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

Mayor Urges Patience in Paper Mill Sale
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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ARBOR VITAE - You won't want to wear your best clothes to one race in May.

Minocqua's Color Run Fundraiser is a 3K and 5K race for Arbor Vitae-Woodruff and MJ1 schools.

The race is one of the schools' biggest fundraisers for field trips, additional school supplies and equipment.

The Color Run raised almost $20,000 last year.

"It comes from all of the kids and their fundraising in the community, with the help of grandparents and parents and friends," says AVW Principal Rich Fortier.

The race will be at the Minocqua Park Complex on May 5.

To find out how to register, click below.

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - Dave Nance's job as a Camp American Legion volunteer means doing a little bit of everything. He's spent the last several years giving back to the place that gave him his life back.

"This is a special place. There's no place like it and it's life changing," said Nance who's from the Tomah-area. 

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS - Police are looking for information about the death of a Wisconsin Rapids man.

Police found 29-year-old Jacob Johnson dead in a home on Chestnut Street Saturday. 

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CRANDON - A Crandon man pleaded guilty to four charges of sexual and physical abuse of children in Forest County Court Monday.

Matthew Christenson pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree sexual assault of a child and one count of child abuse recklessly causing harm. All charges are felonies. 

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RHINELANDER - A two vehicle crash caused Highway 8 to close down for almost an hour Monday.

The crashed happened around 1:30 p.m. west of Rhinelander.

A car was trying to turn into Roberts Repair when a truck hit it from behind.

There was one person in each car. At least one driver was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

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NEW LONDON - New London police have sent pieces of candy from a St. Patrick's Day parade to the State Crime Laboratory to see if it's tainted.

Police warned people not to eat candy they got at Saturday's parade over concerns it may be contaminated. They received about 10 complaints about children and others developing temporary numbness or rash since Saturday.

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VILAS AND ONEIDA COUNTIES - Oneida and Vilas Counties will close their snowmobile trails this week. 

Lincoln County will also close its remaining trails. Zones 2 and 3 are already closed. Zone 1 will close at midnight on Monday, March 19.

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