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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
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 07/03/2015

- A measure passed by the state's budget committee Thursday night would limit what information lawmakers would have to disclose under open records rules. State lawmakers will essentially get to keep secret records for things like research, discussions and amendments to legislative proposals. We'll look at the issue tonight on Newswatch 12.

- In most of Wisconsin, crossing railroad tracks on foot is illegal. A proposal in the state budget would change that.

- And NASCAR returns to Newswatch 12 on Saturday. Find out more about a young local racer who loves to race in the Northwoods.

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

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MADISON - Wisconsin could force drunk drivers to pay in more money to support SafeRide Home programs in the state.

Earlier this week, we told you the state was planning to kick in less money to support county SafeRide Home programs. The program offers free taxi rides home from bars.

A proposal passed by a Capitol committee on Thursday night could help SafeRide Home.

It would add a $50 surcharge to some OWI offenses. That money would go back into SafeRide Home programs.

The proposal is part of the state budget, which has yet to become law.

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MADISON - After a five-week delay, the Legislature's budget-writing committee has given final approval to a new two-year spending plan.

The Joint Finance Committee early Friday voted 12-4 with all Republicans in support and all Democrats against the $70 billion budget.

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LA CROSSE - A Wisconsin man is being detained in a mental health facility after authorities say he told a security guard he planned to kill President Barack Obama.

A warrant was issued Thursday for 55-year-old Brian Dutcher of Tomah, the same day Obama was in La Crosse touting a proposal to make more workers eligible for overtime pay.

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WAUSAU - A Wausau teen accused of stabbing a middle school boy will be tried in adult court. Dylan Yang, 15, pleaded not guilty in Marathon County Court Thursday.

Prosecutors think Yang stabbed and killed 13-year-old killed Isaiah Powell in February.

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MADISON - Nearly all records created by state and local elected officials would not be subject to the Wisconsin open records law under a sweeping surprise change Republicans have approved as an amendment to the state budget.

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RHINELANDER - A one-car rollover slowed down traffic for about an hour in Rhinelander on Thursday.

Police received a call around 3:30 Thursday afternoon. No other cars were involved.

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