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NEWS STORIES

Wisconsin ranks second in the U.S. for bird watchingSubmitted: 02/28/2014
Story By Stephanie Fuerte

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THREE LAKES - If you look out your window and see a bird, you might be a birder.

A recent U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service report ranked Wisconsin second in the U.S. in birders per capita. It ties with West Virginia at 33 percent and is just behind Vermont.

Bill Lamon is an avid birder and president of the Nicolet Bird Club of Three Lakes. He's one of more than 1.6 million birders statewide.

"I really became a bird watcher last year when I saw Sandhill Cranes doing their mating ritual," says Lamon. "When I saw that at Thunderlake Marsh, I thought there was something to be seen in bird watching."

Birders can go out to different hotspots like lakes or trails for their best chance to see certain kinds of birds. Since Wisconsin sits astride a major migratory pathway, it's home to one of the most diverse collection of birds in the country.

Lamon uses an app called iBird Pro to help him identify different birds. There are more than 400 species of birds found in Wisconsin.

But Lamon says you really only need one thing to become a birder.

"I've seen people use very expensive spotting scopes and photography equipment, which is also another branch of the birding experience, but a basic pair of binoculars is really all you need to get involved in the sport."



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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 11/26/2014

- The Northwoods teaching assistant accused of having sex with an underage teen reached a plea deal. Find out more tonight on Newswatch 12.

- Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) wants a spot on the legislature's powerful budget committee. Find out which Northwoods lawmaker beat him to it.

- It's a double whammy for cranberry growers in the Northwoods " a smaller harvest, and lower cranberry prices. What the U.S. government is doing about it, tonight on Newswatch 12.

- Your organization can get some free help solving a challenge or working on a project. 16 members of the Leadership Oneida County program are spending 9 months getting to know the services and organizations in the county.

- And success keeps coming for a musician native to Eagle River. Autumn Skibinski and her band "Only on Tuesdays" started a Kickstarter campaign back in July to help fundraise for an Extended Play (EP) album. Lac Vieux Desert Resort Casino in Watersmeet, Michigan donated the full amount to Autumn's band. The band completed work on the project, and released the EP Tuesday. We'll have reaction from Autumn on her group's success coming up tonight.

We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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Bakeries in the Northwoods prepare for ThanksgivingSubmitted: 11/26/2014

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ST. GERMAIN - Not many "made from scratch" bakeries exist in the Northwoods.

But, the ones that do are busy preparing treats for Thanksgiving tomorrow.

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Northwoods woman accused of having sex with son's underage friend reaches plea dealSubmitted: 11/26/2014

VILAS COUNTY - The former Northwoods teaching assistant accused of having sex with an underage teen reached a plea deal in Vilas County Court on Wednesday.

41-year-old Jody Shepherd pled no contest to a felony charge of second degree sexual assault of a child under 16.

A second count was dismissed as part of the deal.

Shepherd was a special ed teaching assistant at North Lakeland School in Manitowish Waters.

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Eagle River native releases album with her bandSubmitted: 11/26/2014

EAGLE RIVER - A Northland Pines graduate keeps finding success as a musician.

Autumn Skibinski started a Kickstarter campaign back in June for her band "Only on Tuesdays."

It's helped finance her band's extended play album.

Now, that record, entitled "Break Free," was released this week.

The group credits the generosity of complete strangers for the revenue.

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Balanced plate could be best option for Thanksgiving mealSubmitted: 11/26/2014

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- Americans will eat more than 40 million turkeys Thursday, and that won't be the only delicious food on the table.

Thanksgiving can start weight gain for many people across the country. Dieticians like Jennifer Mikulich with Aspirus say this is the time of year when some patients avoid their dieticians. She believes the key to a healthy day is a balanced plate.

"You know have a balance between those foods that have some carbohydrates and those foods that don't," Mikulich said. "If you're somebody that is a really big sweet eater and you know there is pecan pie and pumpkin pie, well maybe you won't have the dinner roll and the mashed potatoes."

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Wetland restoration plan broadens options for DNR, permit seekersSubmitted: 11/26/2014

WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin DNR puts an emphasis on keeping the state's wetland system healthy.

People and organizations now have a new option for addressing wetland damage because of construction.

When people or businesses fill in wetlands, they have to get a permit.

Before, they could restore other wetlands or buy credits from what are called wetland mitigation banks.

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Intriguing projects neededSubmitted: 11/26/2014

ONEIDA COUNTY - Your organization can get some free help solving a challenge or working on a project.

Sixteen members of the Leadership Oneida County program are spending nine months getting to know the services and organizations in the county.

One of their requirements for graduation is to complete a community project by this coming May.

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