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NEWS STORIES

UPDATE: Storm knocks out power for thousands across the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 08/26/2013
Lauren Stephenson
5 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
lstephenson@wjfw.com


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: 09/30/2014

- The Wisconsin Wetlands Association recently released a new book helping people understand how to care for and protect Wisconsin's wetlands. We visit a Northwoods wetland to find out how people can protect wetlands in our area.

- Plus, Richard Branson recently announced some of his employees at Virgin Airlines will get unlimited holiday vacation time. He's hoping that would increase productivity and keep employees at the company longer, but leaders at Nicolet Staffing in Rhinelander says that won't work here. Find out the details on why unlimited holiday vacation would only work for global companies.

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

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Update-Inmate captured after failing to return to jailSubmitted: 09/30/2014

MARATHON COUNTY - An inmate who didn't return to jail from Huber release will now get a chance to think about his mistake.

The Marathon County Sheriff's department confirms inmate Tommie Rothenberger has been captured.

He was found in Waupaca County around 5:30 last night.

Rothenberger was let out of the Marathon County Jail Friday morning to go to school at Northcentral Technical College.

+ Read More
UW-Marathon County issues voter IDs to students who need oneSubmitted: 09/30/2014

WAUSAU - A local college wants to make sure its students can vote this November.

UW-Marathon County is issuing voter IDs to students that don't have them.

Everyone in Wisconsin needs to have an ID to vote this fall.

The university started making the IDs Monday.

All UW schools will be issuing IDs to students who need one.

"The biggest reason that we're doing this is we really want our students to have that opportunity to vote," says Interim Assistant Campus Dean for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at UW-Marathon County Carla Rabe. "Some of our students may not have the proper voter ID, and so for us to offer that opportunity to our students really just encourages them to really take the importance in voting."

+ Read More
Preserving Wisconsin's wetlands Submitted: 09/30/2014

RHINELANDER - You can find hundreds of plant species, different types of animal life, and breathtaking views in Wisconsin's wetlands.

Many people want to make sure wetlands are protected for years to come.

One group recently released a book educating others on wetland conservation.

"My favorite part is waking up and looking out the window. Every day is different. Every season is different," said wetlands owner Scott Eshelman.
Wisconsin wetlands surround Scott Eshelman's property.

+ Read More
Firefighters practice rescue in sewerSubmitted: 09/30/2014

RHINELANDER - Firefighters need to practice rescue techniques so they can stay safe when responding to real emergencies.

Members of the Rhinelander Fire Department spent Tuesday in a sewer to practice rescuing people in a tight space.

Click "play video" to see how and why they do it.

+ Read More
Virgin Airlines lets some employees have unlimited holiday vacation days, experts say strategy won't work in Northwoods Submitted: 09/30/2014

NORTHWOODS - Unlimited vacation time might sound unrealistic, but Virgin Airlines is letting some of its employees take off whenever they want. Nicolet Staffing thinks that wouldn't work in the Northwoods.

Virgin Airlines got the idea from Netflix. One hundred seventy employees can only take the unlimited days off when they feel that their team is up to date with every project. They also need to make sure their vacation time won't damage the business or their career.

Nicolet Staffing branch manager Robert Erickson says with so many manufacturers in the Northwoods, that system isn't possible.

+ Read More
Iconic northern tree species could disappear as Northwoods climate warmsSubmitted: 09/30/2014

FIFIELD - "Here's the paper birch, or white birch. It's one of my favorite trees," Linda Parker tells me as we walk through a part of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest near Fifield.

But her next thought on the tree is not so pleasant.

"This again is one of the species that occurs at the southern edge of its range here. It's more common to the north," she says. "This is another species in which we expect to see large declines."

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