RHINELANDER - Northwoods lake agencies will get nearly $500,000 dollars from the state to fight aquatic invasive species.
The largest sum, $122,576, will be used to fight invasive species in the Unified Lower Eagle River chain of Lakes. The money will help with removal.
It will also help keep the unwanted species from spreading.
Michele Sadauskas, Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator for Oneida County, says prevention is the key.
"We're trying to put that money into prevention to stop it from even getting into a lake," Sadauskas said.
Sadauskas says 10 percent of lakes in Oneida County have invasive species.
The grant money will help pay for people to get rid of the species before they can spread.
"What we're trying to do is find it quick and manage it," Sadauskas said. "If we find it quick enough, we can just even hand pull the Eurasian (water milfoil) out of the water to where we don't have to use chemicals."
That's because chemicals are expensive. It can cost nearly $1,000 dollars an acre to treat lakes with invasive species.
Groups in Oneida, Vilas, Lincoln, Langlade and Price county received a total of $487,185 to handle aquatic invasive species.
A Minocqua/Kawaguesaga Lake proposal was not accepted. The group requested $199,958 for invasive species clean up. Despite the recent denial, the group has received $341,986 from the Wisconsin DNR over the years.
Sadauskas will use the funds to hire limited term employees for the summer to help spot and deal with invasive species.
The Oneida County Land and Water Department will host two Clean Boat, Clean Water workshops and present to schools to promote prevention of AIS.
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.
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.
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.
RHINELANDER - A number of Rhinelander police and firefighters will work a weekend morning shift in December and won't get paid for it. It's an extra task they're happy to help with.
The Rhinelander Police Department's Shop With a Cop program returns December 16. Police and firefighters take 20 third grade students from Crescent, Pelican, Zion, and Nativity schools shopping for Christmas presents at Walmart. The schools recommend students for the event.
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