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NEWS STORIES

Minocqua Marathoner Home Safe from BostonSubmitted: 04/17/2013

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MINOCQUA - Co-workers of Matt Thomas hugged him more today than they ever have before.

He's a Minocqua runner who finished his fourth Boston Marathon just before two explosions killed three and injured almost two hundred of people.

"It was just completely different," Thomas said.

Thomas finished his fourth Boston Marathon Monday on what he called a perfect day to run.

Watching for two other Lakeland area friends to come to the finish line…

He said it was like loud, close fireworks or a Revolutionary War style cannon.

"People were like, is that normal? I said, 'I've been here for four years, and I've never seen anything like that'. I think it was about 20 seconds later, but , I don't know, time kind of goes funny, then, in that situation, the second explosion went off," Thomas said.

That was when he knew it was no accident, and no celebration.

"People got blown into the course, and the barricades got blown over by the blast. Right away, by seeing what had happened to the people and the barricades coming out into the course, you knew something was not right," said Thomas.

He looked around him for backpacks or trash cans that could be another bomb, and didn't see any.

Because of that, he decided not to move from his spot a couple hundred yards from the explosions.

Instead, he watched the emergency workers rushing to help.

"It was pretty incredible. To see the response - when the second blast went off, the first police cars and the first fire trucks, first two fire trucks and ambulance were there within seconds," Thomas said.

Boylston Street, once packed with thousands of people, was nearly deserted.

That took just minutes.

But it took closer to hours for the entire Northwoods group to reunite - all of them totally safe.

Thomas could take at least one positive from Monday - his marathon time qualifies him for next year's Boston.

So will he go back to run at that same place?

"My view is, I'm going to run Boston because, if you don't run Boston, then you're giving the people who did this exactly what they wanted which is, you're afraid of doing things you normally did," he said.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Sweet As Pie - How pie making benefits Lake TomahawkSubmitted: 07/24/2014

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - All around you witness goodwill gestures. It could be as simple as a smile and wave or opening a door for someone. In Lake Tomahawk, it's making a pie.

"I made a pretzel crust with butter and sugar, " explains Sheila Punches. Sharon Hilgendorf adds, "Flour, for the thickening."

Snowshoe baseball's been entertaining crowds since the 1960's. But over at the concession stand, the pie takes center stage.

Strawberry rhubarb, banana butterscotch pie, blueberry pie, rocky road and coconut cream are just a few of the creations. "I like making ones that I think will appeal to the crowd," says Linda Penno.

Each week a different service club's in charge of the snack shack and in turn, takes home the proceeds. Locals bakers, a lot of local bakers make their best pies and donate them to support the cause.

"You get involved with it over the years and it just becomes your way of life on Mondays," says Punches.

On an average night they sell 80 pies. Each one is cut into six pieces and are only two dollars a slice. That means making almost a thousand dollars is easy as pie.

Ken Lochte of Rhinelander exclaims, "This is the only place you get your dessert first, before you get your food." "It's a great honor and pleasure and I've been doing it for quite a few years now," adds Rebecca Morien.

No matter how you slice it, everyone benefits from this unique fundraiser.

"It is unique and different which makes Lake Tomahawk special," says Morien. "It's a very good fundraiser for the community who in turn give it all back. So, it's kind of a domino effect you know," adds Hilgendorf.

If you think this is a lot of pies, the team is requesting the bakers provide double this Friday. They're hoping to have more than 200 pies for the Snowhawks game against the Wounded Warriors.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court rules cell phones can be used to track suspectsSubmitted: 07/24/2014

MADISON - Many people carry a tracking device everywhere they go, without realizing it.

Now the Wisconsin Supreme Court has sided with police in two separate cases where cellphone data was used to track suspects.

The court's rulings Thursday came in a pair of homicide cases in Milwaukee and Kenosha counties.

Police in both cases used data from the suspects' cellphone providers to find them.

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Woman charged with embezzling money from Rescue Squad pleads no contestSubmitted: 07/23/2014

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FOREST COUNTY - An Argonne woman will spend time in jail for taking money from a Northwoods Rescue Squad.

Megan Statezny pled no contest in Forest County court Wednesday. She handled finances for the Crandon Area Rescue Squad.

Police say she admitted to spending more than $18,000 using a credit card that wasn't hers.

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EPA cleans up chemicals from Lindey Cleaners buildingSubmitted: 07/23/2014

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RHINELANDER - You could find EPA crews cleaning chemicals out of a building in Rhinelander Wednesday.

It's been a year and a half since the city decided something needed to be done about the deteriorating Lindey Cleaners.

You might not notice much change on the outside of Lindey Cleaners, but inside crews from the Environmental Protection Agency were hard at work.

The building on Stevens Street has been empty since 2009. EPA workers think 100 to 150 different chemicals were inside the building.

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Northwoods composite panels could mean improvements for home foundations Submitted: 07/23/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - A new type of foundation could give you a better way to build a home, and the idea for the improvement starts right here in the Northwoods.

Composite Panel Systems in Eagle River builds composite panels for home foundations. Composite means anything made of two or more materials, which includes fiberglass in this case. The company describes the EPITOME Quality Foundation Wall as a revolutionary composite building solution for residential foundations.

The company makes them off site, and then they put them together on location. Composite Panel Systems' Scott Weber says that means a shorter build time compared to concrete foundations.

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Unemployment up in Wisconsin's largest citiesSubmitted: 07/23/2014

MADISON - Unemployment is up in all of Wisconsin's largest cities and most counties.

The state Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday that unemployment rates in June increased in all of the state's 32 largest cities. Unemployment rates went up in 61 of 72 counties and remained unchanged in the other 11.

Wisconsin's monthly unemployment rate in June was 5.7 percent, unchanged from May.

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Wisconsin to stop enforcing birth control lawSubmitted: 07/23/2014

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker's administration will no longer enforce the state's contraception coverage law for employers with religious objections following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last month.

The decision riled birth control advocates and Democrats, who said Wednesday that Wisconsin law is not affected by the decision.

The Supreme Court ruled that companies with religious objections, like Hobby Lobby, can avoid the contraceptives requirement of the federal health care overhaul law.

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