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Overages applied to rates
11:41 am
Thu November 7, 2013

State Regulator Denies WPS Rate Increase

Credit psc.wi.gov

State utility regulator, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, is proposing that a utility serving much of central and northern Wisconsin cut rates.

Wisconsin Public Service had proposed a six percent electric rate increase and a four percent natural gas increase. Public Service Commission attorney Cindy Smith talked with Ken Krall about the Commission's decision.

Smith says the Commission should have the final order in place after public input sometime later this month.

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U.S. Grand Jury indictment
8:23 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Northwoods Postal Worker Charged

Credit en.wikipedia.org

A St. Germain postal worker is facing charges concerning alleged mail theft.

A federal grand jury in Madison returned an indictment against 26 year old Katie Dassow . She's charged with removing articles contained in a letter intended to be conveyed by mail, while a U.S. Postal Service employee. The indictment alleges that she committed the theft from a piece of mail on June 8, 2013.

If convicted, Dassow faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. The charge against her is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General.

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Tribes Condemn Race-Based Mascots
4:46 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Mascot Bill Could Strain State-Tribal Relations

The Lac du Flambeau tribe of Ojibwe is urging Governor Scott Walker not to sign a bill making it harder to change race-based school mascots.  The Republican-backed legislation has passed the Assembly and the Senate.  The new rules would require a petition of signatures and proof of discrimination before a school mascot can be changed.  

Current law has it the other way around – a school must prove its mascot isn’t discriminatory. 

Lac du Flambeau spokesman Brandon Thoms says the proposed rule changes encourage destructive stereotypes of Native people.

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Citizen Science at Work
4:44 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

DNR: Calling All Wolf Trackers

Volunteers must take a training course to learn to identify different animal tracks.
Credit Paul White

DNR officials are asking for volunteers to help with the state’s winter wolf count.  

  DNR Carnivore Biologist Jane Wiedenhoeft says those numbers go into determining the state’s wolf hunting quota. 

“It’s extremely important to us.  It’s not our only source of data for the winter count, but it is a major source of data.”

Wolves are the main counting target, but trackers will also note signs of other carnivores. 

At least two days of training required to get familiar with different animal tracks and the basics of wolf ecology.

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Arts & Life
4:39 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Local Charity Says Holidays Are Time to Help Needy Families

Rhinelander Salvation Army is kicking off its holiday bell ringing.
Credit Sage Ross

November and December is a big time for shopping.  It’s also a critical time for people who need assistance. The Rhinelander Salvation Army is seeking bell-ringers to stand outside big stores and collect donations. 

WXPR’s Ken Krall sat down with coordinator Kim Swisher.

 Swisher says 86 cents out of every dollar goes to help needy families in Rhinelander.

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Watch Out in Winter
4:11 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Drivers: Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Deer

As the nights grow longer, greater numbers of drivers may be hitting deer.

JP Wieske  is spokesman for the Offices of the Insurance Commissioner.  He says drivers need to pay attention, because this time of year is especially risky. 

“I think the main reason is the activity of the deer.  There’s a lot of travel, it’s getting darker, but also there’s a lot more deer activity at this time of year.”

Wieske says animal collisions are a significant expense for insurance companies.  He says deer hits were up last year.

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Leadership Oneida County
3:32 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Oneida County Non-Profits Can Get Free Help

The deadline is approaching for Oneida county non-profits to get some free volunteer help.

Each year Leadership Oneida County needs projects from non-profits. The effort is jointly sponsored by UW-Extension and Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce. This year 16 professionals are learning about the business, education, medical, media and other aspects of Oneida county life with an eye toward finding a new generation of leaders here.

Chamber Director Lara Reed says they need at least five more non-profits to submit entries to have enough for the prospects...

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Three deaths in Wisconsin
3:25 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

DNR-Take A Friend When Setting Up Tree Stands

A successful perch
Credit dnr.wi.gov

Statewide, three hunters have died this year after they fell out of treestands. A DNR leader says most injuries and fatalities are preventable.

Jon King is DNR Hunter Education Administrator. He says for a purchased stand, take the time to read all the directions. He says setting it up alone is not advised...

 

"....we encouraging using the buddy system. Take somebody with you while you do this. When you're climbing in a tree stand and it's not attached to the tree, it could fall over on you and end up injuring you...."

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Strong bookings for the holidays
3:18 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

More Passengers Flying From ROCA

Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport
Credit fly-rhi.org

More of us are flying from the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport.

Airport Director Joe Brauer says the switch to the Delta-connect airline SkyWest has improved the number of passengers flying out of Rhinelander...

 

"...through the first ten months of the year we're running about a 53 percent load factor. We started out slow in the first quarter. We had a very strong summer where (the number of passengers) were running in the high eighties..."

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Studying Salmonella Poisoning
1:35 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

New Plan for Collecting Data On Bird Health

Evening grosbeaks are one type of songbird that can be affected by salmonella poisoning.
Credit Alan Huett

A wildlife rehabilitator is hoping to pin down the extent of salmonella sickness in birds.  

The Northwoods Wildlife Center is planning to train citizen scientists to notice and report cases of salmonella in birds.  Executive Director Sharon Reilly says the center got dozens of calls this spring reporting sick or dead birds…where salmonella sounded like the culprit. 

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