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NEWS STORIES

Rhinelander's Mayor cautiously optimistic mill buyer will keep plant openSubmitted: 03/22/2013
Story By Lane Kimble


RHINELANDER - We need to wait awhile to figure out how the sale of Wausau Paper's Rhinelander and Mosinee mills will really effect the communities.

But Friday night, we did find a sense of cautious optimism coming from city leadership.

Rhinelander Mayor Dick Johns worked at the paper mill from 1955 to 1994. He's seen plenty of changes at the plant over the years, including three separate sales.

That past experience keeps him hopeful for the future.

"Confident's not a good word, but I'm hoping that it will be," Johns said. "That's important to all of us. You know, we have PrintPack down on the other side of town, that's an improvement to our community and we're proud of that and we're proud of that paper company."

KPS Capital Partners in New York invested $130 million to buy the two Wisconsin mills.

They're offering Wausau Paper 25 percent ownership in the new paper company they plan to form. Wausau Paper claims the investment group has "significant experience" in the paper business.

Mayor Johns hopes KPS understands Rhinelander needs to keep its mill.

"Any industry in this day and age is important to the community, especially when it's over 100 years old, you've had it here and it's been a part of your community for those many years," Johns said.

The sale isn't official just yet. There are seveal steps to go through, including establishing a new collective bargaining agreement with the unions.

Wausau Paper hopes to wrap things up by the end of the second quarter this year.

KPS invested in Waupaca Foundry, Inc., based in Waupaca, Wisconsin. Just last month, Waupaca Foundry dolled out a $200 million return to investers.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Local group helps fight Ebola in AfricaSubmitted: 09/29/2014

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RHINELANDER - The Ebola virus may seem to be a world away... but people right here in the Northwoods are helping to fight it.

Wise Intentional Leadership Development, otherwise known as WILD, is doing their part to raise money. The Rhinelander based group began training and developing young people in Africa in 2001.

"Our primary purpose, mission is to offer leadership development with a Christian perspective and really focus on the youth, cause over half the population in Africa is 25 and younger," explains WILD Executive Director Mike Prom. "So if we can help develop the youth, we can help change Africa."

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Jackson police use anti-heroin drug to revive manSubmitted: 09/29/2014

JACKSON, WI - Jackson police have used the drug Narcan to counter a suspected heroin overdose two weeks after the department received its first Narcan kits.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/1pBraGP ) police found a Milwaukee man unconscious on a commuter bus. An officer noticed his pupils were constricted and administered a dose of Narcan into the man's nose.

Police say the man regained consciousness around two minutes later and was able to communicate with authorities. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.

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Cranberry crop estimated at 5.3 million barrels; still a surplus in the marketSubmitted: 09/29/2014

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WISCONSIN - Cranberry growers don't expect another unprecedented harvest, but the industry does expect to keep Wisconsin's cranberry crown.

Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association Executive Director Tom Lochner says the state should produce 5.3 million barrels of cranberries from the 2014 harvest. Lochner says a barrel holds 100 pounds of cranberries.

The state produced 5.8 million barrels in 2013. Lochner credits the weather in September 2013 for that large harvest.

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Lawmaker's daughter faces new drug chargesSubmitted: 09/29/2014

GREEN BAY - The daughter of a Wisconsin lawmaker faces new criminal charges accusing her of possessing narcotics.

Twenty-five-year-old Cassie Nygren of Marinette appeared in Brown County court on Monday after being arrested Friday morning. Nygren faces two counts of possession of narcotic drugs and one count of possessing an illegally obtained prescription.

Nygren's struggle with heroin has made her a face of recovery and prompted her father, Republican state Rep. John Nygren, to draft legislation aimed at helping addicts.

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Learning in Retirement program offers variety of classes for retireesSubmitted: 09/29/2014

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Retiring in the Northwoods can be a great option for some people.

A local college wants to serve the community by offering classes for retirees.

Nicolet College's Learning in Retirement program offers everything from science classes to a tour of the WJFW studio.

"Learning is something, it becomes a passion to people. They've experienced it all through their lives. But it doesn't stop, we believe, at retirement," says Learning in Retirement past president Edward Lee.

Students in the Learning in Retirement program had the chance to learn more about Ojibwe culture.

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Free internet marketing help offered to small businessesSubmitted: 09/29/2014

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ONEIDA AND VILAS COUNTIES - Small businesses can struggle to make their presence known.

Websites and social media could help them reach more people. But designing a website can be a challenge.

UW Extension will offer free internet marketing training to some Northwoods small businesses.

Small business owners and employees from Oneida, Vilas, Bayfield and Ashland counties can participate in the training.

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Nearly 17,000 attended Beef-A-Rama, more than 2013 total Submitted: 09/29/2014

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MINOCQUA - Leaders at the Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce believe nearly 17,000 people came to the area for Beef-A-Rama.

Last year, about 15,000 people attended. Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Krystal Westfahl believes the significance of the 50th anniversary celebration played a role.

"It was huge for us to have this 50th anniversary, but I also think the fact that the weather was so great," said Westfahl. "People are just really getting to know the Minocqua area as just being full of life."

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