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NEWS STORIES

Water rates may increaseSubmitted: 10/10/2013
Story By Ryan Michaels

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MERRILL - Merrill residents wanted cleaner city water and they got it. But it will come at a price.

The city's water was full of manganese. A mineral naturally found in well water.

But too much of it in your water can make things dirty says City Administrator David Johnson.

"People would find their toilet bowls stained black. If you opened your tank on your toilet bowl everything in the tank would be black. If you touch it, it would be like a greasy black gritty black residue. The fix for this was actually at the request of the people of Merrill not liking this black residue in their water."

The city improved its water treatment plant to remove the unwanted mineral last summer. But it cost 2.2 million dollars.
To pay for it the city will ask for a water bill rate hike for residents. "It will be about a 10% increase in revenue for the water department, which will equate to about $0.08 per day for the average homeowner. So what we've done is something to make our customers happy. Unfortunately, anything you do that changes your system requires a cost increase and that's what we are doing now."

A hearing on the rate hike is scheduled in Merrill's City Hall next Tuesday at 10am.




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Wisconsin drivers often uninhibited by citationsSubmitted: 09/17/2014

APPLETON - Many Wisconsin drivers who lose their driving privileges have continued to operate their vehicles and commit additional violations.

According to Wisconsin Department of Transportation data, there have been more than 57,000 convictions for operating while suspended, without a valid license or after revocation this year. That number follows last year's trend, when nearly 114,000 licensing-related convictions were reported.

During the first six months of 2014, more of the state's residents were convicted of driving with suspended licenses than speeding 11-19 mph over the limit.

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Fab Lab prepares students for the modern workforceSubmitted: 09/17/2014

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THREE LAKES - Students in Three Lakes will learn how to use new technology like 3D printers and laser cutters this year. It's all part of the district's brand new Fab Lab.

Fab Labs have the most modern manufacturing equipment. Students will learn to use the same tools that businesses use. The lab manager thinks that will help students from Three Lakes get better jobs.

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Students learn about natureSubmitted: 09/17/2014

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TOMAHAWK - More than 50 fourth graders from Tomahawk learned about nature on Wednesday as part of long-lived education program. UW-Stevens Point staff at Treehaven host programs to teach elementary students about nature. The program has been around Tomahawk Public Schools for more than 25 years.

"We are doing a lot about the history of Tomahawk, the people that were here in the early 1800s and just a little bit about the land," explained Naturalist Rachel Anderson. "Right not we've been doing some tree identification and forestry measurements, but this morning they were learning about the voyagers and the Native Americans in this area."

The program covers more than just fall-learning, Treehaven leaders host learning programs in the spring and winter as well. You don't have to be a student to take part in some of the programs at the learning center. They include group hikes where you practice and discuss identifying plants and trees.

"We've had two this fall, and I'm hoping that is something we can continue to do in all seasons and continue to offer," said Anderson. "We've been getting a lot of positive reinforcement that it's something that the public is really interested in, so we hope to continue to offer more in the future."

Treehaven leaders regularly offer programs to the public involving nature, education, and artistry. If you are interested in learning more about these programs and events, you can follow the link listed below the article.

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Drug Endangered Children Program in Price CountySubmitted: 09/17/2014

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PRICE COUNTY - Some children in the Northwoods live in environments where their caretakers abuse drugs.

The Price County Sheriff's Office hopes a new program will help those children.

The Drug Endangered Children Program, or DEC, assists children whose caretakers abuse, sell, or manufacture drugs.

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Wisconsin one of 4 states to cut food stampsSubmitted: 09/17/2014

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MADISON - Wisconsin is one of only four states nationwide that is enacting cuts to the food stamp program.

An Associated Press review finds that as of now, the cuts will only affect Michigan, Wisconsin, New Jersey and New Hampshire.

The decision in Wisconsin to enact the cuts comes as Republican Gov. Scott Walker is seeking re-election and considering a 2016 run for president.

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Search continues for missing boater in Kenosha Co.Submitted: 09/17/2014

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KENOSHA - Authorities have been searching a Kenosha County lake for a missing fisherman from Illinois.

The search on Silver Lake began Tuesday night after family members reported 66-year-old John Spoor of McHenry, Illinois, had not returned from his fishing trip. Sheriff's officials located the man's boat, but there was no sign of him.

Kenosha County Sheriff's Sgt. Bill Beth says the department had five boats on the water Wednesday. The search was halted Wednesday evening because of darkness, and the Kenosha News reports search teams are expected to return to the scene Thursday morning.

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Walker, Burke tied in latest pollSubmitted: 09/17/2014

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The Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday shows Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke tied among registered voters.

Walker and Burke both had 46 percent support. The poll's margin of error was 3.5 percentage points among registered voters.

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