LAONA - A century after lumber barons cut down 1.5 million acres of timberlands now protected within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, timber industry managers say the riches within the regrown forest are being squandered at taxpayers' expense.
Gannett Wisconsin Media report (http://post.cr/17USEyd ) the battle pits loggers and mill owners against environmentalists and the woodland-recreation industry.
Records show the government could have sold 1.3 billion board feet of wood in the past decade under the forest's management plan. That would have represented roughly $110 million in revenue. But loggers cut just 755 million board feet, a little more than half the allowed quantity.
Forest supervisor Paul Strong points out that the Chequamegon-Nicolet serves multiple purposes.
University of Wisconsin botanist Don Waller says the priority has swung in favor of tourism and environmental appreciation.
THREE LAKES - Getting diagnosed with a rare disease can be a scary, isolating feeling. A Three Lakes girl and her mother don't view it that way, they want to show the disease doesn't define 11- year- old Ada. "It came out of the blue you have a child and don't know you're going to encounter that," said Ada's mother Jennifer West. Jennifer knew something was different when her two year old daughter was shrinking in size and had bowed legs.
"[It was] a turning point in my life as a mom," said Jennifer. It took nearly 12 specialists to diagnose Ada with XL- Hypophosphatemia, a form of rickets. The genetic disorder that affects one in 20,000 people. "It's kind of like finding a needle in the haystack and I found out I'm the needle," said Ada. Ada's body can't properly handle phosphorus, making her bones soft and her figure smaller. That's led to dozens of doctor's appointments and a surgery last week.
PARK FALLS - People in Price County should keep an eye out for fake $20 bills.
The Park Falls Police Department is looking into several cases of a customer using the counterfeit money at various businesses. The bills all have the same serial number and stand out when you use a detection marker on them.
Police Chief Scott Straetz says the bills look very similar to the real thing, but you can tell the difference if you hold them.
TOMAHAWK - The Tomahawlk VFW donated two electric wheelchairs to Highground Veterans Memorial Park in Neillsville.
The park features 155 acres with a number of memorials focused on different wars.
"It's just a really great feeling knowing that they can do this and they can get there and spend the time they need to reflect on what they need to reflect on," said Highground Executive Director Jon Weiler.
Weiler said most of the veterans visiting have a hard time moving around the large park without assistance from a wheelchair.
SUGAR CAMP - A major fire destroyed a machinery repair shop in Sugar Camp on Wednesday morning, sending clouds of black smoke over the Northwoods.
The shop, next to a home on County Highway D west of Sugar Camp, caught fire around 10 a.m.
"There was a machinery malfunction that [the owner said] he was dealing with, and there could also be a heating issue," said Sugar Camp Fire Chief Jason Goeldner. "We got an area to look, but we haven't gotten in there yet to actually try to do a thorough investigation yet."
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