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NEWS STORIES

Oneida County Realizes Big Savings From Insurance, Retirement PlansSubmitted: 10/30/2012

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RHINELANDER - Budgets will go in front of county boards across the Northwoods over the next few weeks.

In Oneida County, the budget will reflect significant savings.

The county saved more than $550,000 last year because of changes to collective bargaining and retirement contributions.

Human Resources director Lisa Charbarneau says some of the changes to health care plans were minor - but the changes resulted in big savings.

"We increased the employees contribution level," Charbarneau said.

"The employees are paying an additional 3 percent towards that premium. We have seen good renewal numbers for 2013 and with some negotiating with our health insurance company and changes to deductibles we're hoping to hold that increase down to less than six percent."

She also said it gives local government a chance to look at multiple options.

"It does give us some more flexibility in order to look at those plan designs and that we can change them more often," Charbarneau said.

"With the contracts in place as they were, we used to have to bargain those changes with each individual union with the county. With if there's six, you could have six different health plans."

The county has also completed work on next year's budget.

It's now heading to the county board for possible amendments.

Charbarneau says this year's budget is even more promising.

"The final budget that is being submitted to the county board is actually below a zero percent tax levy increase," Charbarneau said.

"They've worked very hard to get it to that number. Certainly there can be additional amendments and changes made."

The county board will review the budget next month.

Story By: Matt Doyle

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 IN OTHER NEWS
College board looking for new-member for Board of Trustees Submitted: 07/22/2014

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RHINELANDER - The Nicolet College Board of Trustees hopes to fill an open seat.

State guidelines mean only a certain candidate can apply for fairness and equal representation.

Criteria for the open seat are that candidates must be female, considered a minority, reside in Oneida County or the portion of Langlade County in the Nicolet District, and meet the definition of an employee.

The new trustee will serve a term that expires June 30, 2015.

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Youth Fair gives kids an opportunity to display projects, win awardsSubmitted: 07/22/2014

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ANTIGO - Kids will get the chance to show off their projects at the Langlade County Youth Fair starting Wednesday. The fair gives kids the chance to win awards for a lot of different things.

Langlade County is one of only a few counties in Wisconsin that give kids such a big role at a fair.

Kids work on the projects for months. Fair organizers think it's important to recognize them for their hard work.

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Art competition winners announced Tuesday nightSubmitted: 07/22/2014

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RHINELANDER - Artists found out who won the Northern National Art Competition Tuesday night.

Artists from across the country submitted artwork to the art competition held at Nicolet College in Rhinelander this year.

Organizers expect about 200 people at the reception.

Some of the artists that submitted work will be at Nicolet.

The artists competed for $8,500 in prize money.

The entries come from all over the country, but there is art from the Northwoods on display.

Artists from Rhinelander, Antigo and Lake Tomahawk have work in the show.

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Downed power line starts small fire near RhinelanderSubmitted: 07/22/2014

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RHINELANDER - Gusty winds forced a domino effect that caused a small fire south of Rhinelander Tuesday morning.

Winds blew over a tree, which sent a power line to the ground.

The electrical current started the fire.

It happened just before 11:00 on Hat Rapids Road near Highway 17.

Firefighters were glad the land nearby wasn't too dry with drought.

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Wisconsin & Northwoods see home sales grow in June Submitted: 07/22/2014

ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Home sales across Wisconsin are up for the first time in 2014 compared to previous year statistics recorded by the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

A strong June for home sales could hint at good news for the rest of the year. Home sales statewide were up more than four percent compared to June 2013.

More than 600 homes were sold in Northern Wisconsin last month. Realtors like Bonnie Byrnes, Headwaters Real Estate, deal with water-front property in the Manitowish Waters area. She credits the second home market for some of the boost in northern numbers

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Laona man faces meth chargesSubmitted: 07/22/2014

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FOREST COUNTY - Prosecutors believe a Forest County man made meth and had other people buy ingredients for him.

36-year-old Shandon Tallier of Laona faces four felony charges.

Police became suspicious when Tallier bought ephedrine or pseudophedrine more than 50 times during the last year. Those are drugs commonly used to make meth.

Tallier was also blocked from buying the drugs more than 20 times in the last year. That's because he already bought more than the federal limit allows in a 30 day period.

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Gas station robbed in Stevens PointSubmitted: 07/22/2014

STEVENS POINT - Stevens Point police want to find the man who robbed a gas station last night.

A store employee told police a man came into the Southside B P on Church street just after 9:30 last night.

He demanded cash from the register.

No weapon was seen, but the man kept his hand in his pocket.

He escaped on foot with the money.

Police have not said exactly how much he got away with.

The Portage County K9 unit was brought in to try to track him.

The man is described as being six feet tall with short blond hair.

He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses.

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