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NEWS STORIES

Warming prompts closure of Lake Superior ice cavesSubmitted: 03/17/2014
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
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 03/06/2015

- One Northwoods football field needs major repairs. Football officials say the field at Jay Stadium in Merrill is almost unplayable. The Merrill Area Public School administration wants to fix the field, but it doesn't know what to do yet. Newswatch 12's Karolina Buczek went to Merrill to find out more.

- Plus, the Phelps basketball team takes being a family to the next level. Four out of their five starters are related

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

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MERRILL - A Merrill man will spend less than a month in jail for disorderly conduct and carrying a concealed weapon.

Daniel Osness was originally charged with a felony for endangering safety and four other misdemeanors. He took a plea deal Friday.

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RHINELANDER - There could be a new trail running along Pelican River. The plan is to have the river trail run from the Chamber of Commerce out to the new boat landing. It'll travel up the Pelican River and connect the hotels along Kemp Street.

"Historically, the city has kind of viewed this river as an industrial river," said Rhinelander City Council Member Alex Young. "In the last few years, there's been a push to take advantage of the more recreational and aesthetic aspects of the river rather than the industrial aspects."

The proposed trail will run about a mile. The city council will pay about one hundred thirty thousand dollars for the project. The rest will be funded by grants.

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RHINELANDER - Prosecutors think 40-year-old Shannon Wolf played a role in the 2003 death of Kenneth Wells. Police found Wells' body in the Wisconsin River near Rhinelander 12 years ago, but no one was ever charged with a crime in connection to his' death.

Now the case against Shannon Wolf will move forward after prosecutors showed a DVD reenactment to the court on Friday and successfully established that there is probable cause for the case to go to trial.

+ Read More

MADISON - A representative of Wisconsin's Native American tribes told state lawmakers about the challenges facing tribal communities.

Chris McGeshick, chairman of the Sokaogon Chippewa Community delivered the annual State of the Tribes address Thursday.

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GALENA, IL - The latest derailment of a train carrying oil brought another failure of a safer model of tank car.

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BARABOO - Circus World, with its roots in the Ringling Bros., says it's committed to keeping elephants in its shows in Baraboo.

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