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Rhinelander Honda gives $3,000 to Camp American LegionSubmitted: 01/17/2013
Story By Lex Gray

RHINELANDER - We hear a lot about what veterans deal with after they get home. Their transition is anything but easy.

One Rhinelander business wanted to help them heal in a unique way.

Rhinelander Honda donated $3,000 to Camp American Legion in Lake Tomahawk.

The camp gets veterans, families, and active service members back to nature.

They hope to help them heal from post-traumatic stress and other combat injuries.

"The big thing was the awareness," Rhinelander Honda Sales Manager Dave Rushman said. "They're right in our backyard, we didn't know really about them, so by sending out 20-thousand mailers, it helps raise awareness for it, instead of just writing a check and having it go away."

Rhinelander Honda sent out the mailers to bring customers in.

They donated $10 for every test drive, and $100 for every car sold during a New Years promotion.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MOLE LAKE - When you drive through Mole Lake, you'll notice a lot of solar panels.

It's part of a project tribal leaders have worked on for more than a year, and they hope it will save the community a lot in energy costs.

Tribal leaders applied and received a couple million dollars in grants from the U.S. Energy Department and the Housing and Urban Development Department. Then they started working with a Pewaukee-based company called SunVest Solar, Inc., and started installing the panels on homes and businesses in 
September.

Now, they are almost done.

According to SunVest Solar, this is the largest per capital solar array installation in the Midwest. Tribal Administrator Jeff Ackley, Jr., says 50 homes and 17 businesses have solar panels.

"Most of the state of Wisconsin has less than one percent of its generation coming from solar and now you have a community where almost 50 percent of the homes get their power from the sun," said Adam Gusse, head of operations at SunVest Solar, Inc.

"I thought it would put us on the map," Ackley said.

Project leaders think the panels can produce up to 85 percent of power in homes and between 20 and 60 percent for businesses.

"It will be significant savings all around for the community," Ackley said. "From rough crunchings of numbers we're looking at probably saving between $60,000 and $80,000 per year on energy usage."

The first batch of panels turned on in November, and some people say they've already seen the savings.

"Some are seeing up to $100 in savings just after that first month," Gusse said. "So they'll see much more per month savings as they go on."

Gusse said the panels don't produce as much power in the winter as they will in the summer, but residents still save money.

Tribal leaders can apply for more grants to put panels on more homes. 

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EAGLE RIVER - Take salvaged metal and wood, hand it to one Eagle River artist, and watch his imagination come to life.

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TOMAHAWK - High schoolers in Tomahawk sat across from local business professionals on Wednesday, answering questions in an interview setting.

The mock interview event is one of many that high school teacher Olivia Dachel helped create. Earlier this month, Gov. Scott Walker honored Dachel and 14 other Wisconsin people and organizations with a Governor's Financial Literacy Award.

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EAGLE RIVER - Patti Underhill spends her days crafting.

"Basically I like to sew," she said. "When I was young, I made my own Barbie doll clothes and my mom showed me how to sew."

It's a hobby that--now in her retirement--is paying off for Underhill in small ways. She is one of 29 vendors who volunteers her time to work in the Eagle River Serve Senior Craft Shop. Vendors keep 70 percent of the profits, and the other 30 percent goes back to the shop or includes sales tax.

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RHINELANDER - It seemed like Rhinelander could finally start looking for a new city administrator. But the City Council will now consider another option, one that could potentially create a longer wait to fill an important job.

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RHINELANDER - Even with snow on the ground, people in the Northwoods can start preparing for their perfect summer wedding. Lund and Taylor Bridal Gallerie hosts its annual Magic Moments Bridal Expo in Rhinelander this Saturday.

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THREE LAKES - Students in Three Lakes now have a new option for winter recess. This year the Three Lakes Park District donated an ice skating rink to the Three Lakes Elementary School. The Three Lakes Fire Department and other members of the community joined in to put the rink together.

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