RHINELANDER - America will welcome a new type of logging machine. Ponsse showcased its Scorpion King Friday morning in Rhinelander.
The nearly 50,000 lb. machine is the company's first with a 360 degree cutting turret.
Company leaders say that gives operators the chance to grab any tree within reach without having to move its base.
"People want more and more efficient machines, but the operators want to have more comfort because comfortably also brings you more productivity," Antti Rasanen Ponsse Marketing Manager said. "The operator can be fresh and productive the whole day, which makes a big difference after a year or a month."
The Scorpion King has already been introduced in a handful of European countries, including Finland, Sweden, Germany, France and Great Britain. Rasanen says the tree cutter can be used practically anywhere.
"We can go to soft terrain; we can go to steep hills or just flat surfaces. It doesn't matter. It does really well on uneven, rough terrains over steep ditches," Rasanen said.
The company hopes to sell the product in logging areas across the US. They believe the product will do well in America because of the improved visibility it gives operators.
"Well basically it's the working technique, it's completely free. You see a tree; you can take it no matter where it's pointing. So it's visibility and the working technique." Rasanen said.
The frame of the machine has rotating joints, which help keep the middle frame, and cab, hydraulically level.
The machine also can tackle the majority of logging jobs.
"Of course if we go really big ones, big trees, then you need a one-step bigger machine, but other than that, for a general purpose idea, this is perfect for most conditions," Rasanen said.
Ponsse hosted more than 600 people Friday for the demonstration. Leaders for the company say it was the largest demonstration they have hosted in Rhinelander.
APPLETON - The U.S. Marshals Service says a convicted sex offender who was wanted for violating the terms of his release has been arrested in Appleton.
The agency says 63-year-old L.C. Streeter, of Milwaukee, was previously convicted of four separate sexual assaults from 1976 to 1985. Wisconsin committed him as a sexually violent person in 1996, and he remained in treatment until his release in 2013 under intensive supervision.
The service said in a statement that he cut off his GPS and electronic monitoring bracelets and fled supervision on Monday, resulting in a warrant for his arrest. Federal marshals and Appleton police arrested him without incident in Appleton on Friday.
Kevin Carr, the U.S. marshal for eastern Wisconsin, says Streeter was "an absolute danger to the community based upon his past convictions."
WAUSAU - This has been Wisconsin's deadliest gun-deer season in the past five years, with two shooting fatalities already recorded.
Daily Herald Media reports (http://wdhne.ws/1HvNth3 ) that the two fatalities brought to an end a three-year series of seasons that had been free of firearm deaths. Four other hunters also have been wounded.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, hunters violated some of the fundamental rules of gun safety in all the incidents.
A man was killed last Sunday in Columbia County when he was shot while passing a loaded rifle to a companion in a tree stand. Wearing mittens, she grabbed the gun near the trigger and it went off. On Monday, a hunter in Waushara County was killed by a stray bullet.
TOMAH - The Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center says it has adopted another plan to improve patient care.
The La Crosse Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1QMsDMZ) that Friday's release of the "100-day plan" comes almost 11 months after media reports that veterans at the center were prescribed excessive doses of opioid pain-killers and that employees who spoke out faced retaliation from top officials.
The plan, which follows a 30-day plan announced in May, outlines steps for improving access to care, employee engagement and restoring trust.
Among other things, it calls for recruitment of psychiatric staff, employee forums and listening sessions, and opening an employee wellness center.
Several Tomah VA officials — including former Director Mario Desanctis and former Chief of Staff David Houlihan — have been fired since the problems emerged early this year.
MAUSTON - Authorities are investigating the death of a person who was found unresponsive in Decorah Lake early Friday.
Kyle Lynch, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources warden for Juneau County, says he was called to the scene to assist in a boat search about 1:30 a.m. He also says the Mauston Fire Department recovered the body, which was found in the water.
The Mauston Police Department says attempts were made to rescue the individual, but the Juneau County Coroner's Office pronounced the individual dead at the scene. Police have provided few other details, and the victim's name has not been released.
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