Park Falls to move forward with industrial park dialogue; Butternut & Fifield yet to take actionSubmitted: 09/16/2014

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PRICE AND ASHLAND COUNTIES - Park Falls, Butternut and Fifield could all add industrial space to parts of their area. Park Falls Area Community Development Corporation Administrator Frank Kempf says he noticed the area needed more industrial space when he took over his position in 2006.

He describes the situation when he first came aboard.

"The north industrial park here in Park Falls was full and the west industrial park had about four acres that was available for development," Kempf said.

That can handcuff towns looking to attract companies that want more space. Kempf says that becomes a problem when a company needs more space than they can offer.

"You scramble to try to figure out where we are going to put these guys," Kempf said. "And what usually happens is you find a place to put them, but in the end it probably wasn't a good spot for them, and you put them someplace where maybe they shouldn't be."

Park Falls, Butternut and Fifield, along with other towns in the area turned to a USDA Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG) to help fund an industrial park study. Kempf said Xcel Energy supplied the 25 percent to win the grant.

MSA Professional finished that study finished earlier this year. It ranked multiple sites in Butternut, Fifield and Park Falls for an industrial park. The rankings looked at highway, rail, water access, as well as other factors like soil condition and wetlands.

According to the study, the most optimal sites weren't necessarily available for the towns to purchase because of the land owners. So, the group recommended the most optimal site that could get purchased.

In Park Falls, that site would be a more than 80 acres site along County HWY E and Tower Road. The cost of a full renovation (which includes gas, electric, etc.) for that site is an estimated $1.8 million dollars, but Kempf said it would be much cheaper to buy the land, and then focus on the needed improvements when a business approaches the group.

In Fifield, the best location is a 27-acre plot at the old Fifield High School site. The cost to fully develop that property would be around $750,000.

In Butternut, the best location would be more than 100 acres at the South Park Road/Bush site. Kempf said that was recommended as a two phase purchase that would cost nearly $2 million for full renovation of the site.

The communities would hope they aren't making space available for businesses that never arrive.

"It is a risk," Kempf said. "You take a chance on that kind of stuff, but if you don't nothing is ever going to happen."

Park Falls will see how much it would cost to buy nearly 80 acres for new industrial space. Kempf said he will start dialogue about that possible purchase.

Butternut and Fifield could move forward with their possible projects. Kempf says they haven't made that decision yet, but he believes each area should pursue an industrial park.

"If we don't do that, we're going to just be a senior citizen society, and we are going to be dependent pretty much on the money that comes in from the government every day," Kempf said.

Story By: Adam Fox

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County Deer Advisory Councils Holds First Meeting in Oneida CountySubmitted: 09/16/2014

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ONEIDA COUNTY - The DNR will use a different approach to collect hunting data over the next three years. The department created a council for each county to review and consider measuring and handling the deer herd. Tuesday, Oneida County took their first step with the new council.

County Deer Advisory Councils are a new wrinkle to deer management in Wisconsin. Members are eager to see what the future will hold even though this was their first meeting Tuesday.

The council discussed the deer population in Oneida County, antlerless quotas and how the season should be structured. The chairperson for the council, Ed Choinski, believes many people don't think their input will change things locally, but he says it's even more important now for people.

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State DOJ asks for more money to handle officer involved death investigationsSubmitted: 09/16/2014

MADISON - Police and sheriff's offices in Wisconsin must ask outside agencies to investigate officer involved deaths. The state legislature passed that law in April.

That's led to an increased caseload for the state Department of Justice.

On Tuesday, the department asked Governor Scott Walker for more than $738,000 to deal with the caseload as part of the department's budget for the next two years.

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Chamber After Five hopes to draw more awareness of local businessesSubmitted: 09/16/2014

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MANITOWISH WATERS - Even when you live in a small town, there are probably local businesses you've never even entered.

The Manitowish Waters Chamber of Commerce wants to change that.

On Wednesday evening, they'll make it easy for you to get to know local businesses.

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Want a fresh supply of herbs all winter long?Submitted: 09/16/2014

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RHINELANDER - Colder nights, means the outdoor growing season is winding down. Now is the perfect time to preserve some of your plants by moving them indoors.

Many fresh herbs can continue growing inside your house during the winter months.

Indoor herb gardens require little maintenance, but they provide you with beauty and are convenient for cooking. Herbs that thrive indoors include sage, rosemary, lemon grass and bay leaves.

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Absentee ballot recipients will need to show IDSubmitted: 09/16/2014

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MADISON - Thousands of Wisconsin voters who requested absentee ballots will have to present copies of their photo identification to have those ballots counted.

A federal appeals court on Friday reinstated the photo ID requirement, after more than 11,800 voters requested absentee ballots.

They did not have to present copies of their photo IDs to get those ballots, and state elections chief Kevin Kennedy said Tuesday that hundreds of completed ballots have already been returned to election clerks.

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Man arrested after dead cows found in WisconsinSubmitted: 09/16/2014

BARRON - Authorities say a 47-year-old western Wisconsin man was arrested after officials discovered 25 dead cows on his farm.

The Barron County sheriff's office says the man was taken into custody Saturday on suspicion of mistreating animals and failing to provide food and drink to animals.

The Leader-Telegram reports the man was booked into jail, released and is due in court next month.

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Respiratory virus may now be in WisconsinSubmitted: 09/16/2014

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MADISON - Doctors suspect there are at least nine Wisconsin cases of the respiratory and stomach virus that has hospitalized hundreds of children around the country.

Samples of the nine suspected cases in the Madison area were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Test results should be back in about one week.

Dr. Sharyl Paley at Bayshore Pediatrics in the Milwaukee area says her clinic has seen a lot of respiratory illnesses in an outpatient setting.

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Most schools meet or beat standards for student achievementSubmitted: 09/16/2014

MADISON - Most Wisconsin public schools meet or exceed expectations for student achievement.

A state report card for about 2,100 public schools show 88 percent met or exceeded expectations.

For the state's 424 school districts, only about two percent failed to meet expectations.

It's the second year the state Department of Public Instruction has issued district report cards and the third year for schools.

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