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NEWS STORIES

Businesses, hunters react to elimination of in-person deer registrationSubmitted: 01/22/2014
Story By Lauren Stephenson


LAKE TOMAHAWK - The DNR board approved a measure Wednesday that will eliminate in-person deer registration in 2015.

The department says it will save them money and be more efficient.

But that decision could mean less business for area registration sites.

The BP gas station in Lake Tomahawk registers about 500 deer a year.

It's the only registration location between Rhinelander and Minocqua.

The station's owners say most people who register deer also buy other things like pizza, beer and snacks.

The store depends on deer registration to get through the lull between the summer and snowmobile season.

"500 customers means a lot to us....It's going to hurt our businesses. We live in such a small community. Then it will be hard to survive," said BP Lake Tomahawk owner Meena Arora.

We called seven businesses that register deer in our area.

All but one said eliminating in-person deer registration will hurt business.

We also asked our Facebook Friends what they thought.

Brenda Yaekel posted, "I do not think they should take away from the local places that support hunting. Business is slow enough."

But hunter Gregory Dodge wrote, "I like the idea. I'm a long way from a registration station, over an hour round trip just to register a deer which takes under 5 minutes to do. They have been doing this out west for a long time with no issues."

You can call in deer registration or register deer online under the new system.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - Many Americans struggle with fitness. But it's a challenge you can tackle even at an older age. And a frequent swimmer at the YMCA of the Northwoods will tell you the same.

Bev Linnihan-Moye didn't start competitively swimming until she was 65. She's now 77 and faster.

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MERRILL - We told you earlier in July about the Merrill Citizen's Fire Academy.

People who take the 10 week course this fall will learn more about what firefighters do.

12 people will take the class.

Spots for the course are filling up.

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EAGLE RIVER - You may not notice the Northwoods trade school tucked along Highway 17 in Eagle River.

One national organization thinks it deserves more attention.

The Advanced Welding Institute will receive an award for its high graduation and employment rates.

The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges is granting the welding school its School of Excellence Award. School administrators are invited to attend the professional development conference in September in Arlington, Va. 

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MERRILL - All K-8 students in Merrill Schools will get their own iPads this fall.

Wednesday, teachers were trained on how to use the new technology.

Last year, six third grade classrooms tried out how it would work.

District leaders said parents and students involved in the pilot program liked it.

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's search for a new city administrator got a little narrower - from nearly two dozen candidates to a handful. Rhinelander has been without a city administrator since the middle of May when Blain Oborn went to Lake Geneva.

The Rhinelander City Council held a meeting last night to go through a list of candidates. At the end of that meeting, they went front from having 22, down to a list of four.

"We have four candidates that we have coming in," said Rhinelander's Mayor Richard Johns. "And the candidates vary, one's from Eau Claire, Antigo, Kewaskum, and Stevens Point. We pretty much have a local area so-to-speak, rather than out of state."

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RHINELANDER - Thousands of people will come to the Oneida County Fair starting Thursday.

The fair has grown a lot in recent years. Organizers try to get new rides and entertainment to draw in bigger crowds.

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BOULDER JUNCTION - A Vilas County shooting range will get some financial aid thanks to the Wisconsin DNR.

The Boulder Junction Shooting Range got a grant for venue upgrades.

The range also got a grant last year.

It used the money to make its facilities handicap accessible.

Range officials say they will use this year's grant for additions.

Those include making the space more energy efficient.

"[The] money will be used for insulating the clubhouse," says Secretary of the Boulder Junction Shooting Range Pete Drahn. "It'll be used to remove doors and windows that we no longer need, and to replace a window with a more energy efficient window."

The range has gotten grants two years in a row, but it won't happen again next year.

"They've told everybody that received the grants this year that they'll start doing grants only every other year for someone who has received it," says Drahn. "So at the earliest, it would be the year after next."

The range's board members want to make the venue better for shooters, but they say they couldn't have done it without the grant's help.

"These are projects we probably wouldn't do for eons," says Drahn. "We don't receive any money from anybody except the users of the range. So we don't have a lot for our capital needs."

The range also plans to install a new fence to improve the facility's safety.

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