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NEWS STORIES

Mayor Urges Patience in Paper Mill SaleSubmitted: 01/12/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

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RHINELANDER - We learned last night that Wausau Paper plans to sell three of its mill locations-- including Mosinee and right here in Rhinelander.

The Rhinelander mill reportedly employs nearly 500 people. Some of those employees told us they'd heard rumors for about a month. But they were caught off guard when they heard it was official. Some say supervisors never even formally told them.

They weren't the only ones surprised.

"I heard it last night at eight o'clock. I received a call telling me it was going on and it was in the papers this morning. The first thing I heard about it, it kind of took me by surprise," says Rhinelander Mayor Dick Johns.

Rhinelander Mayor Dick Johns understands the importance of keeping the paper mill alive. He worked there himself for 40 years.

Johns says he's seen the mill change ownership before, and it's not time to panic yet.

"You never know what's down the line for us and we're going to have a long process. We have to take our time and move slowly through it. And the only thing I can say, is the community can be rest assured that this office and City Hall is well behind anything to keep that mill up in operation," says Mayor Johns.

A spokesperson for Wausau Paper says the company wants to focus entirely on tissue and towel products. This move will likely leave only the Wausau Paper corporate headquarters located in Wisconsin.

Mayor Johns says he's contacting agencies like the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, that can hopefully help find a buyer for the mill.

We'll be sure to keep you updated as we learn more information.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 10/31/2014

- The mining issue might deicide the winner of the 25th State Senate district. The huge district covers a large portion of northern Wisconsin. Two types of mines have caused controversy in the district: a proposed taconite mine in the north and sand mines in the west. Newswatch 12s Adam Fox sat down with both candidates; he'll have the story tonight.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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Man gets 40 year prison sentence for shooting deputySubmitted: 10/31/2014

MEDFORD - A 29-year-old man will spend 40 years in prison for shooting a Taylor County sheriff's deputy after getting sentenced in court Friday.

Police say Alexander Schneider told them he aimed for the deputy's face when he shot him in September 2013.

The deputy went to Schneider's house in Rib Lake to talk with him about a violated restraining order. Schneider refused to come outside. He then shot at the deputy through the front door.

He will be on extended supervision for 20 years once he gets out of prison.

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Drivers surprised by icy roadsSubmitted: 10/31/2014

RHINELANDER - Drivers got an icy surprise as they hit the road this morning.

People needed to show a little caution as they got used to driving on snow and ice again.

Some accidents tied up traffic for a time. In Wausau, one lane of Highway 29 was shut down near Highway 51.

An accident caused the problem shortly after 4:00 a.m. The road was fully open again around 6:00 a.m..

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Hire me then fire me, Northwoods candidate for State Treasurer wants to eliminate positionSubmitted: 10/31/2014

RHINELANDER - Hire me then fire me.

That's what a Northwoods candidate for State Treasurer wants voters to do.

Jerry Shidell is a libertarian from Rhinelander.

You'll find his name on the ballot for State Treasurer.

He plans on getting rid of the job.

Shidell says the treasurer doesn't have many responsibilities and the position costs too much.

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100 Yards of Halloween DecorationsSubmitted: 10/31/2014

RHINELANDER - A lot of people in the Northwoods will put out decorations for Halloween. But one Rhinelander woman and her daughter have gone above and beyond. They've grown their display for the past 10 years to extend between their houses and covering more than 100 yards.

"We had four boys and we wanted a girl and she was born on Halloween, so my husband said, 'Look, we finally got our witch!'" said Linda Klaver.

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School District of Rhinelander passes 2014-15 budget; sees increase in enrollmentSubmitted: 10/31/2014

RHINELANDER - The School District of Rhinelander will get a little bit more funding from property taxes this year.

Rhinelander passed a referendum in 2013.

The district gets 4 million dollars per year through 2016.

On Monday the district approved the tax rate and mill levy for the year.

Taxpayers will pay $10.99 per thousand dollars of property values.

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25th Senate candidates differ over mining law, agree on importance of broadband and educationSubmitted: 10/31/2014

RHINELANDER - The mining issue might decide the winner of the 25th State senate district. The huge district covers a large portion of northern Wisconsin stretching from parts of Vilas County to parts of Barron County. Two types of mines have caused controversy in the district. A proposed taconite mine in the north, and sand mines in the west.

Gogebic Taconite is proposing a four-mile open pit taconite mine in Ashland and Iron County. Project leaders say the project will lead to 700 direct jobs, as well as numerous spillover jobs because of the construction of the mine.

Republicans rewrote and passed the state's mining law in 2013. Many believe the rule change weakened water protections, but Republican candidate Dane Deutsch doesn't agree.

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