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The number of people continuing to be out of work in the Northwoods is lower than one year ago.

Numbers released this week by the Department of Workforce Development shows Iron county with the state's second highest rate at 7.8 percent, but that is down just under one point from a year ago.

Other Northwoods counties all showed at least a half-point lower than one year ago, and in Oneida county's case, 1 percent lower at 5.6 percent and Vilas down 1.2 percent from 7.4 last year. Dane county has the state's lowest rate at 2.9 percent, Bayfield the highest at 8 percent.

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Adults remember their adolescence, and young people going through that period of their lives often struggle with it. The Oneida County Health Department has a series of programs coming up that might give families some help.

Community Health Specialist Meagan Neis says the weekly program gives families greater insight...

Courtesy: Wisconsin DNR

The Nicolet Bird Club of Three Lakes has joined forces with the DNR staff to manage the Thunder Lake Wildlife Area through the Adopt A Wildlife Area Program.

Nicolet Bird Club President Bill Lamon of Three Lakes says the club had thought about projects at the area that would enhance birdwatching and other public activities...

Courtesy: Wisconsin DNR

Property owners in Oneida and Marinette counties are being recruited by the DNR to voluntarily join Snapshot Wisconsin, a citizen-science effort to capture images of all types of wildlife.

Spokesperson Susan Frett says a statewide wildlife monitoring project that's being rolled out on a county-by-county basis. The program began in 2016....

Never Forgotten Honor Flight

The Never Forgotten Honor Flight hub based in Wausau has flown nearly 2,400 veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam to Washington, D.C. to see the memorials to their conflicts. Due to achieving a safety mark, Wisconsin Public Service has donated $2,500 to keep the flights going.

Wisconsin Public Service spokesperson Matt Cullen says two Honor Flight organizations benefited...

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The Town of Pelican just east of Rhinelander has picked up a $200,000 state loan to construct a new town shop.

The town received approval from the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands. Executive Secretary Jonathan Barry explains....

"....the town of Pelican is using the state's trust fund loan program, which dates back to 1871, It's a loan coming from the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands at very competitive interest rates with very flexible terms, meaning the town, if they wish to, can pay this back at any time with no penalty..."

SAMITE CONCERT CANCELLED FOR THURSDAY, MARCH 16

Mar 15, 2017
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Due to the snowstorm impacting travel nationwide, the concert scheduled for Thursday, March 16 featuring Samite is cancelled.  A reschedule date is pending.

A member of the Wisconsin Ethics Commission takes exception with comments about the commission presented by a former member.

In an interview with WXPR, Judge Robert Kinney said he would be addressing at a League of Women Voters of the Northwoods meeting  what he felt was a reversal of Wisconsin's tradition of open and transparent government. Kinney resigned from the Commission late last year.

www.publicdomainpictures.net Bobby Mikul

Lakes groups and governments in Vilas county are again hoping a reconsideration of a position taken in January to adopt shoreland zoning changes mandated in the last state budget.

The state has mandated counties not have shoreland regulations stronger than DNR rules, which are considered less stringent than former county rules. The Vilas County Board in January unanimously approved its version of state-mandated changes.

U.S. Senate

The budget cut hasn't formally been announced, but already Congressional members from both sides of the aisle are opposed to a rumored 97 percent cut to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin is a member of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force. 

Baldwin outlines what she is hearing...

".....what we are hearing right now is President Trump's budget will include a 97 percent cut in funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and that is in my opinion, just plain wrong...."

Northwoods United Way

The Northwoods United Way is asking for proposals for 2018 funding in Oneida, Vilas and Forest counties.

The Northwoods United Way helps fund agencies that provide programming in providing basic needs and self sufficiency, promoting health, healing and crisis intervention and strengthening children, youth and families.

Director Nancy Sattler says currently funded agencies and potential new recipients go through the process the same way...

Courtesy: Wisconsin DNR

Those bigger stocked walleyes are nearing 'keep' stage.

The DNR stocked a record number of extended growth walleye fingerlings in key Wisconsin waters in 2016. Fish from the initial year of the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative are expected to begin reaching harvest size this year. The legislature allocated extra money beginning in 2013 to stock larger walleye fingerlings with an eye toward higher survivability in waters where walleye populations had dropped.

DNR fisheries culture section chief, Dave Giehtbrock says large numbers of fish are being stocked...

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This strange winter is coming to a close, and even with the recent cold snap, it's time to get the fishing shacks off the ice.

DNR Conservation Warden Supervisor Dave Walz of Woodruff says Wednesday , March 15 for Wisconsin-Michigan boundary waters is the removal date, and Sunday, March 19 for waters north of Highway 64 and inland waters.

"....they need to remove their permanent shacks by then, but say an angler wants to take their shacks out during the day and then remove it, they can do that, but the more permanent shacks need to be removed...."

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People who help those with problems related to gambling are gathering later this month for their annual meeting and a state leader says there are warning signs your gambling has become harmful.

Rose Gruber is Director of the Green Bay-based Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling. They educate and promote understanding of problem gambling and the disorder of compulsive gambling. Gruber says it's estimated more than 330,000 people in Wisconsin have a gambling problem.

She says there is a signal that a person's gambling habits have changed....

 A Rhinelander man was arrested Saturday night for firing shots at an apartment complex in the Town of Pelican.

The Oneida County Sheriff’s Office reports the call came in just before midnight. When authorities arrived on scene, deputies identified the shooter as 46-year-old Steven Fletcher.

Officials say the preliminary investigation shows Fletcher allegedly was trying to shoot someone in the apartment complex.

No one was hurt and the investigation is ongoing.

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