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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
Educators speak about picking the right degree.Submitted: 08/21/2014

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RHINELANDER - Many people can't believe it's almost time to go back to school. However, it's not just kids that are heading back to school. Research has shown that a lot of adults are going back to school as well. The number of non-traditional students is the highest it's ever been.

"As technology continuously changes, and as new processes and ways of doing things are introduced into various businesses and organizations, the needs of employees are really changing," said Sandy Bishop, director of workforce development at Nicolet College in Rhinelander.

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Old Sacred Heart Hospital demolition underwaySubmitted: 08/21/2014

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TOMAHAWK - It appears work on a new senior care facility in Tomahawk is underway.

Crews have begun tearing down the old Sacred Heart Hospital on East Washington Avenue.

Milestone Senior Living bought the property at the end of May.

It will build a 40-unit facility on the site. The facility will include 20 assisted living units and a 20-bed memory care center.

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Ride to honor fallen firefighters SaturdaySubmitted: 08/21/2014

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MERRILL - A group of motorcyclists will ride 85 miles this weekend to raise money for the Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial in Wisconsin Rapids.

The Red Knights Chapter 5 based in Rhinelander is a motorcycle group made up of firefighters and EMS professionals. The 5th annual Ride for the Memorial will honor fallen firefighter Steve Fritz.

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County board decides to make a counter offer to Kwik TripSubmitted: 08/21/2014

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RHINELANDER - Residents will need to wait a little longer to find out if another Kwik Trip will open.

The County Board held a special meeting Thursday morning. They discussed Kwik Trip's offer to purchase the land currently occupied by the Highway Department.

The board decided to make a counter offer to Kwik Trip.

"The motion was passed (Thursday) to counter Kwik Trip's offer in one respect to give us until February first to give a response," says Board Chairperson David Hintz.

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Forest County will get a new ATV trailSubmitted: 08/21/2014

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FOREST COUNTY - ATV riders in Forest County will get a new stretch of trail to ride on.

The trail will connect the City of Crandon to the International Off-Road Raceway.

The new trail will run on the existing snowmobile trail that runs along Highway 8.That trail is already on an old road bed.

Project leaders believe it will give ATVers more access to the city, brush run and county trails.

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Former volunteer fire department treasurer facing charges for stealing money Submitted: 08/21/2014

LITTLE RICE - Little Rice town leaders accuse a 34-year-old Tomahawk woman of stealing from their volunteer fire department.

According to the criminal complaint, RaginaMarie Reimert transferred money from the department's account to her husband's account that they share.

Reimert faces two charges in Oneida County. She was the former treasurer of the Little Rice Volunteer Fire Department.

Reimert is charged with misconduct of her office and theft.

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No camping reservations neededSubmitted: 08/21/2014

NORTHWOODS - You might find it easier to get a campsite at a national forest campground for Labor Day Weekend.

There are nearly 50 campgrounds to choose from across the across Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Reserved sites at campgrounds within the area are actually the exception rather than the rule. Assistant Ranger of Recreation Land Evan Miller explains why those not making reservations have the advantage.

"In the state of Wisconsin, the National Forest manages about 1,200 campsites over 49 different campgrounds," said Miller. "Of those, about 75 percent are first-come, first-serve. So individuals who are here first will have the first pick. The other 25 percent are reservable through Reserve USA."

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