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Faces 43 felonies
2:13 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Former Town Clerk To Enter Plea In January

The town of Elcho's former clerk will be arraigned in January on 43 felonies alleging misuse of more than $100,000 in town money.

43 year old Melissa Bloechl waived a preliminary hearing in Langlade County Circuit Court Friday morning.

Bloechl was charged in August with one count of theft from a business of more than $10,000, two counts of forgery and 40 counts of misconduct in public office. Investigators allege one check was for more than $50,000 and another for $40,000.

Winner in WXPR's Fall Drawing
1:41 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Paul Kage Scores The Kayak

Paul Kage, winner of the Dagger Zydeco Kayak in WXPR's Fall Drawing.
Peg Arnold

Paul Kage, avid kayaker and cyclist of Wausau, is the winner of the Dagger Zydeco Kayak offered in WXPR’s Fall Drawing. Our thanks to Mitch Mode of  Mel’s Trading Post for donating this enticing grand prize.    

Paul called in his pledge on late Blues Friday. He was cycling home from second-shift work thinking the show might end before he arrived home. So he stopped in a park and made the winning pledge from his cell phone.  

Fundraiser and pumpkin contest
9:19 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Hodags Auctioned And Pumpkins Aglow Saturday

A Hodag Looking For A Home
Credit downtownrhinelander.com

The principal fundraiser to aid downtown Rhinelander is being held Saturday night and the downtown will also be aglow.

The fundraiser is an adult Halloween Costume party and auction, earning the moniker this year the "Haunted Hodag Howl".

Downtown Rhinelander, Inc.'s Maggie Steffen says the event auctions off Hodag replicas that are seen around the community. But this year, the mythical beast is smaller and there's more of them...

 

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Limiting Local Control
4:23 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Strong Opinions Heard on Frac Sand Bill

Senate Bill 349 would mostly regulate non-metallic mining activities like frac sand mining.
Credit Nigel Corby

Impassioned testimony lasted all day at the state capitol, as groups lined up to speak on a bill limiting local control of some mining activities.

The legislation drafted by Hazelhurst Senator Tom Tiffany says towns must defer to state standards regarding air and water quality standards for blasting and other activities. 

Communities could still control non-metallic mining using zoning regulations.  But not all towns have that power. 

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Undetectable With Eyes and Nose
2:50 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

In Winter, Your Home Could Be Sheltering Radon

Radon test kits are available at local health departments.
Credit National Cancer Institute

It’s National Radon Week.  Health officials are reminding people to get their homes tested for the dangerous gas to prevent long term exposure.

Oneida County Public Health Nurse Charlotte Ahrens says the problem with radon is that it’s colorless and odorless.

“People have no indicators they they’re being exposed to this gas.  The gas is produced by a breakdown of uranium in soil, and in rock and in water.”

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Next report in November
2:19 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Federal Shutdown Slowed State Jobless Reporting

Unemployment lines in Depression-era Chicago
Credit commons.wikimedia.org

The recently-ended federal government shutdown is affecting more than federal programs: it's also slowing down the state's reporting on unemployment.

The Department of Workforce Development routinely puts out local jobless numbers the fourth week of the month. Not this month, as state economist Tom Walsh points out.

But Walsh says some local trends were seen...

 

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Bill would override local restrictions
1:56 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

City Deer Hunts Possible Statewide

Credit ironcooker.com

After several successful years, Rhinelander's city council decided not to hold an in-city bow hunt for deer this year. But if a bill circulating in Madison becomes law, the city might have to open a hunt again.

City council member Alex Young says Assembly Bill 8 allows for bow and arrow and crossbow hunting within city limits statewide. Young says Rhinelander has set forward restrictions during its hunts that aren't in the state bill. He says the bill preempts local restrictions..

 

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Legislation With Broad Impact
11:45 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Frac-Sand Bill Also Has Implications for Metallic Mining Activities

A state Senate bill regulating frac sand mining could overturn local rules relating to the proposed Penokee mine. 

The bill authored by Senator Tom Tiffany has drawn attention for how it would limit local control over nonmetallic mining. 

But the bill also contains provisions that regulate blasting for ANY type of mine or quarry. 

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Two reasons cited in report
11:21 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Minnesota's ACA Premiums Are Lower

Credit oakmontlibrary.org

  

Wednesday, the group Citizen Action of Wisconsin released a report saying Minnesota residents are paying far less in premiums under the Affordable Care Act. Rhinelander and Wausau are two cities the report compared to Minnesota communities.

Citizen Action's Robert Kraig told the media during a conference call his group could find two reasons why the higher rates are being offered....

 

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Wildlife Rehabilitation
4:00 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Let Out the Bears

Mark Naniot, wildlife rehabilitator at Wild Instincts, climbs into a treehouse to move a sedated bear.
Natalie Jablonski WXPR News

Wisconsin's bear hunting season ended this month.  

That’s good news for a group of young bears that spent most of the year at a wildlife rehab center.  They finally have the chance to be released back into the wild.  As WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski reports, that release is also good news for the bears’ caretakers…who finally have a chance to get some rest.

Bear release day dawns cloudy and damp. Just east of busy traffic on Highway 47, Mark Naniot has rounded up interns and a small crew of volunteers. 

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