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Crews make progress restoring power in WisconsinSubmitted: 07/01/2014
Crews make progress restoring power in Wisconsin
Story By Associated Press

MILWAUKEE - Officials with We Energies say they're making progress in restoring power to customers in southeastern Wisconsin, but outages are expected to persist into Wednesday

At least 115,000 customers of Milwaukee-based We Energies were without power at the peak of the outages. The number was down to about 15,000 by Tuesday night.

We Energies spokesman Rick White says Monday's severe thunderstorms damaged 29 power poles. He calls it the utility's worst outage in a decade.


Across the rest of southern Wisconsin, Madison-based Alliant Energy says about 600 customers remained without power Tuesday night, down from a high of 10,000.

Police say a 63-year-old Janesville man is in critical condition at Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center after apparently being struck by lightning after he got out of his vehicle Monday.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

ELCHO - An Elcho couple's Christmas tradition now serves as a tradition for many others in the Northwoods.

Carl and Lissa Bloechl spent only a week setting up thanks to the stretch of warm weather early in the season.

It's common for the couple to drop everything to take an emergency EMT call which adds time to decorating.
 
They say they can't stop the display though!

"We get people from Rhinelander or Antigo or people that we know, even from outlying areas! They'll say 'Do you have the lights up yet, we want to see them!" Then we have to scramble and beat the weather," says Carl Bloechl.

The couple spends about $300 adding new items to their display every year, such as the new nativity scene Carl built.

This is the fifth year the couple has decorated their apartment complex.


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RHINELANDER - A new state law could help northern Wisconsin open a mine in the next three to five years, if Sen. Tom Tiffany's predictions are correct.

Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) wrote the bill repealing a Wisconsin law often called the "mining moratorium," and Gov. Scott Walker signed it in Rhinelander on Monday.

Walker said the new law, branded the Mining for America Act, "might as well be called the 'Keep Our Kids in Wisconsin' bill."

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RHINELANDER - An orthodontic office in Rhinelander wants you to add one more person to your holiday card mailing list.

Dr. Joshua Bruce of Schmidt and Bruce Orthodontics is organizing this year's "Hope and Healing" thank-you card program for wounded veterans.

Dr. Darrell Schmidt first collected the cards for injured service members around Christmas last year.

Bruce says helping veterans is something he cares deeply about.

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RHINELANDER - Monday night the Rhinelander City Council made a big decision it hopes will bring more success to the Northwood Golf Course.

The Council voted seven to one to end its restaurant lease with Dave O'Melia, and to let golf pro Dan Buckley go. The council will begin looking for an outside management company to handle the course.

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ANTIGO - Getting your family a new dog or cat for Christmas can be more troublesome than thoughtful.

Shelter animals tend to be extra sensitive when they come to a new home.

With visitors coming and going, the holiday season often creates an even more stressful environment.  

Those Christmas decorations can also frighten a new pet.

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MERRILL -
A Tomahawk man charged with 12 felonies from a string of burglaries will spend the better part of the next decade in prison.

Jon Schenk, 45, was sentenced to seven years in prison in Lincoln County Court Monday morning. Schenk chose not to say much during his hearing, but judge Robert Russell had plenty to tell him.

"Here we are again," Russell said to Schenk.

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MADISON - Republicans say Wisconsin state Superintendent Tony Evers is not fairly applying the law covering when a teacher's license is revoked.

Republicans have criticized Evers's decision not to revoke the license of a Middleton middle school teacher in 2014 fired for viewing emails that included images of naked women. An arbitrator found no students were in the classroom when the teacher saw the emails.

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