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Fire burns down hunting cabinSubmitted: 06/22/2013
Fire burns down hunting cabin
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

MERRILL - A fire in Merrill burned a hunting cabin to the ground.

It happened on Black Alder Road Friday morning.

The Merill fire department could see the smoke above the trees when they were en route. When firefighters got there the walls had already fallen in.

There was no electricity in the cabin, but there was reportedly lightning in the area.

Crews were there for about three hours-- the fire department is still investigating.



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 IN OTHER NEWS

MINOCQUA -
You can help the Oneida County Dive Team by grabbing your goggles and swim cap Saturday (June 23) morning.

Swimmers will launch from Torpy Park for the Minocqua Island Swim Challenge.

The race is one mile long, but people can choose to swim just 400 meters, too.

The water temperature will be about 65 degrees during the race.

"A lot of people will wear wet suits and be very comfortable. I have seen plenty of people go without and have no trouble," says Laura Fuhrman.

Money raised from the race will go to Oneida County's dive team.

They are first responders to water rescue calls.

"We just got our dark vision gear last year through fundraisers like this. It helps us be more efficient and safe," says Assistant Dive Team Leader, Michael Fraley.

You still have time to register in person Friday night from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Torpy Park.

Click below for more info.

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CHIPPEWA FALLS - A World War II veteran who spent more than a year as a prisoner of war is finally being awarded the Purple Heart.

The Leader-Telegram reports that 94-year-old Max Bergen will receive the medal Friday. The Wisconsin man says he's overwhelmed and stunned by the honor.

Bergen was serving on a bomb squadron when he was shot down over Germany in 1944. He was held prisoner at a camp in Austria for 14 months.

Bergen suffered shoulder and ankle wounds in the crash, but he had no paperwork about the injuries because he was immediately taken prisoner. Such documentation is needed for the medal that honors troops injured in combat.

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TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk worked for nearly 20 years to buy property to connect the city to nearby trail systems.

But bikers will have to wait another year for the connection.

The city now expects the path to be finished next August or September.

The project got pushed back because the Wisconsin Department of Transportation can't fund its part of the project this year.

Tomahawk is still ready for the addition.

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PELICAN - A group of neighbors in the Town of Pelican found a cluster of caterpillars near their homes on Lake Julia Road.

Last year, the plants hosting the more than 20 monarch caterpillars were mowed over.

This year, the group has a plan to protect the at-risk insects from meeting the same fate.

More than 20 monarch caterpillars have moved into some foliage on Lake Julia Road in Pelican.

"I just thought, 'Oh wonderful, I'll have to protect these,'" said butterfly enthusiast Mary Dork.

Last year, Dork was pleased to find a field of milkweed near her house covered in monarch caterpillars.

"You can always tell where the caterpillars are because of the leaves being eaten," said Dork.

The DNR says monarchs have been at risk of being endangered since 2014.

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TOWN OF BUENA VISTA - A motorcyclist died Thursday night after crashing in Portage County.

The Portage County Sheriff's Office reports the 20-year-old man was riding on County Highway J in the Town of Buena Vista around 7:00 p.m. when he lost control on a curve and went off the road.  The rider hit a utility pole and died at the scene.

Police are not identifying the man until Friday, but they did report he was from the Town of Almond.

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RHINELANDER - More than 10,000 cars pass through one of the area's busiest intersections each day: Highways 8 and 47 on Rhinelander's west side.  But next year, all those cars might need to go around the intersection as construction for a roundabout gets started.

The Department of Transportation is considering two options for traffic flow as crews build an approximately $2 million roundabout.

Option 1: the intersection largely stays open as a "T", but Kemp Street gets closed completely.

Option 2: widened off-ramps detour traffic around the intersection to Boyce Drive or Kemp Street.

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ANTIGO - Ten years ago, an Antigo woman started working as a cook and fill-in waitress at a Country Kitchen, but she didn't want to stop there. 

"I took on management and then a year ago, I decided, well, might as well just buy the place and there [are] always jumps and leaps, but everything has worked out perfectly. I wouldn't change anything," said Lisa Summ. 

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