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Michigan DNR vows to fight spread of CWD into Upper PeninsulaSubmitted: 02/09/2016
Story By Ben Meyer

Michigan DNR vows to fight spread of CWD into Upper Peninsula
Photos By Wisconsin DNR

UPPER PENINSULA - When a deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease near Three Lakes in December, it served as the latest example of CWD creeping north in Wisconsin. It also triggered a controversial deer baiting and feeding ban in Oneida, Forest, and Vilas counties.

But just across the state line in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, no deer have ever been found with CWD. Michigan's DNR is going all out to keep it that way.


Michigan DNR Upper Peninsula Regional Wildlife Supervisor Terry Minzey, along with plenty of other people in the UP, love plenty of Wisconsin's exports. But there's one they want no part of.

"People in the UP, 'Yoopers', as we call ourselves, like your beer. We like your cheese. A fair portion of the Yoopers like the Green Bay Packers," Minzey said. "We don't want [your] CWD."

Forty-one Wisconsin counties are now classified as "CWD-affected" by the Wisconsin DNR.

But Michigan has only found five total deer with CWD so far. All of them were within a few miles of Lansing, in the Lower Peninsula. Wildlife biologists are working hard to keep the disease out of the UP for as long as possible.

"For us here in the UP, it's a big deal for a number of reasons," Minzey said. "First of all, there's a lot we don't know about this disease, but everything we know about this disease is bad."

CWD often causes deer to stop eating, become thin and bony, and act strangely. It's always deadly.

Michigan's plan to fight the spread of CWD will likely differ from Wisconsin's.

"I think Michigan will be more aggressive," Minzey said. "We're being more aggressive down in the Lansing area. We're doing some pretty heavy sampling down there. They've shot a lot of deer."

The Michigan DNR will also be aggressive with its new "Keep the UP CWD Free!" campaign, which will feature bumper stickers, billboards, and pamphlets.

"We don't need to add one more problem for our deer herd here," Minzey said. "We certainly don't need to add a legacy that we pass on to our kids and our grandkids that we can never get rid of."

Contact between deer, bodily fluids, or even soil can transmit the disease.

The DNR hopes the campaign will stop people from bringing live deer and carcasses into the UP, in hopes of helping slow the spread of the disease.

The Michigan DNR will start testing for CWD in the UP this year.

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OSHKOSH - Authorities have arrested two boat operators on suspicion of operating while intoxicated after their boats collided on Lake Butte des Morts in Oshkosh. 

The crash happened around 9 p.m. Saturday. 

The Winnebago County Sheriff's Office says a 26-foot Glastron boat with six people aboard was having mechanical problems and was traveling slowly toward Rainbow Park when it was struck by a 17-foot Lund boat heading in the same direction with two people aboard. 

Three people were taken to hospitals with minor injuries. 

The damaged boats were still merged together from the impact when they were towed to shore.


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After the Governor's decision, Mel's Trading Post made it clear; wear a mask or wait outside.

"Employee and customers, use a mask," said owner, Mitch Mode, "If people don't want a mask we can serve them at the front or curbside service."

But for Mel's, having customers wear a mask is nothing new.

"We've used masks, today is just another day of doing masks. Quite honestly, doing pretty well and people are pretty comfortable with it," Mode said.

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The Team Wireless Verizon dealer hosted it's second annual "Backpacks 4 Kids" event at over 50 locations.

Parents and students were allowed to stop by on Saturday and pick out their own backpacks with over $40 worth of school supplies, all from donations in the community.

The Antigo branch was able to supply 56 bags for local students.

"I know that for myself I've had donations anywhere between a dollar and $20," said Assistant Store Manager, Leah Anderson, "$4 a donation provided one backpack so, $20 a donation is five backpacks for our local community."

This year's event brought in over $80,000 worth of school supplies.


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MADISON - Wisconsin Senate Republicans "stand ready" to strike down the statewide mask mandate that Democratic Gov. Tony Evers announced on Thursday, the GOP Senate leader said Friday.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald stopped short of promising that the Senate would vote to kill the order, which is slated to take effect on Saturday. Fitzgerald, a candidate for Congress who faces a GOP primary on Aug. 11, also did not indicate when the Senate might convene.

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The hacker took over the accounts of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Kanye West, and more on July 15.

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VILAS COUNTY - The Vilas County Sheriff's Office issued a statement Friday in response to Gov. Evers' new mask mandate. It said the following in a post on Facebook:

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Justice Karofsky will be sworn in by Justice Rebecca Dallet.

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