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Summer temperatures impact local toy salesSubmitted: 07/25/2014
RHINELANDER AND MINOCQUA - Summer gets us outside playing games on the lake or in the yard, but with cooler temperatures this year, trips to the lake may not be as popular.

That impacts certain businesses in a good way. Imaginuity toys stores in Minocqua and Rhinelander have noticed a difference in the toys they've sold this summer.

"We're definitely getting a lot more traffic with the cooler temperatures. A lot more people in the door, which we're loving. We are seeing a lot more people buying more project based items. They're buying a lot of the active play but not so much the water active," said Jessica Hatch, Store Manager.

Rain keeps the store the most busy. People come in to find activities they can do indoors. Tourists also like to find toys that travel well. One of the most popular items is no-mess sand. It makes a great substitute for when the weather is too poor to be on the beach.

"If it's a sunny day, we'll have people walking up from Torpy Park in Minocqua just to pick up what they saw somebody else playing with on the beach and we have a couple hundred Waboba balls fly out that door," says Hatch.

Business isn't just limited to Minocqua. A new store in Rhinelander opened up last November, employees have been busy stocking shelves.

"This is our first summer so we don't really know what to base it on as far as whether it's better than what last summer would have been. But we were surprised with how quickly it got noticed. Our winter months were great we've had a very steady traffic through the summer," says Hatch

Imaginuity hopes to expand its business in the Northwoods. They want to add another store in the next year.

Story By: Melissa Constanzer

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 LOCAL NEWS
Oneida County wants your opinion on boathouses and piersSubmitted: 07/24/2014

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Leaders in Oneida County want to know what you think of boathouses and piers on lakes in the county. The online survey they've put together could give them better information on the issues.

Planning and zoning workers say the two topics have been debated for years. Oneida County Planning & Zoning's Karl Jennrich says the county started allowing boathouses and regulating piers in 2000 when it rewrote its comprehensive plan.

The board looked at both topics a year ago, but didn't take any action to change current rules.

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Local children explore emergency fields at NTCSubmitted: 07/24/2014

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MERRILL - Instead of just dreaming of being a firefighter, some children in Merrill actually got to try it out.

The Boys and Girls Club of Wausau went to Northcentral Technical College's Public Safety Center of Excellence in Merrill on Wednesday to explore careers in emergency fields.

"They're going to do one scenario where they're actually going to get put up into fire gear. And they're going to hook up a hose line on a fire truck and they're going to put out a dumpster fire," says Bert Nitzke, the Executive Director of Northcentral Technical College's Public Safety Center of Excellence.

Student's putting out the fire's say it was more difficult than it looked.

"It's kinda hard cause like the hose is pushing back really hard," says Jordyn Schalow, one of the students that took part in the training.

Students also got to experience EMS and police scenarios.

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Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team to play in Northwoods this weekendSubmitted: 07/24/2014

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - Wounded warriors won't let their injuries stop them from playing softball this weekend.

The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team will travel to Lake Tomahawk to play the Lake Tomahawk Snowhawks this weekend.

The Lake Tomahawk Snowshoe Baseball Team needed to raise $40,000 to bring the team to Lake Tomahawk.

They also had to renovate the field.

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Program focuses on possible climate change in the Northwoods Submitted: 07/24/2014

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NORTHWOODS - A warming climate could challenge many of the plants and animals that live in the Northwoods.

People in Boulder Junction learned about some of those risks at the Community Center Thursday night.

The speaker says even though we've had harsh winters these past two years, the lack of ice in the long term could impact fish, evaporation rate and skiing.

"Winter's kind of the limiting factor of the Northwoods. So when you reduce winter, those species that are adapted to being here in this kind of winter, they're going to move further north and actually follow where the winter is because, it's hard to believe, but a lot of species can't live in warmer temperatures," said Naturalist John Bates.

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 REGIONAL NEWS
Baldwin introduces bill to create more VA doctorsSubmitted: 07/24/2014

MILWAUKEE - U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has introduced legislation aimed at increasing the number of doctors at Veterans Affairs medical centers and reducing wait times.

The Wisconsin Democrat said in a statement Thursday that the bill would create 2,000 residency positions over five years at Veterans Affairs hospitals nationwide. Residency is the next step in doctors' training following medical school.

The bill also would require the VA to allocate the residency positions based on doctor shortages at its facilities and to prioritize training for specialists who are needed.

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Briefs piling up in gay marriage rulings appealsSubmitted: 07/24/2014

INDIANAPOLIS - At least 20 friend of the court briefs have been filed in appeals of rulings overturning gay marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin, including one by a group of churches and another by 10 states' attorneys general.

The brief filed by the attorneys general argues that society should decide whether same-sex marriage is acceptable, not the courts.

Another brief filed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and groups representing four other churches argues that marriage between a man and a woman is God's will.

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Packers shareholders meeting at Lambeau FieldSubmitted: 07/24/2014

GREEN BAY - The only publicly owned team in U.S. professional sports is holding its annual shareholders meeting.

The Green Bay Packers are expecting more than 12,000 shareholders Thursday for the meeting at Lambeau Field. The Packers have about 364,000 owners.

The meeting is held in the open bowl of Lambeau. Shareholders will vote for three nominees to the board of directors, Associated Banc-Corp CEO Philip Flynn, Schreiber Foods CEO Michael Haddad and University of Wisconsin-Madison's Dr. Elizabeth Trowbridge.

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50 immigrant children placed in WisconsinSubmitted: 07/24/2014

MILWAUKEE - The federal office that helps refugees settle in the United States has placed 50 unaccompanied children in Wisconsin.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement released a state-by-state breakdown Thursday showing where children had been placed. It did not provide specifics on their locations.

The office says it tries to place children with a parent, relative or family friend when possible.

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