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NEWS STORIES

Local Emergency Responders Upgrade FacilitiesSubmitted: 05/19/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray and Lyndsey Stemm


Photos By Shardaa Gray and Lyndsey Stemm

LITTLE RICE - Summer can be a busy time for first responders, especially in places with a great outdoors.

As the demand for emergency services grows, some local fire crews and EMTs are updating their facilities.

The Little Rice Fire Department upgraded their canteen unit.

It's carries water, gatorade and food to keep crews fueled out in the field.

Plum Lake gave the department a $6,000 grant.

Plum Lake Resource supervisor Bill O'Brion also works at the department.

The new unit will be an asset for all neighboring firefighters.

"We've done lots of funding for different fire departments, but this is a unique project where the emergency service unit will respond to any fire department that needs the assistance or surrounding areas if they ask for help." O'Brion said.

Fire Chief Bob Reimert says this is not only essential to the community, but it keeps his staff busy as well.

"It's just what the people needed. It keeps the elderly people on our department busy," said Reimert.

"It gives them something to do. It gives them a part in the department which they need."

The canteen unit is stocked full and ready to go.

And The Crandon Area Rescue Squad can now comfortably house all it's members.

They built a $1 million, 5,200 square foot addition. They also remodeled the existing 2,500 square foot building into sleeping rooms for the EMTs.

About five years ago the squad found itself outgrowing the old building.

"We had people that wanted to join that lived too far out and they either had to stay in town. But there was no place for them to stay because they didn't have relatives or anybody here. So they used to sleep either on the floor or on a couch that was there," says DeElda Okrasinski, Crandon Area Rescue Squad President.

The squad has 21 members who serve Crandon and surrounding areas.

They received a grant that covered about half the million-dollar cost. But they plan to hold some fundraising events in the future to help pay off the rest.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON -

The state Department of Natural Resources will unveil a new endangered species license plate tomorrow.

The plate features a photograph of Glory.

Glory is the eagle that stars in education programs at a Nature Center in Milwaukee.

The design was chosen from more than 2,000 entries.

Two other endangered species plates are currently available.

One features a wolf.

The eagle plate will replace the other, a badger plate.

The plates' fees include an annual $25 donation to the DNR's endangered species fund.

(Copyright 2015 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)


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CONOVER - The first stretch of the Conover-Phelps trail may be ready in the fall.

Crews started carving out the first part of the trail, a 3.2 mile stretch, last week.

The trail starts at Community Park in Conover and continues across County Highway K to Highway 45. It runs 
parallel to the highway along old railway beds. The trail will end at Muskrat Creek Road in Conover.

The trail is for non-motorized vehicles except for snowmobiles, which will be allowed in the winter. 

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BIG FLATS - The Adams County Sheriff's Office believes a 62-year-old man set a mobile home on fire in Big Flats, north of Friendship, last Friday. The Sheriff's Office says that the body of the man's 92-year-old mother was likely still inside at the time, dead of an apparent gunshot wound.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - A stretch of Highway 8 in Oneida County will get smoother after some resurfacing over the next few months. The project started Monday on a section of the road between Rhinelander and Tomahawk. It's been several years since that area of Highway 8 has been repaved.

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ANTIGO - Excitement and joy filled faces in Antigo Monday afternoon.

Habitat for Humanity of Langlade County broke ground on their 9th home, but it will take some hands-on work before the family can move in.

David and Theresa Ferrel have been renting for the last 10 years. This will be the first home they will own.

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HURLEY - Iron County officials say other developers with better qualifications than Gogebic Taconite are interested in mining ore in the Penokee Hills.

County Board members met last week with representatives from La Pointe Iron Co., which owns much of the land in northern Wisconsin that Gogebic Taconite tried to develop before pulling out in February.

One county board member says Gogebic Taconite's performance may make it harder for another developer to gain the public's trust.

He says county residents will likely remain divided on the mine because of environmental concerns.

But if state and federal regulators can guarantee the environment won't suffer, he says the mine might be worth pursuing because it could bring jobs to an area that desperately needs them.

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MARATHON COUNTY - Warren Rydell doesn't mind the buzz or stingers.

"You don't need to be afraid of bees, you just have to love them for what they are," said Rydell.

Rydell has raised bees since the 1980s. Now with 35 colonies and thousands of bees in Marathon County, he's produced hundreds of pounds of honey just this year.

"We're having success with it," said Rydell, who's with the Marathon County Beekeepers Association. "A little at a time. You make mistakes, but it's getting better."

But here and across the country, bee populations have been on the decline for years. Bees are important pollinators for the environment, which is why the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will meet next week to devise a pollinator protection plan.

"Whether people know it or not, for every three tablespoons of food you eat, two of those table spoons are produced by bees, and without them, we're not going to be able to feed people," said Rydell.

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