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NEWS STORIES

Vilas County Changes Course, Will Allow Voluntary ReductionSubmitted: 11/26/2012
Story By Matt Doyle

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EAGLE RIVER - Earlier this year the Vilas County board rejected a proposed voluntary staff reduction.

That meant more than 10 employees would have to be cut.

But with those cuts getting closer, the board back-tracked.

Now it will let staff members take a voluntary reduction afterall.

County Board Chairman Steve Favorite says people realized how much layoffs cost.

"We do have a severance package," Favorite said.

"Then we're also self-funded through unemployment. So when they saw at the budget hearings how much it cost to layoff people, they were in a sense a little shell-shocked. I think that got a little more buy-in when this voluntary reduction in force came back."

Vilas County now has two options to save money -- through voluntary reductions and layoffs.

Favorite says they worked with all department heads to find savings but the voluntary reduction is county-wide.

"It's available for all employees," Favorite said.

"People who have been here one year, to as long as 30 plus years. It's a calculated payment benefit based on your years of service and your annual earnings."

Employees who want to take the voluntary reduction have until early January to decide.

The County Board will hold another meeting Tuesday at 9:00 am to finalize the 2013 budget.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Cranberry harvest numbers may slide compared to last several years Submitted: 08/19/2014

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MANITOWISH WATERS - Cranberry growers in Wisconsin work hard every year to produce the fruit. But they may not be able to harvest as many berries this season.

Cranberry growers don't expect an overly large crop this year. This comes after several years of great harvests in the state.

The numbers might not be as high, but farmers say they won't be disappointed with this year's cranberry results.

"Overall I think it will be a decent crop," says Bob Winter, owner and manager of Vilas Cranberry Company. "There's been some hail in the southern part of the state and even in western Wisconsin, so that takes its toll, but cumulatively how much that really is remains to be seen. You never know until you get it all in the barn at the end of October."

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Will the highway department relocate?Submitted: 08/19/2014

RHINELANDER - The highway department may need to relocate.

Kwik Trip has made a formal offer to purchase the current highway department for a new highway Kwik Trip location.

If the purchase is approved, the highway department will move facilities. The details of the proposal have yet to be released. But, the county board has discussed the proposal in numerous closed sessions.

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Another option? Studying weevils' ability to control invasive species in Northwoods lakesSubmitted: 08/19/2014

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BOULDER JUNCTION - The problem of invasive Eurasian Watermilfoil in Northwoods lakes never seems to stop.

Lake groups can cut it, but it often grows back.

Chemical treatments often work, but they put artificial ingredients into lakes.

What if there was another option?

We found one group that's on the hunt for one.

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Some Rhinelander High School Students to get Chromebooks this upcoming school yearSubmitted: 08/19/2014

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RHINELANDER - Some students in the School District of Rhinelander will get Chromebooks starting this school year.

Freshman and sophomores at Rhinelander High School will get the computers to use at school and at home.

Some elementary and middle school students will also get to use them in the classroom.

Leaders think this will benefit students.

"They're not just learning about how to use the tool," says Instructional Technology Coordinator Heidi Catlin. "Digital literacy, digital citizenship, how to use it appropriately, when is it appropriate to use it, and the different resources that are out there."

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Price County Fair starts WednesdaySubmitted: 08/19/2014

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PHILLIPS - People come from as far away as Milwaukee and Green Bay every year for the Price County Fair.

This year's fair starts Wednesday.

The same fairgrounds area just outside of Phillips has hosted the fair for more than a century.

We caught up with organizers and helpers making some final preparations at the fair.

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First ever school Garden Symposium at TreehavenSubmitted: 08/19/2014

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TOMAHAWK - Treehaven in Tomahawk kicked off its first ever School Garden Symposium Tuesday.

Educators from schools all around the state were invited to attend. It's an opportunity for them to come and learn how to incorporate healthier habits into their schools.

"Some of them are new to gardening completely," said Jasmyn Schmidt, a presenter at the symposium. "So they're learning how to start a garden, what you have to do for a garden, and what supplies are needed to start a garden. Some of them are a year or two into their gardens and are looking to learn maintenance or funding strategies to keep those gardens going."

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Brand new Spudmobile hits the road in Wisconsin Submitted: 08/19/2014

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STEVENS POINT - The Spudmobile is Wisconsin's newest addition in potato education.

The Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association unveiled the Spudmobile at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in Stevens Point last week.

"It was a big project, 4 years of planning and development. It cost a lot of money and we don't want it to sit parked. We want to get it out there and get people touring through it and seeing it on the road," said Tamas Houlihan.

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