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Northwoods residents learn more about poverty across 6 counties in the regionSubmitted: 02/11/2020
Zack White
Zack White
Reporter
zwhite@wjfw.com

Northwoods residents learn more about poverty across 6 counties in the region
RHINELANDER - People from around the Northwoods gathered at the Oneida Co. Aging, Disability, and Resource Center to talk about poverty in the Northwoods. 

The session used data from six Northwoods Counties. According to the data in 2010, the total number "in poverty" was over 15,000, and by 2018 the total number decreased by 12,700.

UW-Madison Demographic Specialist Dan Veroff said the number of impoverished people can be attributed to income and employment.

"The number one is income, that tied very much to employment or unemployment," said Veroff.


Veroff also attributes the numbers to the type of employment that is the most prevalent across the six Northwoods counties.

"When you look at the kinds of jobs that are available to people here many of them are in service sector jobs that are relatively low income or seasonal," said Veroff.

In the Northwoods, the poverty rate for employed people is 6%, while the poverty rate for those who are unemployed is 37%. The poverty rate for people with year-round, full-time work is 2.3%, but seasonal or part-time workers in the Northwoods carry a poverty rate of 15.5%. 

Veroff said he wants people to take away a sense of action from Tuesday's presentation.

"I would hope that it would be a spring-board into taking some action or thinking into advocacy or policy," said Veroff.

The event was part of the League of Women's Voters monthly meetings, to learn more about their sponsored events visit their website.


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 IN OTHER NEWS
NATH hosts e-cycling fundraiserSubmitted: 08/14/2020

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RHINELANDER - Traffic slowed to a stand-still on Highway 8 West out of Rhinelander but not because of any accident or construction.

NATH and The Good News Project partnered for the third year in a row to host an e-cycling fundraiser.

"There's still a huge line of cars waiting to drop off their things and that's been going on since before we opened at 8. It's been a very busy and very successful fundraiser," say Rick Covin, Board Member for the Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing.

NATH operates Frederick's Place in Rhinelander. This is their third year partnering with The Good News Project out of Wausau to host the electronics recycling event.

"We're having anyone from the area able to bring their electronics, even vacuum cleaners, stereo systems, computers, TVs, monitors, and for a small fee which is much less than you would have to pay at the dump," says Covin.

A portion of the proceeds will go toward helping fund the shelter's operation. COVID and other complications forced NATH to cancel many of their successful fundraising events, like the Harvest Hoedown normally scheduled for October.

"While our expenses have not gone down, even gone up some, our income, which is fundraising grants, and gifts, has gone down," says Covin.

If you didn't make it Friday, don't worry! You can stop by from 9 to noon Saturady.

"We'll all be here ready to take their recyclables and all that stuff that's been gathering dust in their basement, closet, and garage, gather that up, those old electronics you have to pay through the nose to get rid of at the dump, bring 'em here, and we'll give rid of em for a small fee and it'll go to a good cause," says Covin.

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MINOCQUA -

 The walleye population in Minocqua's Chain of Lakes has been struggling. The Wisconsin DNR has placed strict policies on walleye fishing in the area which has put a strain on anglers. 

Because of that, fishing guides in Minocqua have had to suggest new alternatives to tourists in order to protect the walleye population.

"Numbers just skyrocketing," said Kurt's Island Sport Shop's Alec Steinberger on the surge of new fishermen.

But, with the walleye population struggling to reproduce naturally, fishing guides have had to direct new fishermen to different species.

"I recommend you go out and catch crappies and panfish and bass and have a good time," Steinberger said.

While the Wisconsin DNR has placed a strict "catch and release" restriction on walleye in Minocqua, it doesn't mean that anglers can't bring in those fish from other lakes.

"All the rest of the lakes don't have that restriction. So, you can still go out and fish and catch walleyes on a lot of lakes and come back with your limits everyday," said Dewey Catchem and How Owner, Jeff Bolander.

He knows better than anyone else that this summer has been especially busy for fishing.

"You've got the normal people that fish who are fishing more often," Bolander said, "You've got the people that don't normally fish are taking it up and finding out either they like it or they don't."

And Steinberger realizes these new anglers can cause a strain on an already low population.

"When you've got people coming up and taking walleyes out of the chain that aren't being naturally reproduced, you're actually taking out more fish than can be reproduced into the lake," he said.

The DNR is hoping that by next summer the walleye population in Minocqua can return to normal levels and fisherman can resume catching the fish without the strict policy.



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MADISON - The University of Wisconsin-Madison has received less than 1% of the money that Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group pledged to it two years ago amid the electronics giant's expansion plans in Wisconsin.

In August 2018, Foxconn committed $100 million to the university to help fund an engineering building and for company-related research. It gave the school $700,000 in the first year of a 5-year agreement and records show the school has received no additional money over the past year.

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MILWAUKEE -  Milwaukee's former police chief, who was demoted to captain in part for using tear gas against protesters demonstrating over George Floyd's death, has chosen to retire instead of staying with the department. 

The city's Fire and Police Commission voted unanimously last week to demote Chief Alfonso Morales.

 Commissioners criticized how Morales handled multiple incidents involving Black people, including the arrest of Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown. 

Speaking Wednesday on WTMJ-AM, Morales said he's retiring because if he returned as a captain it would be at a reduced salary and would negatively impact his pension payments. 

Morales also defended his record as chief. 

His attorney says he and Morales are exploring a range of legal action, including filing a claim for damages.

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KENOSHA - A Kenosha police officer wounded in a shootout last week while investigating a vehicle break-in has been released from a hospital, Wisconsin Department of Justice officials said Friday.

A release by the department's Division of Criminal Investigation identified the officer as Justin Pruett, who has been with the Kenosha police force for two years. He suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen, the Kenosha News reported.

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MILWAUKEE - A Wisconsin man has pleaded guilty to vandalizing a synagogue last year as part of a neo-Nazi plot, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

Yousef Barasneh, 22, of Oak Creek, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal civil rights charge, U.S. Attorney Matthew Krueger of the Eastern District of Wisconsin said.

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CRANDON - A plant that scientists believed had disappeared from Wisconsin has been spotted in the Northwoods.

"That's the scientific name, Calypso bulbosa," said Kevin Doyle, Botanist for Bureau of National Heritage Conservation. "The common name is calypso orchid."

The plant is small. Itsleaves are about the size of a thumbnail and the whole plant is only three to eight inches tall in its full bloom.

A volunteer found it in the white cedar swamps near Crandon. Now Doyle and others hope to preserve it.

"We're hoping to collect seeds from the population," said Doyle. "Hopefully collect some capsules and at that point we can kind of preserve some options."

And its all thanks to one volunteer.

"It's a great example of how we can collaborate with people who are already going out on their own time botanising and finding cool things," said Doyle. "And we need more people to get involved."

If you are interested check out their website: 

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