RHINELANDER - The winter solstice arrives in a few weeks. However, with a decent amount of snow on the ground and a big cold snap on the way, winter came crashing in a little early for us. and for the deer too. That's why the DNR keeps track of how harsh Wisconsin winters are every year.
Deep snow and cold temperatures can cause issues for deer in the Northwoods. The DNR has a system to help track how severe a winter is and the problems it brings for the deer.
"The winter severity index is a way that we can basically put a measurement on the winter and have it so we can track to see how much impact it would be having on the deer herd basically," said DNR Deer Biologist Curt Rollman.
EAGLE RIVER - Snow may be cold, but it's a good insulator. So with all this snow in the Northwoods, many lakes aren't freezing like they could be.That poses a problem for many snowmobile clubs.
The Sno-Eagles Snowmobile Club maintains more than 80 miles of trails near Eagle River. Heavy snow brought down hundreds of trees. It also insulated lakes and swamps, slowing down the freezing process.
Trail Boss Brian Scheid said only about half the fallen trees have been cleared. He also said a lot of the trails are too wet.
RHINELANDER - A handful of elementary school students in Oneida County got the motivation they needed Thursday to learn formal letter writing. When drafting messages to Santa, those students received help from future business professionals.
Volunteers from Rhinelander High School's FBLA/DECA club visited Pelican Elementary Thursday. They helped 1st grade students compose their letters and assisted with proper spelling and grammar.
"I'm impressed, they really do a lot, they know a lot, they know how to write and their spelling is really, really close," said 11th grade student and FBLA/DECA club member Lily Eternicka.
1st grade teacher Ann Edwards says the letter writing activity was a fun break but also a great teaching tool.
"It was great to see them apply what I'm telling them every day to use when I'm not holding their hand to do an activity," said Edwards. "Instead of just asking the high schoolers how to spell a word they were really trying to stretch out the sounds."
FBLA/DECA club members will visit a couple dozen classrooms this week and next to volunteer with students. In two weeks, members will deliver responses from Santa back to the students.
MADISON - Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers says federal investigators plan to brief the Wisconsin National Guard's top commander on a review of the Guard's sexual assault investigation protocols this weekend.
The governor says in a letter to legislative leaders that officials from the National Guard's Office of Complex Investigations plan to meet with Maj. Gen. Donald Dunbar on Saturday.
EAGLE RIVER - For Jerry Lathrop, snow means snowmobiling.
"You're boating during the summer, and you've got to do something during the winter," said Lathrop.
He's been doing it for 30 years. Now he's opening the way for others, volunteering to clear brush for the Sno-Eagle Snowmobile Club in Eagle River.
"With this heavy snow, we had all kinds of trees that fell on the trail," said Lathrop.
Close to 20 inches of heavy snow brought down hundreds of trees on the club's more than 80 miles of trails. The Sno-Eagles have plenty of snow. What they need now are freezing temperatures. Right now, the ice just isn't thick enough.
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