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NEWS STORIES

Northwoods white birch face disease, insect problemsSubmitted: 04/08/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com

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NORTHWOODS - White birch trees help define our Northwoods forests.

But these trees can be threatened by many different pests.

White birch is a pioneer species, meaning it grows well in landscapes that have been hit by fire or otherwise cleared.

Right now, as a whole, the Northwoods white birch population is getting older quickly.

"As those trees age, their systems are not as durable as when they're nice, healthy, younger, vigorous trees," says DNR Forester John Gillen.

Diseases in white birch are often due to more than one factor.

Many trees have become dehydrated or defoliated, especially in the drought of the last decade.

"Then, a big influx of insects may attack the trees because they're under stress. That, often times, is what ends up killing individual trees or a stand of white birch," Gillen says.

Insects like the bronze birch borer, birch leafminer, and forest tent caterpillar can be common in the Northwoods.

That goes for white birch both in the forest and in your yard.

"A good thing to keep an eye out for in all tree species is pay attention to what's happening with the crown of the tree - if there's any defoliation happening, or if the coloration of the leaves is changing," says Gillen.

The best way to keep your white birch healthy is to make sure it's always well watered.

That makes it strong enough to fight off insects and diseases.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Fire exit sign caused school fireSubmitted: 11/21/2014

PRENTICE - Administrators now know what caused a fire in the Prentice School art room, and it's ironic.

A sign that guides people to an exit in case of a fire shorted out.

The fire happened last Tuesday.

No one was in the school at the time because of a snow day.

The fire was contained to the art room.

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Drew's Piggly Wiggly welcoming new ownersSubmitted: 11/20/2014

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MERRILL - The Drew family will pass its Piggly Wiggly grocery store on to a new family soon.

Brothers Steve and Phil Drew own Drew's Piggly Wiggly in Merrill.

Their family has had a grocery store in Merrill since 1944.

They've owned the Piggly Wiggly for 25 years.

For the Drews, it's always been about family.

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Lincoln County boasts high HPV vaccine numbersSubmitted: 11/20/2014

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MERRILL - One Northwoods County sits near the top of the list when it comes to vaccinating for HPV.

The Human Papillomavirus can cause certain types of cancer, like cervical cancer.

A vaccine for the virus came out in 2006.

Lincoln County had an HPV campaign running this summer.

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Hundreds of Christmas presents donated through Operation Christmas ChildSubmitted: 11/20/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - Hundreds of kids in third world countries will get to open a Christmas gift this year. It's all thanks to people who donate a shoebox filled with supplies for kids.

The boxes are part of a world-wide organization called Operation Christmas Child.

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Eagle River sees 91% milfoil reduction in chain; planners credit local commission & volunteersSubmitted: 11/20/2014

EAGLE RIVER - You can call the Eagle River Chain's invasive species project a success so far. Eurasian water milfoil has been reduced by 91.3 percent since 2007, but work isn't done.

Eddie Heath, aquatic ecologist for Onterra LLC has been working on the project. Onterra is the firm that does the planning for the Unified Lower Eagle River Chain of Lakes Commission. He say the success is above and beyond what they've seen on other lakes across the state, and it has served as a model for other systems.

"By which we learn from some mistakes, we build upon some successes, and we move forward in an adaptive management strategy," Heath said.

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Kenosha man charged in 11-month-old daughter's killingSubmitted: 11/20/2014

KENOSHA - A 34-year-old Kenosha man is charged with killing his 11-month-old daughter.

Russell Rose Jr. was charged Thursday with first-degree intentional homicide, aggravated battery, strangulation, arson and recklessly endangering safety. He is being held on $1 million bond.

Police say Rose was arrested Tuesday. Officers found the girl when they responded to a call in which a woman was screaming that someone had killed her baby. Police say the girl was severely bruised and her face was disfigured.

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Drs. Foster and Smith founder thinks company will stay in Rhinelander after being sold to PetcoSubmitted: 11/20/2014

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RHINELANDER - The national pet supply company Petco will buy one of the Northwoods' largest employers.

About 530 people work at Drs. Foster and Smith in Rhinelander.

Drs. Foster and Smith sells pet supplies online.

One of the company's founders doesn't think the company will move.

"I have no reason to believe they're [going to] leave Rhinelander," says Drs. Foster and Smith founder Race Foster. "Marty Smith and I actually talked to many prospective buyers. The one condition we put was it cannot leave Rhinelander at least in the foreseeable future."

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