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NEWS STORIES

Pelican Fire Department Practices for Ice RescuesSubmitted: 12/27/2012
Story By Lane Kimble

RHINELANDER - Across the Northwoods, you can find anywhere from 6 to 9 inches of ice on the lakes. But in many places, snowmobiles and ice fishermen can still break through.

Thursday a 55-year old Hayward man died when his snowmobile went through the ice on the Chippewa Flowage.

It's for scenarios like that, that a Northwoods rescue team took to the ice to practice.

You might have done a double take when driving through Rhinelander Thursday night.

The Pelican Fire Department had three fire trucks on the County G bridge over the Pelican River around 7:30.

But no one actually was in danger. They were practicing various hazardous rescue scenarios.

That included an ice rescue with live bodies.

The crews used what's called a line launcher to rescue some of the people.

The line launcher has a 500 foot range.

Crews hope their practice reminds you to be cautious on the waterways this winter.

Along with the Hayward death, a snowmobile went through the ice near Eagle River Thursday afternoon.

And a man's body had to be recovered after he went through the ice in Outagamie County.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Public transportation could come to the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 08/26/2014

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NORTHWOODS - Changes could come to public transportation in a few Northwoods counties.

Last week, the Oneida and Forest County boards approved supporting the creation of the Northwoods Transit Commission. The commission would improve and offer more transportation options for people in Oneida and Forest Counties.

"Right now, there are a lot of different, disconnected transportation services that are provided; be it by city, county, or by private entities. The transit commission would help put this all together," said Dianne Jacobson, director of Oneida County's Department on Aging.

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Federal appeals court hears arguments over Wisconsin gay marriage banSubmitted: 08/26/2014

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CHICAGO - Gay couples in Wisconsin could find out soon if they can legally marry in the state.

Federal appeals judges heard arguments on Wisconsin's gay marriage ban in Chicago Tuesday.

A federal judge struck down the ban in June, but the state is appealing to a higher court. The case has been combined with a similar case coming from Indiana, which also has a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Camilla Taylor was representing one of the gay couples in the suit. She said the judges were focused on how the ban impacts the children of gay couples.

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Woman who tried to hire someone to kill fiance will spend about three years in prisonSubmitted: 08/26/2014

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WAUSAU - Jessica Strom will spend about three years in prison for offering a man $1,000 and sex to kill her fiance.

The 33 year old Merrill woman was sentenced Tuesday.

"Out of the billions of people that could potentially be partners in life [the] two of you chose the single worst combination," says Circuit Court Judge Neal Nielsen.

Strom's fiance was former Lincoln County district attorney John Schellpfeffer.

The state argued this wasn't the first time Strom and Schellpfeffer had problems.

"In 2009 there was a criminal damage to property complaint, disorderly conduct," says Prosecuting Attorney Ralph Uttke. "Mr. Schellpfeffer called saying Ms. Strom was smashing the window to his house with a hammer and left, she was arrested a short time later."

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Northwoods biologists consider options to increase average size of panfishSubmitted: 08/26/2014

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NORTHWOODS - Fishermen catch about 60 million panfish per year in Wisconsin.

But the size of those panfish has been getting smaller.

Overharvest seems to be part of the problem on many lakes.

Now, the DNR is proposing a way to increase the size of bluegill, crappie, pumpkinseed, and perch on several lakes.

Their regulation plan comes from decades of data collection.

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Woman faces felony for illegally keeping a gun and selling itSubmitted: 08/26/2014

ONEIDA COUNTY - A 28-year-old Merrill woman faces a felony for illegally keeping a gun. She also sold it to an undercover police officer.

Bonnie Wolff was arrested earlier Tuesday morning for selling a stolen assault rifle officer in Rhinelander. Wolff is a convicted felon. She's not allowed to have a gun under state law.

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Small businesses like new grocery store find success in Boulder JunctionSubmitted: 08/26/2014

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BOULDER JUNCTION - One thousand people live in Boulder Junction. Small businesses may struggle in towns that are a similar size. But that's not necessarily the case for the small Northwoods community.

"We're working hard at it. It's been good," said Coontail Market co-owner Steve Coon.

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Woman dies in Lincoln County crashSubmitted: 08/26/2014

MERRILL - A woman died in a crash near Merrill Tuesday morning.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's office got a call just after six this morning.

The accident happened in the Town of Pine River on County Road G east of French Ridge Road.

The driver was the only person in the car which left the road and crashed. She died of her injuries at the scene.

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