Gov. Evers stresses patience, waiting on more research before acting on CWDSubmitted: 03/06/2019
Story By Lane Kimble

Gov. Evers stresses patience, waiting on more research before acting on CWD
RHINELANDER - Environmental issues like clean water got some focus during Governor Tony Evers budget address last week, including $70 million in borrowing to address water pollution, but the proposal doesn't address one of the biggest environmental issues in the Northwoods.

Evers didn't include any new funding for chronic wasting disease prevention.

Three wild deer tested positive for CWD in the Crescent Corner area near the Lincoln-Oneida County line, all since 2017.

Democrats criticized former Governor Scott Walker for not doing enough to stop the spread of CWD.

During a stop in Rhinelander on Tuesday, Evers said he wants the DNR to take its time studying the disease more.

"It wasn't that we were dismissing the issue of CWD, it's obviously a very important one," Evers said. "It's a very important one for our state, tourism, hunting, natural resources, but we believe the first place to start is around that."

Scientists first found CWD in southern Wisconsin in 2002. Recently, the DNR has asked hunters to submit more deer for testing. The agency is also in the middle of a four-year study in southwestern Wisconsin that should offer a lot more information .

"We're going to make sure that we're very thoughtful," DNR Secretary-Designee Preston Cole said. "When we roll something out in the future, we're going to make sure that the science is there, we have our partners there."

Evers says Walker's administration took away too much of the science in the DNR.

"That's a mistake," Evers said. "We have to have an agency that has science as its basis and those scientists actually get to participate in the policy making."

Cole added it wouldn't be "prudent" to do anything big until that study is done in 2020.

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ARPIN - A tractor versus truck crash in Wood County caused significant injuries after the tracker operator was thrown from their seat.

It happened shortly before 12:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

The tractor was traveling north on County Hwy K when it was rear-ended by a truck.

The tractor driver was airlifted to the hospital by Life Link of Marshfield. The truck driver was treated for minor injuries and let go.

The names of those involved are not being released at this time. 

The Wood County Sheriff's Office and Wisconsin State Patrol will investigate the crash. 

The Marshfield Police Department, Arpin Fire Department and Pittsville Ambulance also responded to the scene.

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WAUSAU - A new furniture gallery at the Wausau Center mall hopes to bring back customers and jobs to the struggling shopping center. 

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RHINELANDER - ArtStart in Rhinelander features the work of artists from all over the world in many different mediums. 

Now it'll share the life story of two famous Mexican artists.

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RHINELANDER - The Oneida County Health Department told people to stay away from a popular freshwater spring this week after tests showed high levels of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the water.

The Crescent Spring on South River Road joins the nearby Rhinelander municipal Well 7 with high PFAS levels.

The Health Department and DNR don't know where the contamination is coming from.

"Especially when we're talking about the Crescent Spring and the sheer number of people that get their water from the Crescent Spring, we definitely wanted to be proactive [in keeping people away from it]," said Todd Troskey, an environmental health specialist with the Health Department.

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FORT SCOTT, KS - A man charged with tampering with a vehicle owned by two missing Wisconsin brothers is facing new charges in Kansas.

The Kansas City Star reports Garland Nelson is charged in Bourbon County, Kansas, with endangering the food supply. Prosecutors say Nelson didn't have proper health papers when he took 35 calves from his family's farm in Missouri to a farm in Fort Scott, Kansas, in May.

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GREEN BAY - Dash cam video captured a wild police chase in Brown County last Friday. The driver led police across two counties and into oncoming traffic.

The chase began when someone called 911 to report a dangerous driver.

The chase reached speeds of 100 mph as Jonathan Tease, drove into oncoming traffic. It lasted about 45 minutes and covered more than 40 miles.

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MADISON - The push is on for the Wisconsin Legislature to create a dental therapist license as part of an effort to address a dentist shortage, particularly in rural areas.

A coalition of more than 50 groups is urging the Legislature to join with other states and countries facing similar shortages and pass a bill licensing dental therapists. The position is a step below a dentist.

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