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Batttle simmers in Northwoods national forest Submitted: 10/19/2013
Batttle simmers in Northwoods national forest
Story By Associated Press

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.



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WOODRUFF - As Father Aaron Devett gave his Thanksgiving Day sermon at Holy Family Catholic Church in Woodruff Thursday morning, a service of a different kind was happening in the kitchen. 

"We kind of see these two feasts coming together," said Devett. 

Every year, volunteers cook, serve, and deliver meals to people for Thanksgiving. 

John Danner has been organizing the big meal for more than 20 years. When he first started, he was cooking for about 50 people, now it's nearly 600. 

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MERRILL - Most people enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner with family. But the Merrill firefighters spend their Thanksgiving at the station with their second family, their coworkers. Community members stepped in to make sure the firefighters still had a special Thanksgiving while they were working. 

It might be Thanksgiving, but for the Merrill Fire Department, it's just another day

But it is a day with more turkey, stuffing, and pies. 

"We had a couple of community organizations that dropped off meals for us which we're definitely grateful for," said firefighter and paramedic Bryson Cruise.

The job doesn't stop for firefighters and Thanksgiving is no exception. 

So Park City Credit Union and Hands of Hope wanted to thank the firefighters for their service with a home cooked Thanksgiving meal. 

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PARK FALLS - Many families began their Thanksgiving Day with a run this morning. Topping off the holiday with a "trot" around town may not appeal to everyone, but for these families it was a way to spend time with one another.

"Trot now so we can pie later," said Steph Schultz, a runner in the Park Falls Turkey Trot.

Families used the Turkey Trot 5K in Park Falls as a way to bond.

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RHINELANDER - Many people spend Thanksgiving surrounded by friends, family and food.

But some people who work on the holiday don't get that opportunity.

Thursday morning, Grace Four Square Church in Rhinelander had volunteers lined up ready to serve up meals for people who can't be with their families for Thanksgiving.

"[The meals are for] those that are volunteering and working in our community, our elderly, our shut-ins," said Pastor Joseph Fehlen.

Fehlen says this is the tenth year volunteers have come together to help others in the community on Thanksgiving.

"We're doing 400 meals this year," said Fehlen.
About 100 volunteers pitched in to help prepare and deliver the meals.

"We have turkey, stuffing, real mashed potatoes not those flaky things, cranberries, buns and pumpkin pie," said Fehlen.

After the assembly line and food relay was complete, volunteers split up to deliver the meals throughout Rhinelander.

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BESSEMER, MI - Search teams found a 65-year-old Woodruff woman dead in Michigan's Upper Peninsula Wednesday morning.

The Gogebic County Sheriff's Office searched Black River Harbor (which is north of Bessemer) after receiving information that the woman might be in the area.

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RHINELANDER - Nineteen months ago, 10 police agencies surrounded the Tripoli home of Kenneth Welsh.

Police say Welsh caused a three-hour standoff, threatened to blow up his house, and threatened to kill his wife.

Later in court, he was convicted of two felonies and sentenced to three years in prison by Oneida County Judge Michael Bloom.

But now, those convictions and prison sentence have been erased. This month, while in prison, Welsh argued he didn't fully understand all the elements of one of the crimes to which he pleaded no contest, first-degree recklessly endangering safety. Welsh's motion put some of the blame on his defense attorney, Rod Streicher.

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CONOVER - People in Conover and Phelps came together with an idea to connect the two communities by bike trail. Seven years later, the Great Headwaters Trail foundation can see the end of that trail. 

Construction of the first 9 miles of the trail were completed this fall. The trail needs a little more than 2 miles until it's connected to Phelps.

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