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NEWS STORIES

Furniture & Appliance Mart Bucks Black Friday TrendSubmitted: 11/23/2012

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RHINELANDER - Here in the Northwoods, some retail chains are resisting the urge to open on Thankgiving or before dawn on Black Friday.

Stevens Point-based Furniture and Appliance Mart has ten stores throughout Wisconsin.

They have Black Friday specials, but up until five years ago, they kept their normal store hours.

"We will never open earlier than 7 a.m. on Black Friday. The temptation is definitely there from a business standpoint. We'd be lying if we said it wasn't," said advertising and marketing director Jon Gadbois. "But our employees are far too important to us for us to take away their Thanksgiving."

The chain extended its hours from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. five years ago, but they don't plan on extending any further.

Gadbois said Black Friday is still their busiest day of the year.

"It's been something that's been coming up more and more, especially in the last four or five years, opening earlier and earlier," Gadbois said. "Our big-box competitors have continued to do that. Being a family operated company, we don't agree with that from a moral standpoint."

Rhinelander Furniture & Appliance Mart floor manager Butch Somers said he understands that employees need to be at the store when customers want to be there, but he appreciates the limited hours.

"Personally, I agree with those employees that aren't very happy as they're bucking tradition, taking away from family time," Somers said. "There's plenty of time that you can do for sales without getting into family time."

Story By: Lex Gray

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 IN OTHER NEWS
EPA cleans up chemicals from Lindey Cleaners buildingSubmitted: 07/23/2014

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RHINELANDER - You could find EPA crews cleaning chemicals out of a building in Rhinelander Wednesday.

It's been a year and a half since the city decided something needed to be done about the deteriorating Lindey Cleaners.

You might not notice much change on the outside of Lindey Cleaners, but inside crews from the Environmental Protection Agency were hard at work.

The building on Stevens Street has been empty since 2009. EPA workers think 100 to 150 different chemicals were inside the building.

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Fourth suspect at large in interstate shootingSubmitted: 07/23/2014

MILWAUKEE - Authorities are looking for a fourth suspect in a shooting on an interstate in Milwaukee County.

Sheriff David Clarke says people in a minivan and another vehicle were shooting at each other in a ``running gun battle'' on Interstate 43 Tuesday afternoon. One vehicle struck the other and the minivan spun into the ditch near Fox Point. Three people in the van were arrested. Authorities say a fourth person left the scene.

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Update: Woman dies in swimming accidentSubmitted: 07/23/2014

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STAR LAKE - Update: 7/23/14

47-year-old Karen Wessell of Star Lake died in yesterday's swimming accident in Vilas County. A boater pulled 2 people out of the water after they started drowning on Star Lake. We now know Wessell died shortly after.

Wessell went under water during a rescue attempt.

The Vilas County Sheriff says 3 women and 4 kids were along Trampers Trail. 3 boys swam across the channel and were told to come back. They got tired swimming back to shore so the women had to help. Wessell used herself to push one of the boys above the water to keep him from going under. A boater saw them, pulled them out, and started doing CPR.

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Antigo Mayor vetoes ambulance purchase, wants to see city buy from local companySubmitted: 07/23/2014

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ANTIGO - The Antigo City Council will vote again to decide from which company they'll buy the city's newest ambulance.

The city council voted earlier this month to buy the cheapest ambulance.

Antigo's mayor vetoed that because he thinks buying a local ambulance is a better decision.

The Antigo City Council voted earlier in July to buy an ambulance from a company based out of Ohio.

The ambulance from Ohio was $66 cheaper than the bid from a company in Antigo, but the local ambulance would come with an extra year's warranty.

Antigo's mayor felt it was worth it to spend a little extra, that's why he vetoed the council's decision.

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Northwoods composite panels could mean improvements for home foundations Submitted: 07/23/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - A new type of foundation could give you a better way to build a home, and the idea for the improvement starts right here in the Northwoods.

Composite Panel Systems in Eagle River builds composite panels for home foundations. Composite means anything made of two or more materials, which includes fiberglass in this case. The company describes the EPITOME Quality Foundation Wall as a revolutionary composite building solution for residential foundations.

The company makes them off site, and then they put them together on location. Composite Panel Systems' Scott Weber says that means a shorter build time compared to concrete foundations.

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Local union fundraiserSubmitted: 07/23/2014

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MERRILL - Members of a Northwoods union chapter gathered unique inspiration for a fundraiser - The Beatles.

Merrill-area Local 6 members gathered Wednesday on the Wisconsin flowage to raise money for groups in need of assistance. The union leaders organized boat rides, raffles, barbecues, and contests. The inspiration for the fundraiser came, in part, from the 1965 Beatles single Help!

"I found out it was the anniversary of the 'Help!' release from The Beatles record, and I decided, let's help our community," said Local 6 Vice President Valerie Nelson. "Our membership is very passionate about certain organizations within our community. One being the Lincoln County Humane Society, the local food pantry, and the American Cancer Society."

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Unemployment up in Wisconsin's largest citiesSubmitted: 07/23/2014

MADISON - Unemployment is up in all of Wisconsin's largest cities and most counties.

The state Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday that unemployment rates in June increased in all of the state's 32 largest cities. Unemployment rates went up in 61 of 72 counties and remained unchanged in the other 11.

Wisconsin's monthly unemployment rate in June was 5.7 percent, unchanged from May.

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