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Rhinelander real estate broker explains impact of strong housing market on Northwoods Submitted: 07/27/2016
RHINELANDER - This year seems to be off to a good start for the housing market here in Wisconsin.

A new report shows the first half of 2016 was the strongest since before the Great Recession.

The Wisconsin Realtors Association says home sales in the first six months of this year were up 5.5 percent compared to last year.

More sales were closed across the state last month than any month since before 2005.

But you shouldn't forget markets can vary depending on where you live.

"In general, the market is up," said First Weber Broker Associate Christy Schneider. "We're doing well, but really a realtor needs to look at a specific property and compare it to the other property in those same niches."

Schneider says generalizing prices is tough to do in the Northwoods.

That's because there are so many different types of property ranging from waterfront to acreage to city lots.

Median prices last month were the highest for June since before 2005.

The 3.8 percent increase from that time last year could be due to a couple of factors.

"That price could be calculated based on the most recent list price, not the original price," Schneider said. "Also, the inventory is down, so we're selling some of the leftover inventory."

Right now, there are also fewer foreclosures on the market.

June tends to be a strong month for sales statewide.

A lot of second home buyers in the Northwoods usually look during the summer, but don't always buy right away.

Story By: Anthony DaBruzzi

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 LOCAL NEWS

LINCOLN COUNTY - A high-speed chase across county lines early Tuesday morning ended with one man shot dead and a small community rattled. It all started with a traffic stop in Antigo, shots at police, and a tense standoff near Merrill.

For Daniel Lemke, Tuesday morning started with more frightening action than he's ever seen.

"I heard the cops go east first, then come back, then the guy came down the road," said Lemke.

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EAGLE RIVER - Over the last few years, Lac du Flambeau's Frank Schuman, a mixed martial arts athlete, rose to become one of the top King of the Cage fighters in the nation.

Nicknamed "Nightmare," he drew large crowds to see him fight in Lac du Flambeau. Newswatch 12 even did a pair of feature stories on him in 2015 and 2016.

But on Tuesday, Schuman went before a judge in Vilas County Court, charged with 11 counts related to battery and domestic abuse.

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IRON COUNTY - Mud, debris, and damaged property still cover parts of northern Iron County after a storm ripped through there more than two weeks ago.

The lack of money for repairs is keeping the rebuilding effort from getting started in certain areas.

That's why the Federal Emergency Management Agency came to Iron County Tuesday.

The agency intervened due to the severity of the damage  and the expected high cost of fixing it.

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RHINELANDER - Building a robot may seem like a pretty lofty summer camp goal, but teens in the Northwoods love the technological challenge.

It's all part of a summer camp that's heavy on science and social interaction.

13-year-old Sean Timm says the eight day robotics camp at Nicolet College mixed the best of both worlds.

"I like technology a lot more than I do outside stuff," Timm said. "It's kind of nice to have technology like drones to bring me outside. It's really fun."

Camp Instructor, Mike Wojtusik has many years of experience as a technology education teacher and robotics advisor. He wants kids to see the importance in learning these skills.

"The kids are getting experience from a mechanical engineering side, electrical engineering side, design, prototyping," said Wojtusik. "We try and cover as much as we can about the whole entire system."

Learning about robotics isn't the only thing these students do. Some of them are also exercising skills they'll need in the future.

"I think it's a great experience for them to understand what really goes on in the real world as far as a career," Wojtusik said.

Certain careers that often require teamwork.

"Challenging part is working with a team because you don't always agree on the same thing," said 12-year-old Louis Malais. "When you build a robot you do the most teamwork than I think in any other job."

As their final project, students design and build their own version of a remote control robot.

They are required to work in teams to sketch a vision, make prototypes and design a working model with aluminum.

"It's not just you know operating a piece of machinery, it's learning how that machinery is put together," Wojtusik said.

Students are piecing together machines and building future careers at the same time.

"If I were to get an opportunity to do something like this in the future, I would definitely take it," Timm said.
 
Throughout the course of the camp, students were exposed to prototyping, brainstorming, modeling, safety and sketching.

The last day of the robotics camp is scheduled to be Thursday, July 28.

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 REGIONAL NEWS

PHILADELPHIA - Hillary Clinton claimed the Democratic presidential nomination after rival Bernie Sanders asked delegates at the party's national convention to nominate her by acclamation.

It was a dramatic end to the roll call of states.

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MADISON - A 20-year-old man accused of killing a woman in a random drive-by shooting has been found competent to stand trial in Milwaukee County.

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MADISON - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is scheduled to attend a rally with Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence in Wisconsin on Wednesday night.

The campaign stop in the Republican stronghold of Waukesha is Pence's first solo stop since becoming Donald Trump's running mate almost two weeks ago.

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MILWAUKEE - House Speaker Paul Ryan vigorously defended the role of NATO and the importance of the United States leading the creation of free-trade agreements on Tuesday, breaking from positions taken by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Ryan called NATO an "indispensable ally" that he wanted to bolster to help fight terrorism.

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