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NEWS STORIES

Logging company: DNR wildfire findings "inaccurate and incomplete"Submitted: 09/13/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com

RIB LAKE - A Rib Lake logging company slammed the DNR over accusations surrounding the huge Douglas County wildfire in May.

Earlier this week, the DNR billed Ray Duerr Logging Company $600,000.

The DNR says the logging company's negligence caused the 7,500 acre fire to start and spread.

DNR officials also accused Ray Duerr Logging of failing to maintain equipment that could have stopped the fire and covering up information about that equipment.

A Ray Duerr attorney in Medford now calls the DNR's information "incomplete and inaccurate".

The logging company will contest the $600,000 dollar bill.

The Lyme Timber Company owns most of the land that burned.

It's still adding up the damage to its land.

But on Friday the landowners told us it would be substantial.

The total damage will be at least a million dollars.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Woman faces felony for illegally keeping a gun and selling itSubmitted: 08/26/2014

ONEIDA COUNTY - A 28-year-old Merrill woman faces a felony for illegally keeping a gun. She also sold it to an undercover police officer.

Bonnie Wolff was arrested earlier Tuesday morning for selling a stolen assault rifle officer in Rhinelander. Wolff is a convicted felon. She's not allowed to have a gun under state law.

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Rare WWII B-25 J Mitchell Bomber visits the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 08/26/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - You might have noticed a different type of aircraft flying over the Northwoods Monday.

A 1945 B-25 J Mitchell Bomber landed at the Eagle River airport.

Along with it came some history on what that type of airplane did during World War II.

"WWII guys are listed as the greatest generation, and I can certainly see why," said Army veteran Jim Purcell.

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Federal appeals court hears arguments over Wisconsin gay marriage banSubmitted: 08/26/2014

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CHICAGO - Gay couples in Wisconsin could find out soon if they can legally marry in the state.

Federal appeals judges heard arguments on Wisconsin's gay marriage ban in Chicago Tuesday.

A federal judge struck down the ban in June, but the state is appealing to a higher court. The case has been combined with a similar case coming from Indiana, which also has a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Camilla Taylor was representing one of the gay couples in the suit. She said the judges were focused on how the ban impacts the children of gay couples.

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Woman who tried to hire someone to kill fiance will spend about three years in prisonSubmitted: 08/26/2014

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WAUSAU - Jessica Strom will spend about three years in prison for offering a man $1,000 and sex to kill her fiance.

The 33 year old Merrill woman was sentenced Tuesday.

"Out of the billions of people that could potentially be partners in life [the] two of you chose the single worst combination," says Circuit Court Judge Neal Nielsen.

Strom's fiance was former Lincoln County district attorney John Schellpfeffer.

The state argued this wasn't the first time Strom and Schellpfeffer had problems.

"In 2009 there was a criminal damage to property complaint, disorderly conduct," says Prosecuting Attorney Ralph Uttke. "Mr. Schellpfeffer called saying Ms. Strom was smashing the window to his house with a hammer and left, she was arrested a short time later."

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Wisconsin DNR plans waterfowl chatSubmitted: 08/26/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin wildlife officials are planning an online chat for waterfowl hunters.

The Department of Natural Resources has scheduled the chat for noon on Aug. 27. Participants can log on through the DNR's website by searching for the keyword ``chat.''

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ArtStart takes next step with new development directorSubmitted: 08/26/2014

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RHINELANDER - In the last three years, ArtStart in Rhinelander grew from an idea to a highly successful gallery and event space.

This month, ArtStart took its next step.

The organization hired its first full-time employee - development director Melinda Childs.

She's been impressed to see the arts appetite in Rhinelander.

She comes from an arts-rich community in the Twin Cities.

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Northwoods biologists consider options to increase average size of panfishSubmitted: 08/26/2014

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NORTHWOODS - Fishermen catch about 60 million panfish per year in Wisconsin.

But the size of those panfish has been getting smaller.

Overharvest seems to be part of the problem on many lakes.

Now, the DNR is proposing a way to increase the size of bluegill, crappie, pumpkinseed, and perch on several lakes.

Their regulation plan comes from decades of data collection.

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