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NEWS STORIES

ArtStart Renovations Moving ForwardSubmitted: 02/18/2013
Story By Lex Gray


RHINELANDER - Artwork will hang on brand new walls in Rhinelander this spring.

ArtStart organizers moved forward with renovations inside Rhinelander's old Federal Building.

Contractors and volunteers gutted the inside of the building in early January.

Right now, the walls are up and partially painted.

Flooring, ceiling and lighting should be finished in time for the building to reopen in April.

The rebuilt space has three galleries and a community room.

President Ken Juon hopes the community will put the space to different uses.

"The primary function of the building will be visual arts gallery. There will be also the opportunity for small concerts, poetry reading, films, things of that sort," Juon said. "So we needed space that was going to be fairly flexible for a lot of different activities."

This last renovation phase includes finishing touches like tables, glass doors, and a film projector.

Juon hopes they'll have enough money to finish that by February 2014.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he and GOP legislative leaders have agreed to completely remove a part of the proposed state budget that would severely roll back the state's open records laws.

Walker announced the decision in a joint statement Saturday with Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, and the co-chairs of the joint budget committee.

The statement says the records proposal "will be removed from the budget in its entirety." They say the plan "was never intended to inhibit transparent government in any way."

The restrictions, which Republicans slipped into the proposed budget late Thursday, would exempt nearly everything created by government officials from Wisconsin's open records law.

The statement says the Legislature will form a committee to study the issue and allow for public discussion.

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BOULDER JUNCTION - Parades and marching bands go hand in hand.

Boulder Junction has gone without one in their 4th of July parade for more than 20 years, but one marching band that is changing that tradition.

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MIAMI BEACH, FLA - Green Bay Packers tight end Andrew Quarless has been arrested for allegedly firing two shots into the air during an argument outside a Miami Beach parking garage.

A witness told Miami Beach police that Quarless and three others pulled up to a car full of women early Saturday. An arrest affidavit says the football player and another man approached the car. The conversation eventually escalated and the witness told authorities he heard the women yelling for Quarless and his friend to leave them alone.

That's when authorities say Quarless pulled out a handgun and fired two shots in the air.

He was charged with discharging a firearm in public.

A call and emails to the Packers were not immediately returned Saturday.

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WAUSAU - A crash in Wausau left one man injured after his motorcycle collided with a van Friday night.

The Wausau Police Department got a call about a southbound crash around 9:00pm on Grand Avenue near Ruder Street.

A motorcycle was in the left lane and a van in the right. The 48-year-old Schofield woman driving the van said she didn't see the motorcycle in her blind spot. She hit the 43-year-old Schofield man on the motorcycle, who landed on the sidewalk. 

The man was not wearing a helmet. He was taken to Aspirus Hospital in Wausau.

The woman got two citations, one for not having insurance on the van and another for unsafe lane deviation.

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BOULDER JUNCTION - Around 15,000 people came out to support the Boulder Junction Volunteer Fire Department Saturday.

The volunteer fire department held their 25th annual chicken barbeque fundraiser.

All money raised during the barbeque goes to the fire department to help with equipment upgrades and training.

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PARK FALLS - Kelly Meredith's paint-splattered uniform and face tell us what she does.  But the Butternut muralist prefers to think of her job as a historian.

"Those stories need to go out to the rest of us," Meredith said.

Brush stroke by brush stroke, Meredith went to work this spring, painting the uniforms and faces of Northwoods World War II veterans and bringing their stories back to life.

"They weren't gods and heroes," Meredith said. "They're ordinary people who overcame their fear and the courage and dignity to basically save the world."

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MADISON/TOMAHAWK - It may come as a surprise, but fishermen, hunters, or hikers can't legally cross most railroad tracks in Wisconsin.

That's even if the rail line splits their own property. Walking across tracks is only allowed on the thousands of crossings specifically approved by the state.

Some legislative Republicans think that doesn't make sense. They added a proposal to the state budget on Thursday to allow people to cross tracks on foot. Making a crossing would no longer be considered trespassing, and railroad companies would have no power to prevent it.

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