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NEWS STORIES

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

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.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Former 'woman of the year' pleads no contest to felony chargesSubmitted: 07/21/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - Last year's Eagle River "woman of the year" will soon be considered a convicted felon.

Monday, Michelle Albaugh pled no contest to a felony for stealing $16,000 from the Eagle River Jaycees.

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50-year-old airlifted after getting hit by car on HWY 51Submitted: 07/21/2014

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MINOCQUA - One person is in the hospital after getting hit by a car on Highway 51 in Minocqua Tuesday.

The person was eventually airlifted to St Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield.

It happened around 3 p.m. just north of the north loop in Minocqua.

50-year-old Pennae Biersach from Forest, Wisconsin was originally sent to Howard Young Medical Center after the crash.

There is no word on Biersach's condition.

Police are still investigating the crash.

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ACLU objects to full court hearing gay marriageSubmitted: 07/21/2014

MADISON - Gay couples challenging Wisconsin's ban on same-sex marriages are objecting to the state's request that the full 7th Circuit Court of Appeals hear arguments in the case.

American Civil Liberties Union attorneys representing eight same-sex couples challenging the ban filed an objection Monday to the state's request that the entire appeals court hear the arguments.

The ACLU says that would delay the appeal and put a burden on the court without any benefit.

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New opportunity for Northwoods potato seed farmSubmitted: 07/21/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - A Northwoods potato seed farm recently shared a big announcement.

Felix Zeloski Farms operates 1900 acres in Eagle River.

Zeloski Farms in Eagle River will now run under new ownership.

"It's been a real opportunity for all of us who are employed to do something that's important to the industry and we love it. We enjoy working every day here," said Ron Krueger.

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Police: Drunken 12-year-old taken to hospitalSubmitted: 07/21/2014

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WAUSAU - Wausau police say a drunken 12-year-old boy was taken to a hospital and kept overnight.

Lt. Mark Pankow says police were called to a Wausau home Saturday night after a neighbor of the boy reported he was intoxicated.

Pankow says a blood test at the hospital determined the boy's blood-alcohol level was ``well over'' the legal limit to drive, which is 0.08 percent in Wisconsin.

Pankow says the boy admitted drinking vodka, and told police he drinks alcohol ``about every three days or so.''

Investigators found empty alcohol containers in the boy's room. The boy was taken to a juvenile shelter after being released from the hospital.

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Hwy 51 closed by Minocqua bridgeSubmitted: 07/21/2014

MINOCQUA - Important news for folks heading to work, or summer camp. You'll need to plan for construction work on parts of Highway 51 if you're heading to Minocqua.

Lanes on highway 51, both Northbound and Southbound will be closed. Crews need to do some bridge maintenance. The Wisconsin DOT hopes all the work will be done by the end of the day on Thursday.

Those lane closures start at Country Club Road and go to West Park Avenue at Minocqua Lake.

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Car break ins have police warning people to lock cars, put away valuablesSubmitted: 07/21/2014

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MERRILL - The Merrill Police Department wants you to keep your car doors locked. That's because a number of cars were broken into this weekend. There were also a few attempted burglaries.

All of the break ins happened in the neighborhoods north and east of the middle school in Merrill.

The Merrill Police Chief says this isn't unusual for this time of the year.

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