RHINELANDER - Storm damage can be a big problem. After days of heavy rain and severe storms, one man in the Northwoods LITERALLY fell into a big clean-up.
We expect this kind of clean-up after a storm. But one Pelican resident got in deeper than he bargained for today. Dominic Cinfio was checking his property for storm damage this morning.
"I was walking towards the road and I step on this hole and I went down at least a foot, foot and a half ... I didn't know what was going on. I wasn't sure. The more I dug, the deeper it got. Then I realized what was going on, and next thing I know, the hole was at least nine feet by four feet." -9sec, Dominic." says Dominic Cinfio, a Pelican resident.
The ground sank in because we've had more than two inches of rain in three days. Dominic thinks it was an old septic tank since he found brick, metal and wood in the hole. In his forty years at the house, he's never had a storm clean up like this.
"You see this someplace else like Florida, everything like this is happening. I never thought it would happen here. I mean, it just, BOOM ... there I was," says Dominic.
The Cinfio's are getting the hole filled tomorrow. It will cost them about 200 dollars.
Dominic wasn't the only one who had a hard time believing it.
"My husband comes in and says, we have a sinkhole in the front yard and I said we have a what?! He said 'yeah' and I said well how do you know? He says 'I fell in it!' And I thought 'Yeah right!'… I didn't believe him," says Gail Cinfio, Dominic's wife.
Gail was thankful Dominic didn't disappear. But she was also thankful she didn't find the hole.
"I would've screamed ... yeah I would have for sure ... You just don't expect that to happen," said Gail.
WHITEWATER - Wisconsin has made the Peace Corps' Top 10 list for number of volunteers per capita.
Peace Corps volunteers spend two years working in a developing country. Tasks might include teaching English, digging wells and tending gardens.
According to rankings released Wednesday, for every 100,000 Wisconsin residents, 3.7 join the Peace Corps. That's ninth best in the nation, just behind Minnesota (3.8). Vermont is No. 1 at 7.8 volunteers per 100,000 residents.
Many of Wisconsin's volunteers come from the Whitewater area, which was ranked No. 10 in metro areas per capita.
President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961 to foster a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. More than 215,000 Americans have served in 139 countries worldwide.
MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker's administration plans to schedule round table discussions around Wisconsin for people to discuss the state's tax code and propose changes.
Walker says he wants to lower the overall tax burden every year he is in office. The round tables are to discuss the state's tax structure, not any specific proposal.
Walker and the Republican Legislature this year passed a $650 million income tax cut and a $100 million property tax reduction.
Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and Revenue Department Secretary Rick Chandler hosted the first tax reform round table discussion on Monday at Beloit College. Walker says more will be announced in coming weeks.
RHINELANDER - The antler-less deer hunt season opens Thursday.
Local legislators wanted to cancel the four day hunting season, but the DNR says that can't happen.
It would take at least six months to get through the administrative process to cancel any hunting season.
The DNR wants hunters to have a chance to hunt game before the season ends.
Jeremy Holtz is a DNR wildlife biologist in Rhinelander.
"The December antler-less hunt would simply be giving hunters who didn't get to hunt the first weekend--because they had to work, or they were in another part of the state--to fill a tag they already have," said Holtz. "So the odds of it having a significantly negative impact on the herd from a population management standpoint, I would consider them pretty low."
Republicans Tom Tiffany, Rob Swearingen, and Mary Czaja disagree. They say last year's late winter and high number of predators hurt the deer.
Now, legislators believe this year's early winter weather will continue to hurt the herd.
"My office in Madison, Representative Mary Czaja from Tomahawk, and certainly Senator Tiffany, have been receiving a lot of comments from frustrated sportsman regarding the low harvest of the deer season this year," said Rob Swearingen, Wisconsin State Representative. "As well as with the natural predators out there, and the early on set of icy conditions, we're worried that all of this together is going to create the perfect storm and take it's toll on these deer."
In August, two deer management units over-issued about 350 antler-less deer permits.
The DNR says it got about 254 of those permits back.
Last year in Oneida County, 74 deer were shot during the antler-less deer season.
Antler-less deer hunting is open from December 12 through December 15.
RHINELANDER - Many older people in the Northwoods still love their paper-and-print books. The task of choosing between today's e-readers and tablets can seem daunting. But e-readers and tablets are creeping in as popular options too.
The Rhinelander Library held a class today to teach people about the different options for going mobile. Educating older people is especially helpful.
“If you're just interested in books people usually want to have an e-reader,” says Erica Brewster, Family Living Agent with Oneida County UW Extension. “If you're interested in doing a lot more maybe you want to watch Netflix movies or you want to be on the internet than you want to look at a tablet.”
Some of the popular tablets include the iPad and the Microsoft Surface. People interested in an e-reader might consider the Kindle or the Nook.
“We've gone from computers being something we have on a desk and we work with, to taking it for granted that we have a cell phone, we have a tablet, something that travels with us,” says Brewster. “So the mobile technology is the newest and greatest breaking trend really that we have is being able to carry our technology with us.”
E-readers are typically cheaper than tablets which can cost a few hundred dollars.
MADISON - Democrats in the Wisconsin Legislature are calling on Republicans to hold a public hearing on a bill to increase the minimum wage.
Twenty six Democrats, including possible gubernatorial candidate Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, sent a letter Tuesday requesting the hearing.
The bill was introduced in January. It would increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $7.60 an hour and then have it go up automatically based on inflation.
The request for a hearing comes as President Barack Obama and Democrats nationally have been calling for an increase in the minimum wage.
Republican Sen. Glenn Grothman says he doesn't support the bill, saying a higher minimum wage won't help his goal of finding more entry level jobs for teenagers. Grothman chairs the Judiciary and Labor Committee.
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