Oneida Co. emergency responders, snowplow drivers work through first heavy snowfall of the season Submitted: 12/13/2017
Allie Herrera
Allie Herrera

Oneida Co. emergency responders, snowplow drivers work through first heavy snowfall of the season
RHINELANDER - Most people across the Northwoods woke up to several inches of snow on the ground Wednesday. It's a sight many have been waiting for since the start of the season.

But sometimes those snow covered roads make it hard for people to get their jobs done.

"Just because it's snowing out doesn't stop medical emergencies or fires," said Rhinelander Firefighter/Paramedic Adam Merrill. 

Merrill knows road conditions aren't his only worry when it snows. 
"A cot doesn't do really well going through the snow so it can be kind of a hassle to get it into some people's houses and down the sidewalks," said Merrill. 

The cot and additional equipment can weigh as much as 150 pounds without a patient on it. Merrill says sometimes because of the snow, it feels like they're dragging the cot through sand. 

"It's just trying to keep it steady and upright with the patient because you don't want the cot tipping over especially with someone on it," said Merrill. 

People like Lance Johns also have to drive regardless of road conditions. 

"I was in at 3:30 this morning and it was snowing then," said Johns, a snowplow driver with the Oneida County Highway Department. 

It's Johns' job to make sure the roads are clear for others to drive on. Even with more than 40 years of experience, Johns says weather is hard to compete with. 

"We're going to go at it all day long and it's probably going to look just as bad when we're done as when we started," said Johns. 

"They can come through, plow it clean and [in] two and a half hours they're back at it on the same piece of road and there will be a couple of inches of snow," said Oneida County Highway Commissioner Bruce Stefonek.

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MADISON (AP) - An environmental organization and the U.S. Forest Service are working together to harvest timber in northern Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that the 2014 Farm Bill has allowed the two groups to enter into a stewardship agreement. The conservancy will hire loggers, sell timber and use the proceeds for projects the Forest Service can't afford to do.

The conservancy plans to use some money to restore Simpson Creek by rerouting the channel and exposing the gravel floor that fish need to spawn. The group also plans to rebuild a handicap accessible boardwalk on the Oconto River and will use funds to restore habitat for the endangered Kirtland's warbler.

Forest Supervisor Paul Strong says the Forest Service's budget has been stretched by efforts to fight wildfire that have become more frequent and more intense.

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The little-known position dates to territorial days, but Republicans say it's outlived its usefulness. The office has already been stripped of most of its duties over the past decade.

But it has defenders, who say it's an essential check on executive power. They argue it should have powers restored so it can function as a strong independent watchdog.

Attempts to remove the office have been voted on in the Legislature for decades, but it's never gotten enough support to go to voters until now.

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The St. Patrick's Day Parade brought in hundreds down to Brown Street.

Green beer, good food and great music made for a perfect St. Patrick's Day.

While most people wore their green clothes proudly, Mike Lamarre from Suring Wisconsin didn't get the memo.

"My eyes are green that's it," said Lamarre.

Lamarre came to Rhinelander with one thing on his to do list.

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Jason Headson and his partner Sam were out checking on timber when they saw a parked vehicle.

"We noticed some movement in the car," said Headson.

They approached the small, grey sedan, which had its hood up. Then they discovered an elderly woman in the car.

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Twenty- three years ago Straus dreamed of creating life experiences for her students.
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With a $500 grant Straus made her dream come true with an in-school Coffee House.
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The baristas and bakers are pretty recognizable to Three Lakes teachers and students.
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Some of the students have worked at the weekly Coffee House before class for years.

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