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NEWS STORIES

Leaves have started to change colors but it's not because of the weatherSubmitted: 08/16/2013

ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Look around you and you may notice signs of autumn. We're already starting to see leaves changing colors but experts say this is nothing new for August.

Summer has been on the chilly side of normal. But that is not the cause of some trees in the Northwoods starting to show color.

"What makes them turn is primarily triggered by the day length. As the days get shorter, that's what makes start turning, getting ready for winter," says Jerry Van Cleve, U.S. Forest Service Silviculturist.

There are also other factors that lead to leaves changing. Some may have diseases that can contribute early change.

"The ones that I notice, just the loners that turn early. Usually those tend to red maple. But yeah, you'll see any tree that's under stress will kind of go to yellow whether it's an Aspen, or a Birch, or an Elm," says Jerry Van Cleve.

But give the healthy trees a month or so and they'll be ready to change too. And this year's fall season should be a brightly colored one.

"I think it's going to be a good year, you know, we got some of the ingredients in place. We got a nice wet spring and the summer hasn't been exceedingly hot or dry," said Jerry Van Cleve.

So as long as we get some nice days with above freezing nights, we'll see a lot of vivid colors this fall.

Story By: Melissa Constanzer

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Caseload motivates Vilas County judge to ask for another judge in countySubmitted: 07/29/2014

EAGLE RIVER - Vilas County Judge Neal Nielsen sometimes feels rushed while in the courtroom.

The large number of cases he needs to hear requires the court calendar to keep moving.

That number of cases has steadily increased over the last several years.

That's why Nielsen is pushing for a second judge in Vilas County.

"Judge need" is measured by a statistic called weighted case load.

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WPS planning to change ratesSubmitted: 07/29/2014

THE NORTHWOODS - If Wisconsin Public Service gets what it wants, you'll see an increase on one part of your energy bill. But WPS thinks it will be offset by rate reductions for many customers.

WPS puts a $10 fixed monthly charge on residential electric bills. That's true no matter how much power the customer uses. The cost helps cover equipment like meters and wires all customers need.

Right now, some of the cost for equipment gets passed on in per-unit energy charges. WPS wants to raise the fixed cost to $25 per month to better reflect delivery costs.

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Police happy with K9's success, raising money for future K9 UnitSubmitted: 07/29/2014

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In the few months that he's been on the job, he's helped officers find a lot of drugs.

Merrill's Police Chief is so happy with Eros' work, he wants to make sure the department will always have a K9 unit. But the costs of getting and training a new K9 are expensive. That's why the Merrill Police Department is already raising money for the future.

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Homeless shelter making progress in Lincoln CountySubmitted: 07/29/2014

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TOMAHAWK - You could learn more about a proposed Northwoods homeless shelter this weekend.

Volunteers in Lincoln County are working on the county's first homeless shelter. Three Rivers United Temporary Housing, or TRUTH, leased the house next to St. Mary's Catholic Church in Tomahawk.

They will be hosting an open house this Saturday from 4-6 P.M.

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Election voting under way in WisconsinSubmitted: 07/29/2014

MILWAUKEE - Early election voting is underway at city clerks' offices across Wisconsin.

Voters who can't make it to the polls for the primary election next month are able to cast ballots. It's the first election since the Legislature put limits on the process. In-person absentee voting can only be conducted during the two business weeks prior to an election. Voting is to take place from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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Act 10, voter ID, domestic registry decisions nearSubmitted: 07/29/2014

MADISON - The Wisconsin Supreme Court plans to rule Thursday in three major cases.

The court is planning to issue its ruling on the collective bargaining changes Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican Legislature approved in 2011, despite massive protests that led to a series of recall elections.

Elements of the law have been upheld by the state Supreme Court and two federal courts already.

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Reconstruction of Hwy 51, Hwy 47 intersection pushed back to 2018Submitted: 07/29/2014

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WOODRUFF - Construction on the intersection of Highway 51 and Highway 47 in Woodruff will be pushed back to 2018. The project was supposed to start in 2017.

That's because DOT supervisors aren't sure how they want to reconstruct the road yet. They're looking at a few different design plans right now.

Project leaders want to make sure they pick the safest option. They also want more community input before they make a decision.

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