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A panel of mental health professionals, advocates, law enforcement and a consumer met recently in the White Pine Room at WXPR to discuss the status of mental health services in the Northwoods.

There's a growing number of people needing services and fewer professionals to help out. The panel discussed what is being done, where people can get help and the cost, in terms of effects on the person, society and costs to local government.

The moderator for the event is WXPR News Director Ken Krall....

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With the ultimate goal of saving $65,000 in energy costs annually over two decades, the Lakeland Union High School’s buildings and grounds committee Thursday paved the way for engineers to begin work on an intensive energy audit of the school facilities.

Committee members Thursday approved the proposed contract with Schneider Electric of Milwaukee, subject to review by the school attorney. Schneider representative Scott Mason said the “investment grade audit” would cost $28,000 and take three to four months to complete.

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No injuries were reported but fire extensively damaged portions of the Xcel Energy facility in Phillips early Friday.

Reports indicate a passerby saw the fire just before five this morning. The origin of the blaze is unknown but is said to not be suspicious. Seven Xcel Energy vehicles were inside the portion of the building that burned and are lost.

An Xcel spokesperson Chris Ouellette  says the 17 employees at the Phillips location went home Friday, but will return to work on Monday in the portion of the facility that was not seriously damaged.

A teenager was arrested Wednesday in Wausau after police got a tip he could be carrying a loaded gun in his backpack. Wausau Police report the arrest of the 17 year old male.

ArtStart

ArtStart in Rhinelander begins their fifth anniversary year as a community arts center with a gala event February 12 and they would like the community to join them. Spokesperson Melinda Childs says the event is designed for a good time...

"....it's really a celebration. We're going to have the Central Wisconsin Jazz Ensemble playing some danceable music,probably some Big Band, Swing and some standards. That's maybe the highlight is dinner and dancing, but it will be a fun party...."

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The public is invited to an upcoming open house to comment on four remaining issues in the proposed Willow Flowage Scenic Waters Area Master Plan.

The area in western Oneida county is a popular recreation destination, offering a variety of activities. A first round of public comment helped prepare a draft master plan but has left four key areas the DNR would like to hear more input says Willow Flowage property manager Tom Shockley.

The first includes boundary modifications that would allow growth in the local community...says Shockley...

Milwaukee Co. Board Withdraws Juveniles From Lincoln Hills

Feb 4, 2016

The Milwaukee County Board unanimously set in motion plans Thursday for removing nearly 170 county youth from a state juvenile prison in Lincoln county. They will be placed in secure detention centers in Milwaukee.

The board declared a "state of emergency" for county teenagers at Lincoln Hills School for boys and the adjacent Copper Lake School for girls at Irma.

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Pending action by the Natural Resources Board later this month, it appears most of the Langlade county spring ponds that the DNR initally offered for sale will not be on the block.

The agency has released an updated list of lands that they would like put up for sale. State law directed the Natural Resources Board to offer 10,000 acres of land for sale by June 30, 2017.

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A panel of mental health professionals, advocates, law enforcement and a consumer met recently in the White Pine Room at WXPR to discuss the status of mental health services in the Northwoods.

Among other points, there's a growing number of people needing services and fewer professionals to help out. The panel discussed what is being done, where people can get help and the cost, in terms of effect on the person, society and costs to local governments.

Wisconsin DNR

It might seem strange, but a tree expert says winter is the best time to prune trees to help prevent oak wilt.

Oak wilt is a tree fungal disease that chokes off an oak trees vascular system, like plugging up a person's veins and arteries. An infected tree will die from the top down. Beetles also spread the disease.

en.wikipedia.org

A meeting is planned in April between senior representatives of Canadian National railroad and the Northwoods Rail Transit Commission.

The Commission involves 13 counties in northeastern Wisconsin and seven counties in the U.P. They have been meeting regularly to see if freight rail service can continue in the region. Canadian National is the main freight rail server in the region. There have been rumblings from the rail company about service cutbacks.

Update To Minocqua Deer Feeding Story

Feb 3, 2016
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Update: 2/4/2016   The Department of Natural Resources requested a clarification to this story:

“Baiting and feeding bans are governed by state law. Under state statute 29.336, Wis. Stats, DNR is required to enact a ban on the feeding and baiting of deer in any county that is within 10 miles of a captive or free-roaming deer that tests positive for either CWD or tuberculosis. When CWD is detected and bans are enacted, counties are designated as being ‘CWD affected.’ Oneida, Vilas and Forest counties are among this group.”

Oneida County Has Second Highest Cancer Rate in Wisconsin

Feb 3, 2016
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  February is National Cancer Prevention Month and according to the Wisconsin Cancer Reporting System Oneida County has the second highest cancer rate in the state behind Vilas County.  Reports from 2008 to 2012 show Oneida County has an incidence rate of 514.4 per 100,000 people compared to the state rate of 459.5 per 100,000. Oneida County UW- Extenstion Family Living Educator Sarah Richie says she doesn't have an explanation for the alarmingly high numbers, but says nearly 75% of cancer deaths are caused by poor lifestyle choices such as obesity and tobacco use.  

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Most LUHS Students Do Well In ACT Testing

Feb 2, 2016
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About half of Lakeland Union High School’s Class of 2016 tested proficient or advanced in English language arts based on their ACT college admissions exam scores, the school board learned recently. But results of the test taken also show many are struggling with mathematics compared to other students statewide.

For the first time ever, all public school juniors across Wisconsin took the ACT test last March, said Director of Curriculum Rob Way.

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