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Governor Walker visits Wasuau to introduce new WEDC CEOSubmitted: 01/31/2013
Story By Hayley Tenpas

Governor Walker visits Wasuau to introduce new WEDC CEO
WAUSAU - We hoped to see him Tuesday, but bad weather cancelled Gov. Walkers scheduled stop in Wausau.

Thursday, Walker finally was able to make it.

The new executive Director of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation came along.

Reed Hall was appointed CEO of the WEDC Tuesday.

Hall previously was the executive director at Marshfield Clinic.

He hopes his new opportunity will move the state forward and create jobs.

"We're going to concentrate in the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation- expanding businesses, nurturing existing businesses, nurturing start-up companies, certainly looking for companies to transfer here from out of state," said Hall.

Some of those jobs in the Northwoods might be in jeopardy.

Governor Walker said today he plans to follow up with Wausau Paper.

The company announced earlier this month they were selling three of their plants, including one in Rhinelander.

"We're going to do everything in our power to make sure that's a strong base here in Wisconsin. It's not only through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, but through the department of work force and other state agencies and we can play an active role," said Governor Walker.

Hall adds that he's ready to work with other state agencies to build economic development in areas like the Northwoods.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

EAGLE RIVER - The World Championship Derby started as a small oval racetrack on Dollar Lake.

The race began back in 1964 thanks to Chanticleer Inn's John and Betty Alward.

They wanted a way to keep business up during the slow winter season for themselves and fellow resort owners.

Their son Jake still runs the inn and remembers the excitement behind the "newness" of the sport.

"Every factory wanted their machine first! Money was not the object… it was getting the right machine the right equipment….The right this and that. People flew to Minneapolis to get and engine or a part!" says Alward.

The 55th World Championship Derby is this weekend.

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MADISON - Preliminary estimates show unemployment in Wisconsin reached a record low in December.

The state Department of Workforce Development released figures Thursday that show the unemployment rate in December was 3 percent. That's a record for December and matches the lowest rate on record.

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THREE LAKES - A new program at the Three Lakes School District gives students a chance to test drive their future careers.
The mentorship program lets students shadow a professional for a day.
Juniors and seniors can work with professionals in fields they're interested in.
Senior Maggie Servent is one of the ten students in the program.

She shadowed a pharmacist in Eagle River.
" I'm a little more at ease knowing that this is definitely something I'm going to enjoy once I get out into the real world and have this job," said Servent. 

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EAGLE RIVER - The 2012 and 2017 World Snowmobile Derby Champion and Tomahawk native plans to use his fame to give back.

Nick Van Strydonk will give away his racing helmet, jacket and pants in a raffle.

Each ticket is $5.00 and he hopes to sell enough to send three members of Tomahawk's VFW to this year's honor flight.

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EAGLE RIVER - If you want to get an good understanding of what makes Eagle River tick in the winter time, the first stop should be the ice castle.

At a structure made of thousands of blocks of ice, about 55 Eagle River Elementary fourth-grade students learned how the decades-old idea comes together each year.

"They're actually a little warm because this is a heat wave for us," teacher Nicole Musial said of her students.  "These are the future members of our community. When they grow up, they re going to do something incredible."

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RHINELANDER - Packer fans might not recognize his name, but they've likely seen his photographs over the years. 

Vernon Biever first started photographing the Packers in 1941 as a freelancer, but it wasn't until 1946 that he became the team photographer. 

"He basically created a job for himself as the Packers' team photographer and just got to live his passion," said ArtStart Development Director Melinda Childs. 

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THREE LAKES - A public library will do just about anything to help out its loyal patrons. But what happens when the library needs help?

The Demmer Memorial Library in Three Lakes needs help storing books during an upcoming renovation. Over 3,000 books need to be cleared out of the library during the construction period and library card holders will get the chance to check out up to 100 books for an entire year.

The idea of book babysitting made perfect sense to library director, Erica Brewster.

"If we could get a hundred people to check out 100 books, that would be a third of our collection that we wouldn't have to physically pickup and move and put in a new location," said Brewster. 

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