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NEWS STORIES

Students build energy star home to bring down utility billsSubmitted: 06/07/2014

Karolina Buczek
Reporter/Anchor
kbuczek@wjfw.com


RHINELANDER - Attention to small details will help two families save some money on their utility bills. Rhinelander High School students in the Building Trades Program built an energy star duplex.

"There are about ten percent of homes north of Highway 29 that can say they have that label," said building instructor, Russ Germain. "I think it only makes sense if we're in the education business to educate possible future builders and homeowners."

An energy star home has most of its small cracks sealed up tightly to stop heat from escaping.

"In a normal energy star house, there's 500 CFM units of leakage. In our house, there's only 240 and 220 so we're 45 percent better than a normal energy star house," said Rhinelander High School senior Logan Rudis.

The program uses more expensive products to make sure the house conserves energy.

"We use different products," said Germain. "We spend more money on things that will essentially make the house tighter while providing good ventilation so it's a healthy home as well."

Getting the energy star certification wasn't easy. The students had to build the entire house differently than normal.

"We frame differently. We insulate differently. When it comes to air sealing, we try to do a really good job of eliminating leaks," said Germain.

The students used a unique framing technique.

"We wanted to try to frame so that it's a good, strong, safe home but we're not wasting a lot of material. We're actually adding more insulation to our walls so ultimately the customer is going to benefit," said Germain.

The duplex is finally done and will be available for rent sometime in July.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 07/01/2015

- A pair of controversial proposals won't make it in the Wisconsin state budget. Lawmakers announced Wednesday that the $500 million Milwaukee Bucks arena and the prevailing wage proposals will instead be voted on in a special session. It's progress after a month of inaction, but we'll tell you why it won't pass as it is written coming up tonight on Newswatch 12.

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

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NORTHWOODS - Our nation celebrates its independence in three days. People in the Northwoods are planning how they want to view fireworks. Will they buy their own, or will they see a community show?

Peter Anderson has been a fireworks organizer for the city of Eagle River for several years.

"We've been doing it for a long time," he said. "We hire a fireworks company to come in and do it every year for us. It's just kind of a tradition to celebrate the 4th of July."

Many communities in the Northwoods put on firework displays. And those displays can cost quite a bit of money.

"Right around $9000 is what we spend in Eagle River," said Anderson. "It all goes right towards the fireworks. Everything else is volunteer; we get the land donated to us, we get everybody's time donated to us, and all of the money goes directly towards the fireworks."

Anderson says a big reason his community does a display is so people can celebrate on the fourth safely.

"I'm on the fire department; that's one of the reasons why I got involved with it was to have a nice big community firework display so that people don't have to do their own displays," said Anderson.

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LINCOLN COUNTY - A mother and her son will need to look for a temporary home.

A fire destroyed part of their home early Wednesday morning near Heafford Junction in Lincoln County. They weren't hurt.

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MERRILL - You can get a free cab ride when you've had too much to drink at many Northwoods bars.

It's part of the SafeRide Home Program, funded mainly by the tavern league.

About 150 people use the SafeRide Home program every month in Lincoln County.

The program's success could be one reason it will get less money from state grants.

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PARK FALLS - A Park Falls Firefighter fell off a ladder and broke his neck early Monday morning.

Mike Bush was fighting a fire at a Park Falls home. He fell 12 feet from a ladder while using a hose. He landed on concrete.

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