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NEWS STORIES

Northern Owls Moving SouthSubmitted: 03/27/2013
Story By Ryan Michaels

Northern Owls Moving South
MINOCQUA - You'll notice birds chirping and eagles soaring as spring slowly comes around.
But you may hear different tunes outside in the Northwoods this spring, as well, ones that "hoot".

This year's long winter has sent some north-of-the-border owls south into Wisconsin. The northern hawk owl, the great gray owl, and the boreal owl are not native to Wisconsin.

But because of food shortages in Canada the owls have flown south and they may run into a different problem here in the Northwoods, according to the Assistant Director of Education Courtney Wright at the Northwoods Wildlife Center.

"When we have a lot of freezing and thawing, or we do get a late snow pack, they can't really get through the ice crust that's on top of the snow to get down to their food. Now that's not necessarily the case for great grey owls or other owls that live around here, so it can very based on the bird too."

The three species of owl not normally seen have been spotted in Door, Ashland, Douglas, and as far south as Racine Counties.

If you happen to spot one of these non-native owls the DNR would like to know about it. Fill out a rare bird sighting form by following the link below.


Related Weblinks:
Rare Bird Sighting Form

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 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - The Oneida-Vilas Transit Commission will get its long-awaited federal funding installment by October 4.

The timing means no Northwoods Transit Connections drivers will have to voluntarily furlough their pay, but the requirement of 24-hour advance notice for rides will stay in place.

Transit Commission Chair Erv Teichmiller learned the news over the weekend.

The commission is waiting on an expected payment of $300,000 from the federal government. In 2016, that money came in early September. As of last Friday, the commission wasn't expecting the payment until as late as November.

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RHINELANDER - A large open lot on Rhinelander's east side could soon fill in with a chain restaurant.

Cory Moritz-Hoffmann and her husband hope to build a Pizza Ranch next to Kwik Trip on Eisenhower Parkway.  The pair of former Pine Lake firefighters got the idea about six years ago when they first went to a Pizza Ranch in Iowa.

They considered pursing a franchise then, but it was more than they could afford at the time.  About two years ago, the Hoffmanns contacted an investor and saw an opportunity to turn their dream into a reality.

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander factory that makes smoke flavoring caught fire early Monday morning.
 
Shortly before 6:00 a.m.,  Rhinelander, Crescent and Newbold Fire Departments responded to a fire at Red Arrow Products on Rhinelander's west side.

An employee says there were about eight workers inside at the time.

No one was injured.

"Flames were coming out of a conveyor area as high as the roof. We made an interior attack and knocked that flame down. Came in from the other side of the partition wall, then made another interior attack and knocked that down," says Chief Terry Williams.

As of 7:30 a.m. Monday morning, firefighters were still working to make sure the flames were out.

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MINOCQUA - The Minocqua Town Board approved spending nearly $8,000 on a study for the public fishing pier on Highway 51 in Minocqua.

The findings will help board members decide whether to replace the entire bridge or just repair parts of it.

Public Works Director Mark Pertile says the exact age of the pier is unknown but he guesses it's around 100 years old.

"When you look underneath you'll see some of the problem areas. Some of the things we check are the railings to make sure they are stable. But the wood [is starting to] rot," explained Pertile.

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RHINELANDER - Caramel apples seem to be a go-to treat this time of year, but a tough growing season almost made them hard to find this Fall.

Fun Factory Sweet Shoppe in Rhinelander only uses Granny Smith apples for its caramel apples.

Throughout the last few weeks, manager Judy Fritz says she had trouble finding enough green apples in the Northwoods.

Stores said bad crops and little rainfall made the Granny Smith apples scarce this season.

She eventually found some sold in bulk in Milwaukee to bring up north.

Fun Factory is very particular about their apples, so in the meantime, Judy hand-picked from the produce aisles in local stores.

"We always make sure that there are no bumps or bruises. We want a nice, perfect apple," says Fritz.


Judy says you shouldn't worry about getting your hands on one of her caramel apples.

Shipments of granny smith apples from Washington State have started to come in to a local store she works with.

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"I love seeing things and seeing what they could be. [Taking] old things and turning them into something that's useful and practical," said Mike.

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RHINELANDER - With the push of a button and the whining of a winch, John Wendt singlehandedly symbolizes the end of a season.

"You see the changing of the leaves, I just love being out here every day," Wendt said.

Wednt hauls boats for Schoeder's RV & Marine in Rhinelander. Starting in September, he loads up fishing boats, pontoons, and jet skis and puts them away for the season.

"The weather's been nice, everybody doesn't want to put their boats away yet," Wendt said.  "But as soon as the weather starts turning, that's when it'll hit the fan."

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