EAGLE RIVER - Todd Wilfer's eighth grade science class thought they should start raising honey bees, so they turned to the community and got things going.
The honey bee project started out as a way teaching kids science in the community. When you gather the honey, you have to wear protective suits, not only to protect yourself, but to protect the bees.
"Well we've had the bees here for eleven days and what we're doing is we're going to take some of the honey from the bees and send it our to our sponsors," said Eighth grader Jack Brown. "There's tons of sponsors that are local and we're going to use some of it for school like making chap-stick and just to eat."
The students will take care of the bees over the summer and they'll make sure they're healthy for the fall. Wilfer wants more kids to get involved with the project and expand it in the next few years.
"The next incoming eighth grade class next fall will bottle the honey right away when school starts and that will be delivered back to our bee sponsors," said Wilfer. "Any excess honey will be used in our family and consumer education classes and our science and food class that will be at the school next year."
The school has more than 120 sponsors that helped pay for the project.
The honey bees they're raising aren't native to Wisconsin, but that won't stop the class from making this their home.
"These bees are Italian bees and they came from California," said Wilfer. "There are native bees around, the Mason bee is one bee that we're going to work on next year and building habitats for local, native, pollinator bees. For now the honey bees are convenient because they're pretty easy to tend to."
The efforts to raise honey bees will help to prevent Colony Collapse Disorder which was identified in 2006. Right now the class has 20,000 honey bees and hopes to triple that number over the summer. They expect to produce nearly 50 pounds of honey by the end of this year.
LINCOLN CO. - The Lincoln Co. Sheriff's Office is calling a death east of Merrill on Thursday a homicide.
In a press release on Friday morning, the sheriff's office said a 77-year-old woman was found shot and killed around 8:30 a.m. on Thursday. In the same home, a 78-year-old man was found critically injured from a gunshot wound.
It happened at a home on Range Line Road in the Town of Pine River.
The sheriff's office said it believes the shooting is isolated and the public is not in danger.
The Lincoln Co. Sheriff's Office and Wisconsin Department of Justice Crime Lab worked to process the scene.
RHINELANDER - A former contracted janitor accused of sexually assaulting a Rhinelander student appears headed for a trial.
Stavros Iliopoulos appeared in Oneida County Court on Friday afternoon. Attorneys told Judge Michael Bloom they had not reached a plea deal. Bloom decided to schedule one final pre-trial conference for late August before a two-day jury trial was set for Sept. 4 and 5.
In late November, police said Iliopoulos, 65, took a girl into a dark closet and hugged, kissed, and touched her inappropriately at Northwoods Community Elementary School, a public charter school in Harshaw.
Iliopoulos worked for a contracted company, Victory Janitorial, at the time.
THREE LAKES - Plenty of Three Lakes High School students didn't know what they want to do for a career as of Friday morning. By Friday afternoon, many still weren't sure, but dozens got an inside look at possible careers.
The school held its annual Career Day on Friday morning. About 25 presenters included police, an FBI agent, college teachers, and graphic designers.
The school first held Career Day in 2009. Organizers hope students realize they have plenty of opportunities close to home.
SEYMOUR, IND. - A chain-reaction crash in southern Indiana killed a Minocqua couple on Wednesday morning.
Glenn Cardelli and his wife, Kathryn, both 57 years old, were traveling in south an RV near Seymour, Ind., on Interstate 65. The RV was behind a semi and an SUV, both of which slowed due to highway maintenance.
Another semi failed to slow down behind the stalled traffic and crashed into the Cardellis' RV. The crash killed the couple and John Mumma, 67, an Illinois man driving the SUV.
The vehicles caught fire. Interstate 65 was closed for about eleven hours for cleanup and crash investigation.
All sorts of animals are affected by icy conditions. Some Northern Wisconsin owls dive INTO the snow to hunt small rodents. But recent freezing rain has formed an ice crust that owls can't break through. That means owls are beginning to starve.
Amanda Schirmer has been working at the Northwoods Wilderness Center for the past four years. She says that owls may hang around birdfeeders to prey on smaller birds. They may also be seen near roads.
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