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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
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/17/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:


We take our Long Summer Weekend to Vilas County where we show you the progress of a major reconstruction project on Lac du Flambeau's Indian Bowl which is now halfway done.

We meet a cranberry farmer who's been in the business for almost 40 years and talk to him about the history of cranberry growing in the Manitowish Waters area.

And we introduce you to a 76-year-old Eagle River man who competes in Triathlons with people half his age.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more on our Long Summer Weekend from Lincoln County tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MADISON - A $3 billion tax break bill for Taiwan-based electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group is poised to pass the Wisconsin Assembly on a bipartisan vote.

Democratic state Rep. Cory Mason said during debate Thursday that he intends to vote for the bill. He is the first Democrat to publicly say he will back the measure that is being championed by Gov. Scott Walker and fellow Republicans.

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EAGLE RIVER - Doctors thought back surgery and age would hold Jack Godding back.  

Just a few months after being told his limits, he out did them and set higher standards. 

"In general I'm racing against myself," said Goding. 

When you think of competitive athletes, someone like Eagle River's Jack Godding probably isn't the first thing to come to mind. 

That mind set will be your disadvantage if you're ever up against Jack in a race.

"It's a personal goal, personal goal," said Gooding. 

Jack's been competing in races most of his life and started kayaking just six years ago. Not even back surgery could slow him down. 

"First [the doctor] said I wouldn't be able to kayak for almost a year," said Godding.

Just a few months later he was cruising through the waters.

"I'd like to see how many younger ones I can out do ," said Godding. 

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU - On a busy stretch of Highway 47 near Lac du Flambeau -- where hundreds of wheels spin at 55 miles-per-hour each day -- just one tire drags at a slower pace, pulled by one man: the Tire Man.

"I guess I'm the only one nutty enough to do it, I suppose," Frank Tarantino said with a laugh.

Tarantino lives in Mercer, but trains for marathons in Lac du Flambeau.  He started pulling a tire on a chain a few years ago after reading about it in a fitness magazine.  People often stop to take his picture.

"Little by little you run a little further, a little further," Tarantino said.

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Play Video

NORTHWOODS - Next Monday's solar eclipse will look fascinating, but it can damage your eyes for a lifetime.

It's never safe to look directly at the sun's rays, even though there will be a partial eclipse here in the Northwoods.

Regular sunglasses won't protect you, so if you plan to view the solar eclipse you need special solar eclipse sunglasses.

Those glasses are one size fits all, so it's important to check they are snug on your child's head, too.

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BOULDER JUNCTION - Most people look at a piece of wood and that's all they see, but Dan Haack envisions something different.

"I like to take a piece of wood and look at it and carve on it and all the sudden I have a little man's face inside of it," said Haack, who's from Rhinelander.

Haack is one of the 11 instructors at the 21st Musky Area Woodcarvers Workshop in Boulder Junction.
"I teach caricature carvings," Haack said.

More than 100 people came to the workshop to learn different ways to carve, paint, and burn wood.
"For most of the folks in here it's a hobby," said Phil Strand.

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MILWAUKEE - A Wisconsin senator wants the State Department to investigate reports of tainted alcohol at Mexican resorts.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently reported travelers becoming sick after drinking alcohol at resorts south of the border.

That includes a 20 year old Wisconsin woman who died in January after being pulled from a resort pool.

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