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Northland Pines School District looks forward to economic and educational benefits of solar panelsSubmitted: 09/14/2017
Story By Katie Thoresen

Northland Pines School District looks forward to economic and educational benefits of solar panels
EAGLE RIVER - In just a couple of months, the Northland Pines School District will partially run on solar energy. 

In less than two weeks, Eagle Point Solar crews have transformed the roof of Northland Pines Middle and High School into a solar array.


"It really helps out in the long run to utilize that empty space up there and produce power," said project manager Alan Johnson.

Between the roof of the high school, the grounds behind the elementary, and Land O'Lakes school, Eagle Point Solar will install 1,400 panels, which will produce about 480,000 kilowatt-hours of power per year.

"It's enough energy to efficiently run 38 homes across the United States, so that's a lot energy," said Northland Pines District Administrator Dr. Mike Richie.

Richie isn't just excited about the economic benefit of the solar panels.

"We're going to save anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000 per year," said Richie.

He's also excited about the educational benefits.

Just like at Lakeland Union High School in Minocqua, people will be able to see the amount of energy the solar panels produce on Northland Pines' website.

"All this data is going to be great for our students," said Richie.

That new opportunity is satisfying for Alan Johnson, who knows his hard work will lead to more people learning about solar power.

"I would think that a lot more people would be a lot more inclined to get solar either on their homes or businesses or even facilities such as this," Johnson said. 

The school district has no up-front or maintenance costs for the solar array. In 12 years, Northland Pines will have the option to buy panels from the third-party investor.

If it does that, it could save the school district $50,000 in energy costs each year.


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 10/19/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:


One veteran on the 34th Never Forgotten Honor Flight was able to get his grandson on the flight at the last minute. Tonight the veteran and his grandson tell us why it was important for the two of them to be on the trip together.

We introduce you to a Minocqua tattoo artist who was homeless at one time and is now using his talents to help others who face the same struggle.

And tonight on Friday Night Blitz we'll bring you scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following football games:

Freedom vs. Mosinee

Northland Pines vs. Stratford

Sparta vs. Ashland

Greenwood vs. Edgar

Gibraltar vs. Newman Catholic


That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.

We'll bring you this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MADISON - Dispatch logs show multiple shots were fired in the home of a northwestern Wisconsin girl who vanished after her parents were found dead inside the house.

The Barron County Sheriff's Department released dispatch logs Friday that indicate responding deputies found multiple rounds in the home and the door kicked in.

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MADISON - Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is alleging his Democratic opponent Tony Evers plagiarized material that was part of the state budget request submitted by the education department he runs.

Walker made the charge on Friday, hours before Walker and Evers were to meet in their first debate. Polls show the race is a tossup.

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HURLEY - An Arbor Vitae man will face 14 extra felony charges related to the Iron County murder of Wayne Valliere, Jr. last winter.

Evan Oungst, 28, is one of five men charged with homicide in the killing.

The state Department of Justice filed nine additional counts of harboring or aiding a felon and five counts of giving out illegal drugs.

Oungst also faces a count of harboring or aiding a felon in Vilas County.

The information attached to the new Iron County charges matches previous information in the case. Assistant Attorneys General Richard Dufour and Chad Verbeten are handling the case and decided on the additional charges.

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MOSINEE - Rib Mountain's Russell Vanskike is an American Red Cross volunteer who flew out of Mosinee Thursday morning to assist Hurricane Michael relief efforts.

"We start people up on the road back to trying to get a normal life again," said Vanskike.

Vanskike has helped eight disaster areas recover within the last three years.

"Last year, I went to Hurricane Harvey," said Vanskike. "The year before I was in the Carolinas with hurricane Matthew."

Vanskike will be serving meals to people who are just returning home after the Category 4 hurricane. 

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NORTHWOODS - Another winter approaches without a wolf hunt in Wisconsin. 

Last month Congressman Sean Duffy proposed removing wolves from the federal endangered species list. That legislation got support from both parties. 

Duffy grew up in northern Wisconsin. He wants to give the management of endangered species to the states instead of the federal government.

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TOWN OF ENTERPRISE - A simple contraption made from wood and holding batteries and cameras ended up in Jason Manders' hands Thursday morning after a long flight.

"I've never held anything that's been in space, so this is pretty cool," Manders said.

Getting that contraption back from high above the earth was much more complicated.

"I didn't really know what I was going to get into," Manders admitted.

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