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2014 numbers good for state banksSubmitted: 08/29/2014
LAONA - Only one in twenty banks in Wisconsin lost money in the first half of 2014.

Industry leaders see that as a sign of success and progress.

Those numbers had been worse over the past few years, especially during the recession.

Wisconsin banks made about a half-billion dollars in the first six months of the year. Their total assets were above $100-billion.

"About 95% of the banks in Wisconsin are profitable, which is a great sign that we are healthy and ready and willing to make any loans that consumers want," said Wisconsin Bankers Association President Rose Oswald Poels.

Part of bank success lately has been driven by lending to businesses.

Commercial loans in the first half of this year were up 12% compared to the same span last year.

"That is a great sign that the economy is improving and people are willing to borrow more money and expand their businesses or start a new business," Oswald Poels said.

We spoke to her at an event in Laona Thursday.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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 LOCAL NEWS
Gov. Walker warns Potawatomi it could lose gamesSubmitted: 08/29/2014

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker's administration has warned the Forest County Potawatomi tribe that it could lose about 2,000 slot machines if it succeeds in withholding its $25 million annual payment to the state.

The Potawatomi say they're withholding the money because the state may end up owing the tribe money if Walker approves the Menominee tribe's proposed Kenosha casino. The Potawatomi fear a Kenosha casino would significantly cut into their Milwaukee casino profits.

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Free school meals for all Lac du Flambeau Public School students this yearSubmitted: 08/28/2014

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU - All students at the Lac du Flambeau Public School will get breakfast and lunch for free this year. A federal program will reimburse the school for all free meals given to students.

The program is called the Community Eligibility Provision. It's part of the 2010 Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act. Schools can participate in the Community Eligibility Provision if they have a high poverty rate.

90% of Lac du Flambeau Public School students already got free meals last year. 23 students needed to pay a reduced price and 25 needed to pay full price.

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Sheriff's office warns of IRS phone scamSubmitted: 08/28/2014

VILAS COUNTY - The Vilas County Sheriff's Office wants to warn people of a phone scam.

People in the area have reported getting calls from people saying they're officers or special agents with the IRS.

The scammer asks for a named person living at the home.

The caller then says the person owes money to the IRS and must pay immediately.

The scammer may also threaten to arrest or prosecute the victim.

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Students help incoming freshmen feel comfortable about starting high schoolSubmitted: 08/28/2014

RHINELANDER - Starting high school can be scary for incoming freshmen. One Northwoods high school wanted to help freshman before they start school.

Rhinelander High School held their freshman orientation Thursday. New students got the chance to do team building, get their Chromebooks and tour the school.

Juniors and seniors were there to help the freshmen.

"I think it helps them feel a little bit more comfortable with the high school surroundings," says Junior Emily Ditzler. "You know, walking in on the first day of high school you're not sure where to go. But orientation helps them know exactly where their classes are 'cause they get their schedules right now, and they can become familiar with the teachers and with their homerooms."

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Kwik Trip opens in RhinelanderSubmitted: 08/28/2014

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RHINELANDER - You can find a new option for coffee, gas and groceries in the Northwoods.

Kwik Trip opened its doors in Rhinelander.

It's a family-owned gas station and convenience store chain out of LaCrosse.

There are 420 locations in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.

The newest location in Rhinelander will bring 30 jobs to the area.

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Tomahawk Public Library to close for a monthSubmitted: 08/28/2014

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TOMAHAWK - People living in the Tomahawk area will need to find another library for a while.

The Tomahawk Public Library will be closed for the month of September. No library materials will be due during the month of September.

The library will get a more than $80,000 facelift.

All carpeting will be replaced, and all walls will be repainted.

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Improvements on the way for this weekend's PotatoFestSubmitted: 08/28/2014

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's first-ever PotatoFest last year started as a charity fundraiser and way to recognize the potato's importance in our area.

After last year's success, the event will expand even more this weekend.

PotatoFest features a parade, eating and cooking contests, live music all day, and the YMCA Couch Potato Race.

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