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Online Health Exchange Improves
4:00 am
Sun December 22, 2013

As First ACA Deadline Looms, Application Assistants Lend A Hand

With the federal online health exchange working better, more people are signing up.
Credit Will Brady

Monday is the deadline to pick a plan on the federal health exchange, if you want your coverage to start January 1st.  Most insurance companies are extending the deadline to pay for that coverage…until January 10th. 

Meanwhile healthcare groups in the Northwoods are seeing an uptick in the number of people asking for help signing up via the exchange.

Myra Kubesh is a certified application assistant at Langlade Hospital.  She says many people have questions about whether they qualify for a subsidy...and what kinds of coverage different plans offer. 

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Printed and online
5:28 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

New "PAL" Shows State Recreational Opportunities

Public Access Lands Atlas(PAL)
Credit Wisconsin DNR

A new DNR Public Access Lands Atlas...with the acronym "PAL"... is now available online and in a printable format. The atlas highlights the significant increase in public access to Wisconsin lands made possible through the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, as well as other lands open to the public for outdoor recreation.

The atlas contains 441 maps, two indexes, a glossary, and extensive contact information to help you connect with land managers to learn more about the properties.

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Looking for Volunteers, Donations
2:56 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Food Pantry Says Holidays Are Peak Time

Canned food donations are good, says the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry, but monetary ones go further.
Credit Salvation Army USA West

Grocery stores and shopping centers aren’t the only places seeing heavy traffic this time of year. 

Rhinelander Food Pantry Executive Director Guy Hansen says demand goes up during the holidays.

“Our business increases – we have a lot of people that come in, when they wouldn’t come in other times of the year, because they’re preparing for holidays, company and so on.  And money’s always a little short at this time of the year.” 

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In Memory of Dedicated Friend
5:31 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Remembering Tuckey Requa, Longtime WXPR Volunteer and Board Member

Tuckey Requa was an important part of WXPR for many years.
Credit Peg Arnold

The WXPR Board of Directors deeply mourns the passing of one of its members, Tuckey Requa. She served the station in many capacities, reflecting her impressive range of gifts and her enthusiasm for everything WXPR.

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Arts & Life
5:10 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Christmas Bird Count May See Fewer Seed-Eaters

Black-capped chickadees are common at Northwoods bird feeders in winter.
Credit Tashiarr via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Black-capped_Chickadee_eating_seed.jpg

Manitowish Waters will hold its annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count Saturday. 

Groups throughout the Northwoods and across North America help track long term trends in winter bird populations. 

It’s the twenty first year of the Manitowish Waters count.  Coordinator John Bates says over that time he’s seen significant change in bird populations.  This year he’s expecting low numbers, especially of seed-eating birds that often travel here from Canada.              

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Wednesday evening fire
3:01 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Fire Kills Two In Mercer

Credit fr.wikipedia.org

A 37 year old woman and a 24 year old man have died in a house fire in Iron county.

The Sheriff's Department said the call came in just before 6:00 p.m. Wednesday night. Mercer Fire and Rescue went to the home on Old Highway 51 Road in Mercer.

The home was completely ablaze when help arrived.

Names are being withheld until relatives are notified.

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Good Snow Means Tourists
2:56 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Holiday Snowmobile Traffic Brings Good Tidings for Businesses

This weekend, snowmobile riders can hit the trails in most of Vilas, Oneida and Forest counties.
Credit Manfred Werner

Snowmobile trails are opening across the Northwoods.  Phelps trails open Thursday, and Forest County trails open Friday.

Most Oneida County trails opened Wednesday.  Minocqua Chamber of Commerce Director Kim Baltus says wintry conditions this early in the year is a big deal.

“It’s been several years since the trails have been open before the holidays, and a very long time since we’ve been able to really invite tourists to come and spend their holiday vacation hopefully between Christmas and New Years in the Northwoods.”

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Long dispute nearing end
2:53 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

LDF Tribe Agrees To Buy Strawberry Island

Credit ldftribe.com

A long time standoff between the owner of Strawberry Island in Lac du Flambeau and the tribe is a step closer to being resolved.

This week the tribe's Land Management Office told the tribal council they had come to an agreement to acquire Strawberry Island for $250,000. The tribal council passed a resolution approving the sale.

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Other counties using model
4:59 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Business Incubator For Oneida County?

Oneida county would like to follow Vilas county with a business incubator
Credit Vilas County Economic Development Corporation

Business incubators have been started in at least two Northwoods counties and Oneida county might also be looking into it.

An incubator works by putting several mostly new small businesses in one building, sharing relatively low rent and utilities with the idea toward growth and eventually leaving the nest.

During this week's Board of Supervisor's meeting, Oneida County Economic Development Corporation Director Roger Luce said critics say the incubator's compete with private sector rentals. He disputes that...

 

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Three More Hearings to Go
4:59 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Rural Schools Task Force Hears From Superintendent, Administrators

Transportation costs have been cited by many rural school districts as a big challenge.
Credit John O'Brien

The Assembly Speaker's Rural Schools Task Force held its third hearing Tuesday in Madison. 

  

Legislators heard more than three hours of testimony from educational groups and administrators.   State Superintendent of Schools Tony Evers spoke about the financial challenges facing rural schools.

"We need to do something about fixing our funding system for all the schools in the state.  We need to find ways to allocate resources that take into account the income levels of families, and not just the community's property value." 

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