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College students fill staff needs at WPSSubmitted: 06/13/2013
Story By Kailey Burton


RHINELANDER - Severe storms and construction during the summer often leave Wisconsin Public Service short-handed. Luckily summer also means college students are back in town, with time on their hands.

"Wisconsin Public Service for a number of years has been employing students throughout the summer to do our maintenance on our electric and gas type facilities," said Leah Van Zile with WPS.

Checking gas meters for leaks is not difficult- a sensor "sniffs" the ground and meters for natural gas and points out leaks. Workers then spray a soapy mix on the meter and watch for bubbles to pinpoint the leak. The process is fairly simple, but very important. Hiring college students to handle the job frees up full-time employees for bigger issues.

"If we have power outages or any other kind of emergencies those employees are available to respond to those and other customer work isn't pushed back because of the maintenance we need to do every few years," said Van Zile.

If you see young people in neon WPS vests in your yard, don't be alarmed, but DO consider how your dog might respond to a stranger on their turf. Every year several WPS workers are attacked by dogs.


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 06/24/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

A 7-year-old Rhinelander boy is being called a hero after rescuing his siblings from a house fire on Tuesday. We'll show you how the community is honoring him.

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And we'll show you how they are cleaning up yesterday's diesel spill in Woodruff that closed a highway for about 5 hours.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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Mike John is going to be a junior. Harmon Marien became a freshman right before the state tournament started.

"Wednesday previous I was in 8th grade and then that Saturday and Sunday we took second in the high school tournament," Northland Pines Freshman Marien said. "That was pretty cool, good way to start high school."

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14 die in widespread floodingSubmitted: 06/24/2016

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An overhaul of the state's 111-year-old civil service system takes effect take that day. It will leave 30,000 state workers and an untold number of job applicants to face new hiring and firing protocols.

Mandatory pre-hiring examinations will be a thing of the past. So will bumping rights, which protect senior employees from layoffs.

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Supporters insist the changes enable state agencies to fill retirees' positions quickly and impose proper discipline.

Democrats and other critics say Republicans are trading a clean, fair employment system for political patronage and cronyism.

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WAUWATOSA - Police say an officer in a Milwaukee suburb has fatally shot a man in a park.

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