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Bear spotted near apartments Submitted: 08/23/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

Photos By Shardaa Gray

RHINELANDER - When you live in the Northwoods, it's likely you'll see a bear every now and then.

But you probably wouldn't want to see it near your porch.

Residents at the Davenport Street Estates apartment complex in Rhinelander saw a bear two weeks ago.

Property Manager Jenna Cook contacted the DNR immediately.

She's seen bears near the apartment before, but this time she thinks the bears were attracted to the bird feeders.

"I grew up in Rhinelander, grew up in the town of crescent. I was used to seeing bears, having them around," said Cook.

"I grew up with my dad having bird feeders and always take them down at night so the bear wouldn't come in to the yard. So when I heard about it, my first initial reaction was, yep, bird feeders have to go."

The DNR estimates there's more than 18 thousand bears in the Wisconsin.

DNR Wildlife biologist Jeremy Holtz says it's common to see young bears because they're looking for food and entertainment.

"There's always some kind of flesh of activity when you get into late June and early mid-July," Holtz said.

"These young animals come in and they're just not as smart enough to stay away from people and they get into trouble."

Holtz wants to remind people that it's illegal to feed bears.

If you do see a bear near your home, contact the DNR.

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NORTHWOODS - Prescription drugs play an important role in our health.

They help us recover if we're sick, cope if we have a chronic condition and help manage pain.

But those drugs can expire or just stay in the back of our medicine cabinets for months or years.

And if those drugs get into the wrong hands—such as toddlers or abusers—that's a problem.

That's why many local police and sheriff's departments participate in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back program.

It's run by the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Saturday was National Take-Back Day.

"We're keeping the controlled substances in the hands they're supposed to be in, especially with the pill epidemic now, it's important that these stay out of the hands of people that are abusing them," said Minocqua Police Officer Matthew Tate. 

Several area police departments hosted drop-offs Saturday. 

You can drop off prescription or over-the-counter pills, ointments, patches, non-aerosol sprays, vials and pet medications. You cannot bring in inhalers or aerosol cans, and you cannot drop off illegal drugs or needles.

All the drugs are brought to the state Department of Justice where they will be incinerated.

That's better than just flushing them or throwing them out in the trash.

"It's very important that it's not getting into our ground water is the main thing," Tate said. "We just don't want people dumping them in toilets or in their garbage."

If you have prescription drugs you want to get rid of safely, don't worry if you missed Saturday's opportunity. Many area police stations have drug drop-off bins in their lobbies, so you can drop them off any time of the year.


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MINOCQUA - You know summer in the Northwoods will soon be here when seasonal businesses start opening up again.

Wildwood Wildlife Park opened up Saturday in Minocqua.

Hundreds of people rushed to the gate today to see all different types of animals, some local and some exotic.

"We are so busy today but it's a beautiful day to come out to Wildwood," said the park's director Judy Domaszek. "This is one of our baby aoudads, it's an African sheep, and as you can see in the background there are many people busy playing with the baby goats, and the sheep and the pigs and the tortoises, and they're just enjoying their day."

On Saturday the park had a giraffe feeding.

Workers also have been renovating and expanding the park.

The park has many new animals on the way, including some baby animals that were born there.

"The mouflon sheep are new, we've got some new reptiles, we have some new babies that we're going to have down in the nursery in a little while," Domaszek said. "We actually had a baby badger born here at the zoo. And we have a baby kangaroo. Those guys are all coming down when it's safe to come down."

Wildwood is open every day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Then after Memorial Day the park stays open till 5:30 p.m. for the summer. 


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We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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Many people were excited when the Essence Boutique in Tomahawk won a Wisconsin Main Street award for Best Interior Design. But none more so than the owner, Jenna Meier.

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The logging industry is no different. 

Pioneer Equipment demonstrated its latest Rottne forestry equipment Friday, including a harvester and a forwarder. 

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