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Crossing Highway 51 will be safer for pedestrians in MinocquaSubmitted: 07/25/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

Crossing Highway 51 will be safer for pedestrians in Minocqua
Photos By Shardaa Gray

MINOCQUA - Walking across the street can be hard and dangerous when there's a lot of traffic.

Soon pedestrians in Minocqua will have new technology to help them cross four lanes of a state highway.

Along with the construction on highway 51, the DOT has added what's called a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon.

It's the first cross-walk of its kind to be installed in the Northwoods.

Three others were put in at Wisconsin Dells.

The device looks just like a stop light.

Pedestrians and bicyclists push a button to light up the red light and stop traffic.

"They reduce crashes in an area by 28 percent. They see a reasonable compliance with a motoring vehicle," said DOT Project Development Supervisor, Robin Stafford.

"So since there are so many vehicles up there, they felt that this would be a good place to try it."

Most pedestrian crosswalks give walkers 15 to 30 seconds to get across the street.

But this one will last 40 seconds.

"It'll go from a flashing yellow for the vehicles to a solid yellow, to a solid red and then back to a flashing red and back to blank," Stafford said.

"In that time period when it goes from a solid yellow to a solid red, that's when the pedestrians can safely cross the roadway."

The cross-walk will be activated next Wednesday.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

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

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A 16-year-old girl is missing from Sawyer County according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Angel Marie Simonson is reported as an endangered missing person. She is a white female, 5'7", and 220 lbs. 

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RHINELANDER - A man died after a house fire in Rhinelander on Friday night.

According to a press release from the Rhinelander Police Department, Rhinelander police and firefighters responded to the fire at 320 Rose Street near Hodag Park around 7:30 p.m.  

Firefighters went inside the house soon after they arrived and found an unresponsive man on the floor.  Firefighters and paramedics tried to revive the man, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

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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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