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2014 numbers good for state banksSubmitted: 08/29/2014
LAONA - Only one in twenty banks in Wisconsin lost money in the first half of 2014.

Industry leaders see that as a sign of success and progress.

Those numbers had been worse over the past few years, especially during the recession.

Wisconsin banks made about a half-billion dollars in the first six months of the year.

Their total assets were above $100-billion.

"About 95% of the banks in Wisconsin are profitable, which is a great sign that we are healthy and ready and willing to make any loans that consumers want," said Wisconsin Bankers Association President Rose Oswald Poels.

Part of bank success lately has been driven by lending to businesses.

Commercial loans in the first half of this year were up 12% compared to the same span last year.

"That is a great sign that the economy is improving and people are willing to borrow more money and expand their businesses or start a new business," Oswald Poels said.

We spoke to her at an event in Laona Thursday.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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 LOCAL NEWS
Sheriff's office warns of IRS phone scamSubmitted: 08/28/2014

VILAS COUNTY - The Vilas County Sheriff's Office wants to warn people of a phone scam.

People in the area have reported getting calls from people saying they're officers or special agents with the IRS.

The scammer asks for a named person living at the home.

The caller then says the person owes money to the IRS and must pay immediately.

The scammer may also threaten to arrest or prosecute the victim.

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Students help incoming freshmen feel comfortable about starting high schoolSubmitted: 08/28/2014

RHINELANDER - Starting high school can be scary for incoming freshmen. One Northwoods high school wanted to help freshman before they start school.

Rhinelander High School held their freshman orientation Thursday. New students got the chance to do team building, get their Chromebooks and tour the school.

Juniors and seniors were there to help the freshmen.

"I think it helps them feel a little bit more comfortable with the high school surroundings," says Junior Emily Ditzler. "You know, walking in on the first day of high school you're not sure where to go. But orientation helps them know exactly where their classes are 'cause they get their schedules right now, and they can become familiar with the teachers and with their homerooms."

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School District of Antigo loses 18 teachers to retirement, could face a similar problem next yearSubmitted: 08/28/2014

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ANTIGO - The School District of Antigo will see a lot of new faces this fall.

The district hired 26 new teachers this year.

They lost so many teachers last year because of retirements and teachers leaving for bigger districts.

The district can't always pay as much as larger ones, especially specialty teachers like special education or science.

"We've tended overall on average to be in the middle of the pack but at some levels we're falling behind," says Antigo School District Interim District Administrator Don Childs. "Particularly in areas of high need and specialty. You'll find there are districts that are willing to pay premiums for and that sometimes draws people as well away from another district."

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Kwik Trip opens in RhinelanderSubmitted: 08/28/2014

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RHINELANDER - You can find a new option for coffee, gas and groceries in the Northwoods.

Kwik Trip opened its doors in Rhinelander.

It's a family-owned gas station and convenience store chain out of LaCrosse.

There are 420 locations in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.

The newest location in Rhinelander will bring 30 jobs to the area.

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 REGIONAL NEWS
Some child pornography tips see slow Justice Department responseSubmitted: 08/29/2014

MADISON - Most people would expect quick action if they provided a tip about possible child pornography.

Newly released records show state Justice Department field offices across Wisconsin have delayed investigating some child pornography tips for months.

For example, the agency's Madison office took about three years to assign two tips for follow-up.

The Department of Justice earlier had fired the Milwaukee Special Agent-In-Charge for allowing nearly four dozen tips to languish.

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Export markets sought for Wisconsin cranberriesSubmitted: 08/29/2014

WISCONSIN RAPIDS - China might be a good place to send some of Wisconsin's extra cranberries.

The state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection hosted a group of potential buyers from China this past week.

They talked to growers and toured cranberry facilities.

Industry leaders are hoping to expand demand for cranberries as an oversupply causes prices to drop.

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White House: Obama to be in Milwaukee on Labor DaySubmitted: 08/28/2014

- The White House says President Barack Obama will travel to Milwaukee on Monday to speak at a Labor Day event. It gave no specifics about the event.

A spokesman for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke said she will attend Laborfest on Monday. Burke won't take the stage with President Obama.

Burke spokesman Joe Zepecki says it is not appropriate for Burke to speak at the rally Obama is attending because it is an official White House event and not a campaign rally. Zepecki says Burke has invited Obama to return for a campaign event before the election and is optimistic that will happen.

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State warns Potawatomi it could lose gamesSubmitted: 08/28/2014

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker's administration has warned the Forest County Potawatomi tribe that it could lose about 2,000 slot machines if it succeeds in withholding its $25 million annual payment to the state.

The Potawatomi say they're withholding the money because the state may end up owing the tribe money if Walker approves the Menominee tribe's proposed Kenosha casino. The Potawatomi fear a Kenosha casino would significantly cut into their Milwaukee casino profits.

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