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UPDATE: Storm knocks out power for thousands across the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 08/26/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson


ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - More than 6,000 Wisconsin Public Service customers got ready for the day in the dark Monday morning.

Storms caused major power outages across the Northwoods.

"3:45 a.m. this morning the storm kind of came into our service territory starting in the Minocqua area moving through to kind of Eagle River, Rhinelander, down into the Wausau area," says WPS Community Relations representative Kelly Zagrzebski.

The majority of the outages were in Eagle River, Rhinelander and Wausau.

Merrill, Tomahawk, and Elcho had some outages, too.

"The majority of the damage that we're seeing from this storm is blown fuses, blown transformers, lots of lightning strikes. A little bit of wind up in the Rhinelander area, not so much down in the Wausau location," adds Zagrzebski.

WPS sent more than 20 crews out to turn the power back on.

4,000 homes got their power back by 10 o'clock Monday morning.

"We really want to encourage people to make sure that they give us a call when their power does go out. Don't assume that their neighbors are calling," says Zagrzebski.

They also want to remind customers to stay away from downed power lines.

Those lines may still be live.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 02/12/2016

- Valentine's Day falls on a weekend for the second year in a row. That's good news for local restaurants who expect more people to come in. But the weekend holiday ISN'T great for everyone...especially floral shops. Newswatch 12's Karolina Buczek went to Woodruff to find out how the weekend hurts the flower business.

- Plus, tonight on Friday Night Blitz we will bring you scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following basketball games:

Boys:

Three Lakes vs. Wabeno/Laona

Northland Pines vs. Elcho

Chequamegon vs. Phillips

Flambeau vs. Prentice


Girls:

Tomahawk vs. Rhinelander

Mosinee vs. Northland Pines


That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.

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

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ST. GERMAIN - Fans and racers with a need for speed won't need to wait any longer for the Radar Run.

Two days of snowmobile dragging and bikini races started Friday in St. Germain.

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EAGLE RIVER - Jewelry, flowers, dinner and chocolate all rank high for traditional Valentine's Day gifts.

If your sweetheart has a sweet tooth,

There are many choices.

"Chocolate is probably number one. Then turtles and also fudge. But, chocolates wins out," says The Country Store of Eagle River Owner Debbie Preuhs.

Our busiest days are those two days before Valentine's Day and then Valentine's Day.


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MINOCQUA - Channeling your child's energy can be quite a task. The Family Resource Connection from Children's Hospitals of Wisconsin has found a way to combine music and movement to stimulate your child's development.

The Music Garden program is designed to awaken your child's imagination while celebrating the remarkable bond shared between you.

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APPLETON - Gov. Scott Walker plans Friday to sign a Republican-backed bill to overhaul Wisconsin's civil service system.

Walker's office says the GOP governor is scheduled to sign the bill into law at Manpower Group in Appleton.

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IRON COUNTY - Humans aren't equipped for single-digit and sub-zero temperatures, but huskies definitely are.

During cold snaps like this week, dog sled drivers can't pass up an opportunity to take the dogs out running—dog sledding or skijoring.

MJ Slone and Chad McGrath in Springstead have 11 huskies at their home. All the dogs are from shelters or families that can't take care of them anymore.

"It was often a sled driver with a team who had maybe 30, 40, 50 dogs and one dog wouldn't fit the team anymore or teams so we would get it," said McGrath.

For Slone and McGrath, taking in dogs started more than 20 years ago.

"Well, I brought home a pup from Alaska because I had worked up there doing some consulting work," said Slone. "My idea was to skijor, which was a fairly new thing in 1990 in the U.S….And then I realized dogs don't like to run alone, so I got another dog….and then I got another dog."

These dogs aren't competitive —they're mostly for recreational racing. Slone and McGrath host outdoor groups and school kids for sled dog racing throughout the winter. They encourage people to get out and try these sports during the winter, even if it's bitterly cold.

"It's the partnership with the dogs," Slone said. "They bring an enthusiasm to your life that you just can't get….They are always happy to see you."

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TOWN OF CRESCENT - Tracy Hartman usually does the work she did Thursday at the Crescent Town Hall alone.

"In my nine years, I've had somebody show up once," Hartman said.

But it's a job she knows hundreds of people count on her to do and get right.

"There's always pressure, yes," Hartman said.

Before every election, the Crescent Town Clerk runs a public test of the town's voting machines, which is required by state law.

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