Natalie Jablonski

News and Features Contributor
Joe Ross

Many Northwoods communities are reporting an uptick in visitors this winter. 

Boulder Junction room tax receipts were up eight percent for last year’s fourth quarter, which ended in December.  Rhinelander room tax receipts were up four percent over that time, and Minocqua's went up two percent.  

Rhinelander Chamber Director Dana DeMet says more people seemed to be traveling to the Northwoods this year for the snow quality. 

A Rhinelander art gallery is hanging a new show focusing on rural art educators in Wisconsin. 

The images in ArtStart’s spring show, Rural Roots: Art Pioneers in Wisconsin, show pastoral scenes and natural landscapes. 

As Programming Director Laura Ehmann describes, featured artist Ruth Stolle was a beloved teacher who left her mark on students in the area. 

invest-smart.org

Northern home sales shot up in February, compared to that month last year, by almost 17 percent. 

That’s better than the statewide average, which showed a less than two percent rise…according to numbers from the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

Economist Dave Clark says a milder winter may have helped the market.  

“We’re really comparing to a February last year that was pretty weak.  We had that long cold winter, and you know spring came a lot later than it typically does.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Home_improvement/Tools#/media/File:Garden_hose.jpg

Rhinelander is gearing up for home improvement season with the Hodag Home show this weekend.

Rhinelander Chamber Director Dana DeMet says it’s a chance to consult with experts and see a variety of product options. 

“Anybody who owns a home here in the Northwoods knows that there’s a very short season in which we can get a lot of our projects done.  So we like to schedule this near the end of the winter season, so that people can get on their calendar for a lot of these projects that are coming up.”

Buck Vaughn / The Conservation Fund

A majority of Wisconsin voters support the Knowles Nelson Stewardship fund. That’s according to a new poll from the Nature Conservancy. 

Governor Scott Walker’s budget plan calls for freezing land acquisitions funded by the stewardship program until 2028. 

Democratic lawmakers are coming to Rhinelander this weekend to hear what people in northern Wisconsin think about the governor’s proposed budget.

State Senator John Erpenbach of Middleton sits on the Joint Finance Committee.  He says Saturday’s listening session is an opportunity to hear from citizens of both parties.                 

“So there’s all sorts of aspects to the budget that affect everybody in the state from one aspect or another.  So we’re real curious to hear what people have to say about it, and any ideas that people have.”

Frank Kovac

Northern lights displays wowed people across Wisconsin and other northern states last night.

Planetarium owner Frank Kovak in Monico says they were the best he’s seen in almost 15 years. 

“It was actually to the point where they were really dancing in the sky – greenish, and then a little bit of red.  Real beautiful.” 

Kovac says solar storms like the one that caused last night’s show usually linger for a few days, but clouds are forecast tonight.

Still he’s hopeful for a break in the cloud cover. 

Wisconsin Public Service crews have begun to extend a natural gas pipeline from Crandon to the Forest County Potawatomi Community. 

WPS Spokesperson Leah Van Zile says the project involves about five miles of both new construction and upgrades to existing infrastructure. 

“If we’re looking for any additional expansion beyond the Forest County Potawatomi governmental buildings there, we do need to make sure that our system has enough pressure and is built to the specifications necessary to do any expansions.” 

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

A new cooperative effort to fund more management on the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest is bearing fruit.

Harvest has begun on a timber sale in Forest County as part of a stewardship agreement.  That means money earned from the sale will go towards conservation and management on the forest, instead of to the general budget. 

As Director of the nonprofit Sustainable Resources Initiative Don Peterson explains, it’s thanks to the efforts of a group called the Stewardship Steering Committee. 

Pixabay.com

Many Northwoods property owners know the importance of getting their land surveyed. 

As President of the Wisconsin Society of Land Surveyors Jeff DeMuth describes, surveying can become especially prominent in determining boundaries of shore land properties, which are often limited in space. 

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