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NEWS STORIES

Gingerbread House Adds Holiday Spirit to Small TownSubmitted: 11/25/2012

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PHELPS - Kids and adults love gingerbread houses around the holidays.

But in Phelps, they're taking that passion one step further.

What was a vacant lot has turned into the perfect place to start a new holiday tradition.

This life-size gingerbread house was the idea of Shelly Ray, who designed it so that every detail is just perfect.

"Shelly had it all mapped out, and said, 'you're doing this, you're doing this, you're doing this', then we all came together and did everything," says Tuckey Requa of the Phelps Chamber of Commerce.

"I've been stringing the lights, making candy canes, and helping to put rebar in," Phelps student Taylor Huca chimes in.

Between this gingerbread house, the candy canes, the lollipops, it took a team effort from the people in Phelps to make it happen.

It's a true sign of the community in the small town.

"There's tremendous support in this town for itself. People pull together amazingly here. It's a very, very committed community," Requa says.

While the team finished the house Sunday, the real unveiling will be on Friday.

Santa lights the town Christmas tree every year around this time before dozens of anxious kids.

For the first time, it will be here, by the gingerbread house.

"It's drop-dead perfect. It's perfect. It's going to look gorgeous when it's lit up," Requa says.

"It's actually better than I imagined that it would be," says Huca.

A better gingerbread house - starting a new tradition in town.

Santa's visit and tree lighting are at 6:30 Friday night in Phelps.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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 IN OTHER NEWS
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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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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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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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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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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Woman charged with embezzling money from Rescue Squad pleads no contestSubmitted: 07/23/2014

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FOREST COUNTY - An Argonne woman will spend time in jail for taking money from a Northwoods Rescue Squad.

Megan Statezny pled no contest in Forest County court Wednesday. She handled finances for the Crandon Area Rescue Squad.

Police say she admitted to spending more than $18,000 using a credit card that wasn't hers.

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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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