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Warming prompts closure of Lake Superior ice cavesSubmitted: 03/17/2014
Warming prompts closure of Lake Superior ice caves
Story By Associated Press

BAYFIELD - The popular ice caves on Lake Superior near the Apostle Islands are now closed, concluding an unprecedented wave of tourism and exploration.

The National Park Service says the caves along Lake Superior were closed just after midnight Monday. The park service says the ice was getting too weak to support foot traffic to the caves, which are accessible by kayak in the summer.

Park service spokeswoman Julie Van Stappen says 138,000 people visited the caves this winter. That figure dwarfs the 12,700 people who visited in 2009, the last time the lake froze enough to make the caves reachable by foot.

When the ice caves were inaccessible in 2012, there were 6,700 people who visited the park.

Van Stappen says this season's attendance was ``amazing.''



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 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - A jury of eight men and six women will decide whether a 30-year-old Wisconsin man is guilty of a 2011 shooting near Three Lakes.

The trial against Edwin Hughes started Monday morning in Oneida County Court.

Prosecutors accuse Hughes of three felonies tied to a botched armed robbery seven years ago. That attempted robbery ended with the victim alive, but shot in the knees.

Police believe Hughes and Daniel Frausto broke into the home of Donald DalPonte in February 2011, seeking to steal his money. DalPonte owned Weasel's, a gentleman's club in Three Lakes, at the time.

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Heavy snow great for ski slopesSubmitted: 01/22/2018

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WAUSAU - Heavy snowfall may make for bad road conditions, but it makes for great ski slopes.

Granite Peak Ski Area in Rib Mountain hasn't needed to make artificial snow since December 31.

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MADISON - A Wisconsin tribe is suing the federal government in hopes of blocking a proposed gold mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Aquila Resources Inc. wants to dig the so-called Back Forty mine on the Menominee River but needs a state permit to fill wetlands.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - The Oneida County Highway Department spent most of the morning preparing for the winter weather parts of the state are expecting to see. 

Highway Commissioner Bruce Stefonek to get an update as to what the highway department has been doing to prepare. 

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EAGLE RIVER - Even with the snow falling down Monday, some people can't take a snow day.

Taxi drivers in the Northwoods can help people who can't drive make it to doctor's appointments, grocery stores and even lend a hand when their car breaks down.

Eagle River Taxi Service driver Kurt Schels says the snow is just another part of his job.

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MERRILL - A Merrill pastor critically injured in a car crash near Rhinelander this month died Monday afternoon.

According to a post from his wife on a family-created CaringBridge page, James Weiland died at 2:20 p.m.

Weiland, 58, was hurt in a crash on Highway 8 several miles west of Rhinelander around 1 p.m. on Jan. 12.  His pickup truck crashed with a semi-truck, which led to a 4 1/2-hour closure of the highway.  Medics took Weiland from the scene in an ambulance before airlifting him to Aspirus Wausau Hospital.  The semi-truck driver was not hurt.

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LINCOLN COUNTY - The DNR found a case of chronic wasting disease in Lincoln County.

A two-year-old buck harvested in northeastern Lincoln County, south of Rhinelander, tested positive for the deadly brain disease.

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