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NEWS STORIES

Ginseng Board Strikes $200 Million Deal with Chinese CompanySubmitted: 04/23/2013
Story By Lex Gray

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EDGAR - You see "Made in China" stickers every time you go to the store.

But soon, Chinese people will be seeing more Wisconsin-grown and made products in their stores.

Governor Walker went on a trade mission to China last week to help generate business in Wisconsin.

"Ginseng in our area is a pretty popular thing because of our soil and climate," said ginseng farmer Joe Heil. "Marathon County is the leading producer of ginseng in the US."


Heil is the president of the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin. He farms corn, soybean and 100 acres of ginseng. Ginseng is highly valued as an herbal medication, especially in Asia.

"It's definitely a bigger challenge. Soybeans, corn, anyone can grow that crop," he said. "Ginseng is a real challenge, there's no books, there's not been a lot of research done as far as how to grow it, because it's such a challenge."

But there's a payoff. Heil's fields are muddy and snow-covered now, but in October, they're worth upwards of $100,000 per acre.

Governor Walker worked out a big ginseng deal with Chinese leaders last week.

He announced growers could export $200 million worth of ginseng over the next ten years. Most of it will come from Marathon County.

"We understand a win-win proposition," Walker said from Beijing. "For us, a strong Chinese economy is just as important to us as a strong American economy in Wisconsin is for the people of China."

Heil hopes Governor Walker's trade mission will help Wisconsin's ginseng industry grow.

"I'm hoping that it's sustainable enough that young people will start getting back into the business or taking over the family farms," he said. "That's one thing we've seen, if we go back about ten years we have 1500 farmers and now we're down to about 140 in the state of Wisconsin just because it's not been profitable."

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Community helping pick new president for Nicolet College Submitted: 10/20/2014

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RHINELANDER - Nicolet College will need to find a new president. Taxes in the community help pay for some of the school's budget. That's why the school wants to turn to the community before filling the position.

Monday night they heard from the community at a meeting.

Some people want to make sure the candidates have good backgrounds. They also want the board to do their research, but some don't want students left out.

David Hubbard of Harshaw thought it would be a perfect opportunity to learn more about the school. However, he also wanted to make sure students could participate in the process.

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Rhinelander Winter Farmers Market to Open SaturdaySubmitted: 10/20/2014

RHINELANDER - One local group wants to make sure you can get fresh local produce even during the winter.

The Lean Coalition is partnering with the YMCA of the Northwoods for a new indoor winter farmers market. The Hodag Farmers market closed on Saturday.

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Police: Indiana suspect in 7 slayings hints at more killingsSubmitted: 10/20/2014

HAMMOND, IN - Police investigating the slayings of seven women whose bodies were found over the weekend in Indiana say the suspect has told them that he may have killed people going back 20 years.

Hammond Police Chief John Doughty said during a news conference Monday that the suspect, identified as Darren Vann, is being cooperative with investigators. Vann was convicted of sexual assault in Texas in 2009 and now lives in Gary.

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Veteran survey focusing on improving communication between veterans, state veterans agency Submitted: 10/20/2014

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The survey asks for anonymous information and then asks what veteran programs users know information about.

Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Marketing Manager Dan Buttery says the goal is to get veterans and their families more familiar with veteran programs.

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Room tax funds marketing opportunities for events, non-profitsSubmitted: 10/20/2014

RHINELANDER - If you stay at a motel or resort, you may notice an extra tax on your bill.

A room tax is an extra tax placed on overnight stays.

Lodges and resorts in the City of Rhinelander and Town of Pelican collect room tax.

Now you may be able to get some of that money.

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Woodruff man charged with driving drunk, stealing and damaging property at Minocqua's WalmartSubmitted: 10/20/2014

RHINELANDER - A Woodruff man faces multiple charges for allegedly driving drunk, stealing and damaging property.

The criminal complaint says police got a call last Monday.

Timothy Brewster was allegedly knocking stuff off shelves at Minocqua's Walmart.

Security video from Walmart shows Brewster driving his car into a cart corral.

The video also shows him stumbling and knocking items from the shelf on the floor.

Brewster fought with officers when they tried to arrest him.

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Two car crash sends 2 to hospitalSubmitted: 10/20/2014

WOODRUFF - A car driving the wrong way on Highway 47 west of Woodruff hit another car this morning.

An 86-year-old Lac du Flambeau man was driving south in the northbound lane.

He hit a car driven by an 87-year-old woman.

The man and his passenger, an 87-year-old woman, were taken to Howard Young Medical Center.

Their injuries aren't life threatening.

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