STEVENS POINT - The Northwoods enjoys one of the highest concentrations of fresh water lakes in the entire world, yet many people across the state worry the water coming out of their faucets could be dirty.
Gov. Tony Evers is addressing that by calling 2019 the 'Year of Clean Drinking Water.'
Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Rep. Katrina Shankland visited UW-Stevens Point Monday as part of that project. They toured water testing facilities on the campus to talk about how the statewide issue can be solved.
Barnes and Shankland also announced a new plan to help private well owners keep their water safe.
"That's why I've introduced bi-partisan legislation to create a first of its kind for [a] private well testing program that would provide grants to local governments to help homeowners test their private wells, so they can know what's in their drinking water," said Shankland.
Shankland's bill also increases how much money the state gives to homeowners to hook up to clean drinking water.
Barnes thinks Republicans will support the bill because clean drinking water is important for everyone.
"It is a wise investment," said Barnes. "I don't think there are too many people would see a problem with us making sure that we're prioritizing health and safety. Everybody drinks water every day. If you don't you should. Eight glasses. Well, we want to make sure those Eight glasses are free of contaminants."
The UW-SP water labs test water in 16 different counties.
Barnes and Shankland both want this kind of science to lead the way to clean water solutions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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