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Rhinelander may fine for pocket dialsSubmitted: 06/25/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson


RHINELANDER - If you have a cell phone, you've most likely pocket-dialed someone.

One northwoods police department is fed up with these time-wasting calls.

The Rhinelander Police Department wants the city council to pass a proposed amendment to an existing ordinance.

Captain Ron Lueneburg of the Rhinelander Police Department says the "ordinance will allow us to eventually cite a person if they don't make corrective actions. It specifically states within a 6 month period, you know, three or more false 911 calls without taking corrective action is basically the premise that we want to center around before we would issue a citation to the person."

Since May 2011, the Rhinelander Police Department has received nearly 1,350 illegitimate calls.

Pocket dial calls waste time - time police need to respond to real emergencies.

Oneida County Emergency Management Director Ken Kortenhof has advice for people who misdial multiple times: "You may want to start looking at the type of phone that you have. Make sure that the keypad is locked. And some phones - cells - maybe it's time to replace them and get a phone that's going to prevent you from misdialing by accident."

If you accidentally pocket dial the police, stay on the line and explain what happened.

Otherwise, the dispatcher will call you back, and may even send authorities to check on you.

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MOLE LAKE - When you drive through Mole Lake, you'll notice a lot of solar panels.

It's part of a project tribal leaders have worked on for more than a year, and they hope it will save the community a lot in energy costs.

Tribal leaders applied and received a couple million dollars in grants from the U.S. Energy Department and the Housing and Urban Development Department. Then they started working with a Pewaukee-based company called SunVest Solar, Inc., and started installing the panels on homes and businesses in 
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Now, they are almost done.

According to SunVest Solar, this is the largest per capital solar array installation in the Midwest. Tribal Administrator Jeff Ackley, Jr., says 50 homes and 17 businesses have solar panels.

"Most of the state of Wisconsin has less than one percent of its generation coming from solar and now you have a community where almost 50 percent of the homes get their power from the sun," said Adam Gusse, head of operations at SunVest Solar, Inc.

"I thought it would put us on the map," Ackley said.

Project leaders think the panels can produce up to 85 percent of power in homes and between 20 and 60 percent for businesses.

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The first batch of panels turned on in November, and some people say they've already seen the savings.

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Gusse said the panels don't produce as much power in the winter as they will in the summer, but residents still save money.

Tribal leaders can apply for more grants to put panels on more homes. 

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