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Northern Wisconsin businesses are having trouble finding employeesSubmitted: 02/25/2018
MADISON (AP) - Northern Wisconsin businesses that are having trouble finding employees are hoping to lure retirees to work or keep people nearing retirement on the job longer.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that economic development experts say low unemployment rates, a lack of new workers and a growing number of people on the cusp of retirement have created a major demand for workers.


The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development says the unemployment rate was 3.3 percent in Barron County and a 3.4 percent in Chippewa County in December, more than 1 percent less than the rates were in December 2016.

Chippewa County Economic Development Corp. President Charlie Walker says he expects companies to turn to automation since it's unlikely the worker shortage will be solved any time soon.


Story By: Associated Press

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 LOCAL NEWS

WISCONSIN - A 46-year-old Manitowoc man that was reported missing Thursday evening was found in northern Wisconsin on Saturday.

Manitowoc Police said David L. Mellstrom had not been seen in Manitowoc since Feb. 22 around 10 p.m. Police said they had information he was in the Eagle River area yesterday.

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MINOCQUA - People come to Minocqua Winter Park to play in the snow, but there's also a place within the park's 50 miles of trails where people can take a break.

"Of course when I saw the Tea House I fell in love," said Jane Wengert.

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WOODRUFF - People came together in Woodruff on Saturday to raise money for a good cause. This was the fifth year for the Carrol Lake Ice Fishing Tournament.

In total about 175 people entered into the tournament. People could win prizes and could help themselves to some food throughout the day.

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MINOCQUA - Every four years, winter sports gain popularity during the Olympics. For two weeks, athletes show the world what they can do. The skaters from the Lakeland Figure Skating Club aren't in the Olympics, but they've spent months perfecting their routines for a showcase this weekend. 

Ice skating has been a lifelong passion for Raven Carufel. 

"I originally saw the Disney movie Ice Princess and my parents got me a pair of skates for Christmas and it's been history since then," said 16-year-old Carufel. 

Now, she skates at the Lakeland Hawks Ice Arena to improving her skills and move up levels. Advancing is a big part of the sport. But skating also serves as a stress reliever. 

"I feel so confident when I'm on the ice it's kind of a release for everything in life," said Carufel. 

Carufel and the other skaters are preparing for the Lakeland Figure Skating Club's Ice Show this weekend.
Skaters of all ages and skills levels show off their routines.

"This is the only show I do out of the year, otherwise its mostly training for competing," said 17-year-old Lainie Kuckkahn. 

Lakeland Ice Arena is home for Kuckkahn. She also travels all over the state and country to compete.
"Right now my goal is to pass all my free skates and also continue competing and hopefully get a few higher scores," said Kuckkahn. 

These skaters spend weeks, months, and even years practicing. But every four years, their sport comes into the spotlight in the Olympics. They get to watch some of their favorite skaters perform. 

"My favorite skater is Evgenia from Russia," said Carufel. 

"I've always really liked Mirai Nagasu, so I was really happy when she landed her triple axel this year in competition."

Watching their favorite athletes on TV gives young skaters some extra motivation to keep getting better.
"Just seeing that strength they have kind of inspires me to strengthen my own skating," said Carufel. 

"It makes me feel good because sometimes I want to be in the Olympics. I kind of imagine me and my group being in the Olympics having just fun," said eight-year-old Addison Nelson. 

The shows will be held on Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Lakeland Hawks Ice Arena in Minocqua. 

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 REGIONAL NEWS

ROSSVILLE, INDIANNA - Authorities say no one survived when a small Wisconsin-bound plane carrying multiple people crashed into a central Indiana farm field.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is reporting Prominent Kewaunee County businessman John Pagel and his son-in-law were among those killed.

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BAYFIELD - Many people hoped cold temperatures this winter would allow the ice caves of Lake Superior to be open.

But park rangers don't think it's going to happen this year.

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ST. IGNACE, MI - The Mackinac Bridge connecting Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas has closed to all traffic for the second time in three days due to falling ice from its cables and towers.

The Mackinac Bridge Authority advised motorists Friday to reduce their speed to 20 mph as they approach the bridge and be prepared to stop. It says bridge personnel are stationed at both ends of the 5-mile (8-kilometer) span to provide instructions.

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MADISON - Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says a tax cut and juvenile justice overhaul that Gov. Scott Walker has made top priorities are in serious jeopardy of not passing the Senate.

Fitzgerald told The Associated Press on Friday that there's "not close to enough support" to pass the per-child tax credit and sales tax holiday bill the Assembly approved on Thursday.

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