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TOP STORY

Tree of Hope helps families in MerrillSubmitted: 12/18/2014
MERRILL - Needy families in Merrill will have a better Christmas this year.

The Merrill Fire Department is sponsoring the Tree of Hope.

The tradition has been around since the 1950's. People can drop off gifts for families in need.

Many people in the community donated toys and money. The fire department went shopping on Tuesday to help.

"What we do with our Tree Of Hope money is we go and buy all the leftover tags on the trees to make sure all the kids that signed up for something, get something for Christmas," said Administrative Captain Michael Drury.

The department lights up bulbs on the tree in front of the department for every donation. Captain Michael Drury estimated that they will donate to more than 700 children this year.

He says it is all about giving back to their community.

"It makes me feel sad that there are that many people in need but it's a great feeling to know you are a part of making Christmas special for a lot of kids. When somebody is in need of help they call the fire department and we respond. I think it is in the DNA of the firefighters to help out in the community as well," said Drury.

The Merrill Fire Department gave the gifts away Thursday December 18th. You can still drop donations off at the fire department until Christmas day.




Story By: Jeanine Ilacqua

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 LOCAL NEWS
Perfect for the holidays- Northwoods woman donates kidney to friend Submitted: 12/17/2014

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SUGAR CAMP - You might find all the joy you need this Christmas between two best friends.

Jean Neumann and Patty Bonack fit together like two pieces of a puzzle.

They've shared a friendship for four years, but now they share something else.

Neumann found out she needed a kidney transplant in May.

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Plea deal in Tomahawk marijuana plant bustSubmitted: 12/17/2014

LINCOLN COUNTY - The second of two people arrested for having 44 marijuana plants reached a plea deal in Lincoln County Court on Wednesday.

Thirty-nine-year-old Jessica Teich pled no contest to a felony for having a drug trafficking place.

She also pled no contest to two misdemeanors for having THC and drug paraphernalia.

The felony charge will be dismissed if Teich successfully completes her 18-month probation.

Tomahawk Police arrested Teich and 34-year-old Jamaal Wilson last April.

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$30 million expansion part of Phillips-Medisize growth planSubmitted: 12/17/2014

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PHILLIPS - A high level employee at Phillips-Medisize Corp., based in Hudson, WI, calls the company's $30 million announced expansion part of the group's growth plan. VP/GM Global Commercial Division at Phillips-Medisize Rob Werge says the company's medical and consumer product lines are also growing.

The company has annual sales of nearly $600 million with around 75% of the total revenue coming from drug delivery, medical device and diagnostic products such as: disposable insulin pens, glucose meters, specialty inhalation drug delivery devices, single use surgical devices and consumable diagnostic components, according to company data.

Phillips-Medisize employs 285 people at its Phillips facilities, 1,400 people throughout Wisconsin, and more than 3,400 people at 14 locations throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico and China.

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Study: Lincoln County professional departments well trained in hazardous materials, volunteer departments need workSubmitted: 12/17/2014

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MERRILL - Would responders in Lincoln County know how to best handle a hazardous material spill in their area?

It might depend on where that spill happens.

A study for a county committee found a big gap in how prepared certain departments might be to handle hazardous materials.

For the most part, professional fire departments and law enforcement are trained well to respond.

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On the Wilderness Act's 50th anniversary, acquaint yourself with pristine areas of northern WisconsinSubmitted: 12/17/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - The first thing you notice in this forest is the silence.

That's the way it was meant to be at Blackjack Springs Wilderness east of Eagle River.

It's a venerable forest, to be sure, but the harvest here isn't timber.

"A Wilderness area," Bob Martini says, "what you're harvesting here feeds the soul."

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After Wisconsin deer harvest fall, Upper Peninsula numbers plummetSubmitted: 12/17/2014

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UPPER PENINSULA - The deer harvest during the gun season fell more than 15 percent in Wisconsin from a year ago.

In the Upper Peninsula, the drop was even worse.

Early results show the deer harvest in the U.P. was down 30 to 40 percent compared to 2013.

Registrations at some check stations dropped as much as 60 percent during the 16-day season in late November.

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Grant pays for high school students to get welding diplomas while in high school Submitted: 12/17/2014

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PHILLIPS - Some Northwoods companies need more skilled workers.

A local technical college got a grant this year to help train people to fill welding jobs.

The grant pays to send high school students to Northcentral Technical College in Phillips and Wausau.

Ten high school students from Price and Taylor counties travel to NTC in Phillips three days a week.

"They will be graduating from Northcentral Technical College with their degree in Gas Metal Arc Welding and it will probably be about a week before they graduate high school," says NTC Phillips Dean Bobbi Damrow.

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