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BREAKING: Phillips Georgia-Pacific plant will closeSubmitted: 08/28/2015
PHILLIPS - Dozens of workers in Phillips will lose their jobs.

Georgia-Pacific announced Friday morning the company's wood products plant will close October 27.

The Phillips plant produces specialized pressed board wood products.


Georgia-Pacific spokesman Eric Abercrombie told Newswatch 12 the closing is not a reflection on the work of the employees. Abercrombie says the workers have been great.  Instead, the decision to close was driven by market forces.

Abercrombie says sales of the pressed wood board products have been on the decline since 2009.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tony Blattler found out when the corporate offices called him Friday morning.

Blattler says the news came as a surprise.  More than 60 people work at the plant.

The plant is a union facility, so any severance packages will depend on the collective bargaining agreement.

The company will hold a meeting with workers and Northcentral Technical College Phillips location Monday to help employees find new work.

The Phillips location was built in 1958.

We will update this story as more info comes available.


Story By: Newswatch 12 News Team

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 LOCAL NEWS

RHINELANDER - We expect trees on our property to suffer when it gets very dry, but for tree health, drought severity may not be as important as another factor. Researchers for the U.S. Forest Service have been studying the impacts of drought on trees across the Midwest, including the Northwoods. One ecologist at the Northern Research Station in Rhinelander found surprising results.

"It was the length of drought that was more important than determining the severity," explained Northern Research Station Ecologist Dr. Eric Gustafson. "Trees have the ability to survive droughts by drawing on their energy reserves, and when the drought is long, those energy reserves get depleted."

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EAGLE RIVER - You may know the derby track in Eagle River for its snowmobiling championships every winter. This weekend it welcomes some different outdoor vehicles.

On Friday, the AMSOIL Eagle River Derbytrack will host its first World Championship UTV & ATV Derby.

Derbytrack workers said it took about 300 truck loads of dirt and sand to get this track ready.

The weekend will be a lot like the snowmobile derby with qualifiers, final rounds and a championship race.

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MERRILL - A local technical college wants to make sure first responders get all the training they need.

That's why NTC in Merrill wanted a rail car.

First responders can use the car to learn how to handle derailments and crashes.

NTC leaders think Merrill is a good place for the rail car.

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WAUSAU - Police think a Wausau man used a baby to protect himself from the SWAT team during a standoff Wednesday night. It happened on the 100 block of South 7th Street.

Neighbors told police the man had a gun and was inside of a home with a woman and an eight-month-old baby.

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 REGIONAL NEWS

GREEN BAY - Going to a game at Lambeau Field might feel a little more like a trip to the airport.

Some football fans heading into Lambeau Field Saturday will pass through newly installed metal detectors.

Ticket holders using the Shopko gate will be the first to use the walk-through metal detectors.

The NFL has mandated their use at all stadium gates by 2016.

The Packers will install the detectors at all remaining gates next season.

They're a little different than the screening machines at airports.

Fans won't have to remove jackets, belts, keys, wallets or watches.

They will be asked to temporarily place cell phones, cameras, tablets and other larger metal objects in a tray near the machine.

(Copyright 2015 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)

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GREEN BAY - Some football fans heading into Lambeau Field Saturday for the Green Bay Packers first preseason home game this year will encounter newly installed metal detectors.

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ROANOKE, VA - A former colleague killed a reporter and photographer on live television in Virginia Wednesday. 

Reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward were killed.

Police say a former reporter Vester Flanagan killed them.

Vicki Gardner, the woman being interviewed was hurt.

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MADISON - American Family Insurance is doubling its spending on advertising and donations at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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