RHINELANDER - Winter weather in the Northwoods can be tough on some people. But we don't usually think about how the climate affects the deer population.
D-N-R Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz gets paid to keep track of deer numbers year-around.
Because winter affects the population, The W-S-I scale is his best friend.
“The W-S-I metric or Winter Severity Index is the number one metric in deer management. We write down the minimum temperature of the day and the snow depth of the day. When the snow depth gets to 18-inches or higher, that's a mark; when the temperature gets below zero, that's also a mark.”
So far this season's W-S-I comes in at a mild 20-point. Holtz has been around long enough to see what a bad winter can do.
“In 2007, at this time we were over 100. So you could imagine that deer were starving to death. They were dying of exposure, getting run down by coyotes. There were all sorts of things going on that were limiting the deer population.”
The 2007 winter cut deer totals in a big way. But thanks to a string of mild winters, deer numbers are at a normal level.
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.
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.
MINOCQUA - The Minocqua police department could have a new police chief in early May. David Jeager has been the acting chief of police since October.
He will undergo a background check, drug screening, and psychological exam before he is named the current chief of police. He would be replacing former Police Chief Andy Gee. Jeager is excited about what the future may bring.
"I'm extremely excited," says Minocqua acting Police Chief David Jeager. "I believe that this department has great potential and we have a great group of people working for this department,” says Jeager.
“We have great officers, we have great dispatchers, we have great administration.I feel that we can really provide a service to this community that's second to none,” says Jeager.
Jeager has worked in law enforcement for more than 20 years. He's worked at the Minocqua Police Department for 6 years.
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