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Wisc. libraries to get broadband boost Submitted: 02/10/2014
Story By Adam Fox

Wisc. libraries to get broadband boost
THREE LAKES - You could soon get to your favorite websites faster in parts of Central and
Northern Wisconsin.

The state will use $4.2 million from the federal government to boost broadband
at libraries in Wisconsin.

That includes the Demmer Memorial Library in Three Lakes. Demmer Memorial
Library Director Janet Dixon says the upgrade will make their internet three
times faster for the same price they pay now.

"Our patrons are doing a lot of research on our computers now and sometimes
they're awfully slow and we would really like to have that consistent speed for
them," Dixon said.

More than 350 libraries across Wisconsin will get the internet speed boost.

Dixon says the fiber broadband will get their connection from 3mbps to 10mbps.
She believes the upgrade will help rural areas avoid falling behind in
technology and opportunity.

"I think the speed is important for them (patrons)," Dixon said. "So we want to
be able to provide that even though we're up here in the Northwoods, we want to
have good internet service."

Workers will start laying the broadband fiber lines in April. That means
libraries could get the broadband boost by November. State Superintendent Tony
Evers is excited for the project.

"More than 60 percent of our public libraries report inadequate Internet
connection speeds to serve library patrons," Evers said in a press release.
"Many of our libraries are the only public Internet access in their small, rural
communities. Our libraries provide online education resources for students of
all ages including BadgerLink services for job seekers and information on
government services so this upgrade of Internet connectivity will be a welcome
improvement across the state."

Planning for the project started in 2013 and is a part of improving the state's
BadgerNet broadband connection.




Related Weblinks:
List of Libraries getting fiber broadband upgrade

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 IN OTHER NEWS

WISCONSIN DELLS, WIS. (AP) - Three Illinois men are dead after their sport utility vehicle collided with a pickup near Wisconsin Dells.

Columbia County sheriff's authorities say the men were in a Toyota 4Runner that collided with a Chevrolet Silverado at an intersection on State Highway 127 on Saturday.

Authorities say the Toyota SUV apparently failed to yield the right of way at a stop sign. The three men died at the scene. Authorities say they apparently were not wearing seat belts.

The 33-year-old woman who was driving the pickup was flown to UW Hospital. Her passenger, a 33-year-old man, was taken to another hospital.

Names and hometowns of the victims were not released.

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MADISON, WIS. (AP) - Madison officials say Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents violated city policy by detaining at least six immigrants without letting police know ahead of time.

Madison Police Chief Mike Koval says the department has a working relationship with ICE, but the federal agency did not follow protocol. Koval says ICE has agreed to call the assistant police chief before making arrests in Madison. This time the agency called the Dane County Communications Center.

Koval says the arrests were made at separate workplaces and are not considered to be part of a raid. He says the community is in "hyper-warp distress mode."

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin says ICE told city officials the people arrested are believed to have committed serious crimes, but he does not know the specifics of the investigation.

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WOODRUFF - Ascension Wisconsin Spirit Medical Transport hosted a fun-filled day for family and friends on Saturday.

This comes about five months after one of its helicopters crashed, killing three Spirit employees.

Regional manager Charles Kotke said those men were in mind today,

"Today is a day of bringing people together, as well as a celebration of our 25 year anniversary," said Kotke. "This team did an amazing job getting us back to caring for our patients and doing what we need to do to care of our community."

Flight paramedics showed off the aircrafts to people and the helicopter was a big hit.

"They definitely like to look at the aircrafts. See how we transport patients from point A to point B," said Northern Region Supervisor Ryan Short.

Next Saturday, Spirit is celebrating with more associates. The second part of the celebration will be in Stevens Point.

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THREE LAKES - After 30 years, Dr. George Karling decided it's time to retire as the Three Lakes District Administrator.

He plans to leave after the school year ends, but the school board is already preparing to find his replacement.

Early next month, the Three Lakes School District will host two input sessions for the public.

Three Lakes residents can go to give their opinions on what they want in a replacement. 

Karling's decision to retire comes about a month after he faced criticism for allowing the district to be featured in a campaign ad for Gov. Scott Walker. 

People who can't make it can still send their thoughts to the Three Lakes Board of Education. People can submit comments by writing to:

Board of Education, Three Lakes School District
6930 West School St. 
Three Lakes, WI 54562 

or email: tr@threelakessd.k12.us.



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RHINELANDER - A house fire in Rhinelander left one man dead Friday.

Emergency responders got the call around 7:30 p.m. for a home near Hodag Park.

Steve Smith heard a dispatch call over his step-sons radio about the fire at his neighbor's home on Rose Street.

"We walked out the front door and it was plain as day," said Smith. "The flames were rolling out of the front window."

At first, Smith wasn't sure if anyone was in the home. "There was a man they brought out," said Smith. "unfortunately, I heard he was deceased,"

Police Chief Lloyd Gauthier confirmed the victim was found dead on the scene.

"Life saving measures were done by the paramedics. Unfortunately, the male had passed away," said Gauthier. "At this point, it appears that it was due to something left on the stove."

Gauthier says more details about the victim will be released on Monday. 

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RHINELANDER - Kids ran throughout the Woodpecker Bar and Grill in Rhinelander on Saturday for the third annual Harvest Hoedown.

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