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More details on WPS plan to bury power linesSubmitted: 07/26/2013
Story By Lex Gray

More details on WPS plan to bury power lines
RHINELANDER - We learned more today about Wisconsin Public Services' five-year, $220 million project.

WPS doesn't want its customers to be out of power, so it will bury more than 1,000 miles of power lines underground.

The company chose mostly rural areas, like Vilas and Oneida counties, for the project.

That's because those areas have lots of trees that can fall on power lines during storms.

In the '50s, it wouldn't be uncommon for someone in the Northwoods to rack up days without power every year.

Thanks to efforts like tree-trimming, that number is way down.

"Today, we're talking minutes per year. There are still customers in the Northwoods that are still in hours per year, significant hours," said Richard Reitz, a WPS engineer. "We're targeting those areas where we can make the biggest improvement."

In 2014, WPS will bury lines in Minocqua and Boulder Junction.

They will also work on Highway 70 east of Eagle River.

Post Lake, Elcho, and Pelican Lake are also on the list for 2014, along with sections of Highway 101 in Wabeno.

In most places, existing poles and wires will be removed. Many lines will be bored 36 inches under the ground, while ther parts of the project will be a little messier.

"Other areas, we'll have to do some backhoe work," Reitz said. "We try to avoid backhoe work because it's mroe costly and there's more clean-up involved."

WPS has already contacted property owners who will be affected by the 2014 work.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

WOODRUFF - Beads, paint, glue, and markers covered tables at the Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Woodruff Tuesday as children worked intently creating artwork. 

Five local women artists are holding a week long creative arts camp.

The camp is called "Grow Your Spirit."

It focuses on helping kids reflect who they are on the inside and out and express their spirit through art.
 
"I know that I am a better person when I do make art, and I think about the world and how I make art, and I want to have children have that opportunity," said Camp Leader Toni Polfus.

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MINOCQUA - Minocqua Police arrest a suspect after a person was found unconscious in the road earlier this month.

45 year old Lee Golden of Freedom was arrested this week after being interviewed by Minocqua Police.

Police are recommending charges including aggravated battery, but that will be up to the Oneida County District Attorney's office to decide.

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MERRILL - Tuesday in Merrill, two little girls proved they can do anything, even while wearing a skirt.

Merrill Parks and Rec hosted its first "Kids in Motion" event.

Addilyn Maroney knows a thing or two about T-Ball.
"We have helmets on and then we drop the bat," explained Addilyn.

That's right; Addilyn was one of nearly 30 kids playing T-ball for the kick off of "Kids in Motion."

However, getting five-years-olds to focus can be a challenge.

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RIVER FALLS - A Wisconsin company is offering to microchip its employees, enabling them to open doors, log onto their computers and purchase break room snacks with a simple swipe of the hand.

Three Square Market, also known as 32M, says it expects about 50 employees to take advantage of the technology. The chips are the size of a grain of rice and will be implanted underneath the skin between the thumb and forefinger.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 07/25/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll take you live to the Vilas County Town of Cloverland where concerned citizens will meet to discuss the possibility of a convicted sex offender moving into their neighborhood.

Drivers on U.S. Highway 51 in Lincoln County may soon see some lane closures while crews work on some of the bridges. We'll tell you what work will be done on the bridges and how long drivers can expect to see those lane closures.

And we'll show you a week long creative arts camp in Woodruff where 5 local women artists want to share their artistic opportunities with children.

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

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ANTIGO - Langlade County takes pride in having a long-standing and successful County Fair.

In fact, the 131st annual fair will open on Wednesday.

On Monday, workers were in preparation mode. Within a few days, the fairgrounds will be ready to welcome thousands of visitors to the free fair.

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RHINELANDER - Volunteers will walk the streets of the Northwoods late at night this week.  They're looking for homeless people, hoping their count gets people the help they need.

The count is part of a statewide effort that happens twice a year.  Northern Wisconsin Initiative to Stop Homelessness -- or N*WISH -- runs the count for Oneida, Vilas, Forest, and Langlade counties.

Program facilitator Lori Hallas says her teams usually don't find many people.

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