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Home sales continue spike; Northwoods best in the stateSubmitted: 02/19/2013
Home sales continue spike; Northwoods best in the state
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

WISCONSIN - The home sales market just keeps getting better and better for sellers here in the state.

Sales last month were up more than 18% compared to January of last year.

The average price of a home also bumped 3.5% percent to $123,000.

The industry's recovery has been on a roll.

It's the 19th consecutive month home sales are up by a double-digit percentage mark.

We saw the most drastic growth here in Northern Wisconsin.

Sales spiked by more than 30% over last January.

Prices still have a long way to go to fully recover.

A median home sold for $156,000 at the housing peak in January 2007.

The Northwoods is still the least expensive place to buy a home.

Median sales are $95,000 dollars.

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Rhinelander Area Scholarship Foundation member Harlan Larson and his wife went to Oaxaca, Mexico several years ago and met famous woodcarver Armando Jimenez there.  The couple learned Jimenez had traveled to Wisconsin in the past, but he hadn't ventured north of Baraboo.

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander mom said her lifestyle completely changed when a new neighbor moved in. 

She used to love the close proximity and the ability to walk to almost anything in town.

She has two young kids and regularly checks the sex offender registry. 

The Rhinelander mom wishes to stay anonymous. We'll refer to her as Linda. 

Linda found out a sex offender moved in a few doors down from her by flipping through a local newspaper, She saw a small box at the bottom page with a notification. 

"He kind of just snuck in," said Linda. 

William Huntington moved close to Linda's house in May. However, Linda says she knew nothing until she did research of her own in July. 

"When I saw what he was found guilty of I was in shock. I was in complete shock," said Linda. 

He was convicted in Dane County for repeatedly sexually assaulting his 8- year- old neighbor about twenty years ago. He's now required to wear a lifetime GPS monitoring system. 

Dana Wszalek works with the Department of Corrections in Rhinelander as a Regional Chief. Her office supervises people like Huntington in the community.

"What we do is not a cookie cutter type of approach to supervision; it's relative to what their risks are based on their case dynamics," said Wszalek. 

State law requires high risk sex offender to live at least 1,500 feet from churches, schools and playgrounds. Restrictions on other sex offenders are left to local offices. 

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office says there are no ordinances for sex offenders in Oneida County.

"They have different life experiences. They are a part of the community," said Wszalek. 

Wszalek understands the wariness community members might feel.

"As a parent it's important to be aware of who's in your neighborhood," said Wszalek. 

Linda said one of her 6- year- old child was planning on walking to school with friends this year, but instead they'll get driven.

"I feel like the neighborhood we moved into to be able to have these things has been taken away," said Linda.

Linda said she was shocked she didn't get a call or knock on her door from law enforcement.

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But people like Florian Bieschke from Minocqua didn't want to risk driving in the storm.

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