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District works to keep silica sand out of schoolSubmitted: 11/03/2013
Story By Associated Press


NEW AUBURN - With four sand mines in operation within a few miles of New Auburn public schools, district officials have taken extra precautions to keep silica sand out of the building's air system.

Superintendent Brian Henning says the district has been using higher-quality air filters at double the price, spending about $1,500 this school year.

West-central Wisconsin is a hot spot for sand mining and residents have expressed environmental and health concerns about the tiny sand particles generated by mining. The sand is mixed with chemicals in hydraulic fracturing _ a high-pressure process used to extract natural gas and oil from the ground.

Henning tells the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram (http://bit.ly/HjCgBE ) school officials took dust scrapings from the air filters and sent it to a Madison lab for testing. They found a small amount of silica on the filters.




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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 09/29/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

Merrill leaders decided not to discipline City Administrator Dave Johnson and Fire Chief Dave Savone for taking items from the Lincoln County Fairgrounds that some people considered historic and valuable. Merrill Mayor Bill Bealecki issued a statement to the media saying that although Johnson and Savone didn't violate city policy, their actions were in poor judgment. We'll hear from Johnson on what he thinks about the statement.

The Northwoods area has seen several cases of deer poaching in the last week, and most of them were not caught. But authorities recently caught two teenagers in the act thanks to neighbors in the Lakeland area. You'll hear from the Conservation Ward Supervisor on how they were caught.

And, we'll tell you about a local company that is transferring ownership to all of the employees.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - No matter the weather, a glass of wine can be enjoyed year round. Even in the bitter cold, there are wineries in Oneida County that still offer tastings and wine tours.

"When people think of a winery, they do think of grape wines. They're kind of surprised, pleasantly surprised when they come to our winery and see fruit wines," said Terri Schenck from Three Lakes Winery.

The Oneida County wineries are a little bit different than what you'd see in Napa Valley.

"It is a farm so we are working on different crops, black currants, apples and an experimental vineyard," said Linda Welbes from Brigadoon Winery in Tripoli.

With the unique flavors of wines, Three Lakes Winery and Brigadoon Winery often see a lot of visitors from out of town.

"They usually say, 'I didn't know how much I needed this.' They relax, they unwind whether it's summer time or fall, just to sit outdoors when it's beautiful, it's peaceful, it's quiet," said Welbes.

Three Lakes Winery has a lot of history behind their building. 

"The actual winery itself is an old Chicago Northwestern Train Depot that was built in 1880. There was a tornado or wind storm that happened in 1924 that destroyed the building," said Schenck.

The building was rebuilt shortly after. Every fall the winery hosts cranberry marsh tours.

"There are several bogs in the area and it's interesting for people to be able to go and see a bog and see how the cranberries are harvested and what goes into making cranberry wine," said Schenck.

With winter right around the corner, the crops won't be producing much.

"The crops, they are what they are. It's farming so there's not much you have to do and you just hope for good weather. Lots of snow cover, that helps," said Welbes.

The Three Eagle Trail runs right into the parking lot of Three Lakes Winery. That brings in a lot of traffic year-round.

"In the winter time it turns into the snowmobile trail. We will get a lot of snowmobile traffic in the winter time and a lot of foot traffic, hiking, biking people in the summer time," said Schenck.

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TOMAH - Wisconsin cranberry growers are expecting an above-average crop yield this year because of nearly ideal growing conditions.

Ed Grygleski is president of Valley Corp., a cranberry producer near Tomah in west central Wisconsin. He tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that it has been a great year for growing because there has been plenty of sun without extreme heat.

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NORTHWOODS - The high-dosage flu shot for people 65 and older is stronger than the regular one, but holding off for a couple weeks could help keep you flu free for even longer.

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ANTIGO - The rain this summer put a damper on some people's outdoor plans, but it was great for potato farmers.

The rainfall made this one of best growing seasons in Wisconsin's history, but now that rainfall is delaying harvesting.

Potato growers can't dig up potatoes when they're wet because they won't store well.

But if they wait too long growers run the risk of the crops getting damaged by frost.

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LINCOLN COUNTY - In the Northwoods, plenty of families sell organic eggs from their small farms. But a new chicken farm near Gleason takes production to a different level.

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EAGLE RIVER - After a year of revisions, Northland Pines High School will start a new policy in December: drug testing some of its students. 

The school board approved the new policy earlier this week.

For District Administrator Mike Richie, this is a way to stay proactive, helping both parents and students avoid drug addiction.

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