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NEWS STORIES

More Northwoods crews head West as national fire problem growsSubmitted: 08/16/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

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RHINELANDER - Wildfires out west grew by nearly 50 percent in the past week. The state of Wisconsin has sent more than 300 crew members to help this month alone.

We showed you a crew leaving Woodruff last week for California. Another crew left Woodruff this morning. The 20 person team will go to Montana to fight a fire that started two days ago.

The wildfire situation nationwide is classified on a scale of one to five. Right now the country is at a four.

But that will likely bump up to the highest rating, a five, this weekend. That means we've used 80% of our national resources to fight fires across the country.

"Eighty percent of resources is made up of various equipment from bulldozers to helicopters to personnel to engines," says Jim Grant, from the U.S. Forest Service.

States won't send out all the resources they have. Each state holds back the minimum resources it would need for its own fire threat level.

When the country reaches level five, the military might have to help.

"The activation of the military comes from the president ultimately. When they're activated, it could be any branch of the military, but typically we see the United States Army, and even the Marines a lot of times, involved in this. Before they're put on the fire lines they're given training courses. They're given the basic training courses they need to continue to be safe out there before we put them on the lines," says Grant.

Right now there are $15,000 firefighters on the ground in 14 states. They're battling 40 large fires. To even be considered a large fire, thousands of acres have to be burning.

The fire season could last through October.



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 IN OTHER NEWS
Sentencing planned for attack on corrections officerSubmitted: 09/19/2014

WAUSAU - A man convicted of attacking a jail officer in Marathon County will learn his sentence today.

22 year old Fredrick Morris pled no contest to agrivated battery and battery by a prisoner.

Prosecutors say Morris was the inmate who threw a punch which knocked a Marathon County jail officer unconscious.

The attack happened last year in March.

Julie Christensen was critically injured and admitted to the hospital.

Morris also attacked officer Denny Woodward moments after his attack on Christensen.

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Northwoods churches invite people in for Back to Church SundaySubmitted: 09/19/2014

RHINELANDER - Northwoods ministers want more people to go to church this Sunday.

That's true every Sunday, but they're putting a special emphasis on this week.

Calvary Baptist Church in Rhinelander is one of many churches taking part in National Back to Church Sunday.

A vast majority of Americans believe in God.

But a much smaller minority attend church on a regular basis.

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UW students can get ID's to voteSubmitted: 09/19/2014

MADISON - University of Wisconsin System campuses will provide free voter identification cards to students that ask for them.

A regular university ID won't work at the polls.

That's because it doesn't comply with a new state law that requires a signature and expiration date on the cards.

Cards from UW-Superior are the only ones that meet those requirements.

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Rhinelander Area Scholarship Foundation raffles neon Hodag signSubmitted: 09/18/2014

RHINELANDER - Rhinelander Area Scholarship Foundation is holding the 2014 Neon Hodag Sign Raffle.

Your support will help in raising money to award more scholarships for RHS graduates annually.

The RASF is a non-profit charitable organization with a volunteer governing board that raises money and distributes scholarships to Rhinelander students, many of whom may not get scholarship support from other sources.

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Hearing set on request to change Wisconsin ballotSubmitted: 09/18/2014

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MADISON - A court hearing has been set for next week in the lawsuit filed by Republican legislative leaders seeking to force a change in the model ballot for the November election.

Meanwhile, the state elections board is telling local clerks to move forward with sending out absentee ballots while the lawsuit is pending.

The complaint was filed Wednesday in Waukesha County Circuit Court by state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. They argue the ballot as drafted is confusing and unfairly benefits Democrats because of how it's designed.

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Absentee voters need to send in copy of photo IDSubmitted: 09/18/2014

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Nearly all voters in Wisconsin will need to show a photo ID to vote this November. That includes people who send in absentee ballots. A federal court made that ruling within the last week.

Absentee ballot applications have been changed to follow the state's voter ID law. A person now needs to send in a copy of their photo ID with their application. If they don't, they won't get an absentee ballot.

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Middle School students in Merrill work to get rid of invasive speciesSubmitted: 09/18/2014

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MERRILL - Students at Prairie River Middle School in Merrill want to enjoy the river behind their school.

They spent time on Tuesday clearing out some of the invasive species along the riverbank.

"They're taking over and we need to get rid of them while there's still time," says 8th grader Morgan Henrichs.

Science teachers at Prairie River Middle School want to teach their students how to get rid of invasive species.

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