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Baraboo woman chosen to decorate White House

Between the tree, the tinsel and all those stringing lights, holiday decorating can be a daunting task ? and for one Baraboo woman, that task took on presidential proportions this season.

Nancy Meiller recently retired after teaching middle school history for the past 32 years, but she decided she wasn?t quite finished with the subject. After watching an HGTV special on volunteers who help decorate the White House, she applied for the 2014 season.

?I just kind of forgot about it, you know?? she laughs. ?It was kind of a lark, I didn?t think I?d get chosen.?

Chosen she was, out of more than 1,000 applicants. Meiller, the only Wisconsinite out of 106 volunteers from 37 states, flew out to D.C. over the Thanksgiving weekend to spend a week decorating.

Visiting the White House would be an exciting trip for anyone ? for a history buff like Nancy, it was the trip of a lifetime.

Carbon monoxide detectors installed in Lake Delton ice arena

A carbon monoxide detector will now protect players and fans in the Poppy Waterman Ice Arena after a leak sent 80 people to the hospital.

The Dells Ducks hockey team and coaches are now back on the ice and getting oxygen treatment and rest.

The Dells Ducks team captain, Ian Wood, said he and his teammates were looking for a reason why they were struggling during their game last Saturday. It turned out that they had literally been poisoned.

"I've been to the hospital for stitches and that kind of stuff, but never for carbon monoxide," Wood said.

The Lake Delton Fire Department quickly worked with the rink and the team to find the source of the leak, which turned out to be a malfunctioning ice resurfacing machine.

The machine has been replaced, and eight carbon monoxide detectors have been installed in the lobby and behind the bleachers and benches.

81 hospitalized for CO leak at hockey rink

More than 80 hockey players and spectators were exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide at a Lake Delton hockey rink Saturday night, according to a news release.

Around 10:30 p.m., the Delton Fire Department was notified of people reporting symptoms associated with carbon monoxide poisoning at the Poppy Waterman Ice Rink at 112 Miller Drive in Lake Delton, officials said.

After a minor league hockey game between the Dells Ducks and the Ice Hawks, from Rochester, Minnesota, players reported having headaches and feeling dizzy, and several had vomited and one had fainted.

"We had some guys who had been sick, so we just kind of thought a bug was spreading through for some guys," said Ducks assistant Coach Jake Hebeisen.�

Delton Fire Department paramedics recorded high readings of carbon monoxide inside the building when they arrived.

Explosion in Sauk County caused by firearms practice

An explosion heard in Sauk County Friday was caused by citizens practicing with firearms.

Sauk County Sheriff Chip Meister said the department received a report of a loud explosion and black smoke at about 12:10 p.m. in the area of County Road P and Birchwood Road in the town of Delton.

The sheriff's department said deputies found the source of the explosion nearby, where citizens were shooting an exploding target.

Meister said the citizens were using a Tannerite brand target that explodes to indicate a hit in target practice. The citizens had used more than the FBI's recommended amount of the explosive.

"The recommended use range of Tannerite is in one pound increments," Meister said in the release. "It appears that the citizens used well in excess of this amount."

The incident was still under investigation Friday afternoon but the sheriff said charges were not expected.

Officials: All 911 services restored after 7-hour outage

A broken fiber line is being blamed for a 911 phone service outage in numerous southern Wisconsin counties for about seven hours.

Officials with Frontier Communications, which owns and operates the fiber optic cable that was severed, said all services were restored around 4 p.m. to the nearly 200,000 residents of the affected area.

The underground cable was inadvertently severed by a third party shortly after 9 a.m. Thursday. The outage also affected some high-speed Internet customers.

Columbia County officials said they were advised at 9:10 a.m. Thursday by Frontier Communications that several public safety points in their area were not receiving 911 calls.

Columbia County Sheriff's Capt. Darrell Kuhl said Frontier told them a fiber line was cut between Portage and Wisconsin Dells. Portage is the central point for the 911 system.

He was told 911 calls for Columbia, Marquette, Juneau and Adams counties and Wisconsin Dells are handled by that line.

City to split costs to treat area ash trees

The City of Wisconsin Dells said it will pay half the cost for property owners to treat their ash trees to prevent an invasive species. 

A company that produces treatment against Emerald Ash Borer beetles did an inventory of trees in the Dells area and told the city it would cost $6 per diameter inch per tree to protect the trees, according to a Wisconsin Dells events report. ... Read More

Baraboo among first schools in state to adopt transgender athletic policy

The Baraboo Board of Education approved a new policy that makes Baraboo one of the first schools in the state to adopt a transgender athletic policy.

The board approved the policy 4-3 after an emotional night of testimony from parents, teachers, students and numerous community members.

The public testimony covered whether to follow the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association and add a transgender policy in relation to athletes.

More than 70 people packed into the Baraboo High School library with more than 30 of them talking during the public testimony portion of the meeting. About two-thirds spoke out in favor of the new policy.

The people who spoke out in favor of the policy said the state policy talks about three goals for athletes identifying themselves as a member of the opposite sex: equality, physical safety and a level playing field.