages are located," said Leah Van Zile, WPS Community Relations leader. "Throughout the day as the temperatures warm, we expect to receive additional calls due to the unloading of snow off of the tree branches."
Eagle River had one of the highest number of customers affected by the outages.
Representatives for WPS say this was one of the hardest winters they've had to deal with.
"We've had some really, really severe wind chills which has really made the temperatures below zero. Typically, only in emergencies do we work in those conditions," said Van Zile. "But pretty much any other time, whether it's a rain storm, a snow storm, a wind storm, our guys are out there working, getting that power back on."
The number of outages dropped below 4,000 since earlier today.
If you're still without power to call 1800-450-7240.
ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Do bugs seem to be everywhere in your home, even though there's snow outside? One type of bug in Wisconsin spends the winter inside our houses! They look like Lady Bugs, but they are actually not native to this country.
"They're actually called a multi-colored Asian Lady Beetle. They can be anywhere from a pale yellow to a darker orange and they have black spots on them but you'll see some that don't have spots," says Kerri Ison, UW Oneida County Extension.
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