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NEWS STORIES

What the Wausau Paper Brainerd Mill Closure Means for Wis. MillsSubmitted: 02/22/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

RHINELANDER - We found out yesterday a Wausau Paper mill in Brainerd, Minnesota will close. That's bringing the impending sale of the Rhinelander plant back to the forefront of many minds here in the Northwoods.

Many people aren't sure whether to be relieved or worried, so we spoke with a representative from the company today.

Wausau Paper expects the Brainerd mill to close by April. The company will try to sell the mill. But it will close first, and the town will lose about 130 jobs.

Director of Investor Relations Perry Grueber says the factors that led to the decision to close that mill are specific to Brainerd. He says there are specific differences between that mill, and the two Wisconsin mills up for sale.

"Both the Rhinelander and Mosinee mills are substantially larger operations with substantially larger workforces. They have far more diversified product offerings and have been very well established in the technical specialty market for many years. They are performing significantly better at the present time than Brainerd was," says Perry Grueber.

Brainerd's customers will still need to get their orders from somewhere. Grueber expects production for those products to move to Rhinelander or Mosinee. That should make those mills more appealing to buyers.

Rhinelander Mayor Dick Johns hasn't heard of any serious interest yet.

But he and a group of other community leaders wrote a letter in a show of support for the city, and one of its biggest employers. They also asked Wausau Paper to keep the lines of communication open so the city and its people aren't kept in the dark.

"We just have to be patient and see where it goes. And I know it's hard for a lot of people in the community. There are families out there that want to know, 'Can I buy this? Can I do this? Can I do that?' But I'll tell you, with a positive attitude I think we can all come through it very well," says Mayor Johns.

He told us when news of the sale first broke, the City of Rhinelander would do whatever it could to help find a buyer, and keep the mill open.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 11/24/2014

- Find out which Northwoods legislator would love to become part of the legislature's most powerful committee.

- Plus, how could new DNR wetland rules impact you?

We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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Roll-over sends 2 to the hospitalSubmitted: 11/24/2014

TOMAHAWK - A single car crash sent two people to the hospital Monday. It happened on highway 8 near county road A around 11:30 in the morning.

The car was heading west on highway 8 when it lost control in the slush. The vehicle rolled over once before coming to a stop.

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College student to stand trial on ricin possessionSubmitted: 11/24/2014

GREEN BAY - A University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh student accused of possessing the deadly toxin ricin has been ordered to stand trial.

A federal judge in Green Bay ruled Monday there's enough evidence against 21-year-old Kyle Smith to move forward with his case.

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Wisconsin prepares to analyze more DNA samplesSubmitted: 11/24/2014

MADISON - New collection requirements will mean thousands more DNA samples to be analyzed in Wisconsin.

The state Justice Department is getting ready by increasing staff at the crime lab in Madison.

Wisconsin currently takes DNA samples from everyone convicted of a felony. DNA is also taken for certain misdemeanors.

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Opening weekend deer hunt number downSubmitted: 11/23/2014

RHINELANDER - Hunters from all over got out on opening weekend to enjoy the start of gun hunting season.

But this year's opening weekend hasn't been as successful as last year's.

About 103 total deer were registered on opening day at Rhinelander's main registration location.

DNR workers say that number is actually down 25% from last season, and that downward trend is continuing into Sunday.

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Deer hunt impacts businesses in the Northwoods Submitted: 11/23/2014

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RHINELANDER - The gun deer hunt just started Saturday. Hunters can bring business to the area. Businesses are already seeing an impact.

Some people might travel to the Northwoods just for the deer hunting. That means they'll need a place to stay, but not all of the resorts in the Northwoods saw people dressed in orange or camouflage.

"It does not bring a lot of tourism for out of town guest to Holiday Acres, but it's certainly a big deal as far as the area's concerned," said Holiday Acres co-owner Kari Zambon. "I think there are other places that get traffic that we aren't seeing."

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Bottled milk makes a comback in Crandon Submitted: 11/23/2014

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CRANDON - Not many people buy bottled milk anymore. But a locally owned store in Crandon recently brought it back.

"Grandpa sold bottled milk in 1935 when he came to Crandon and for many years after that,"

Now third generation Jay Schaefer is continuing the tradition at Schaefer's IGA in Crandon.

He's selling another locally owned business product on his shelves.

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