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NEWS STORIES

Ginseng Board Strikes $200 Million Deal with Chinese CompanySubmitted: 04/23/2013

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."

Story By: Lex Gray

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Former school janitor will spend three years in prison for having child porn Submitted: 07/31/2014

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PHELPS - A former janitor for the School District of Phelps will spend three years in prison for having child porn.

Richard Buell, 62, pled guilty to two counts of possession of child pornography.

The district attorney dismissed the eight other counts of child pornography.

Buell will also spend three years on extended supervision.

He can't have any contact with children.

He also can't have access to a computer or the internet.

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UPDATE: One man dies after plane crashed at EAASubmitted: 07/31/2014

OSHKOSH - UPDATE: 7-31-14 8:20pm CDT

The Experimental Aircraft Association says a pilot was killed and his passenger seriously injured when a plane crashed at the Oshkosh airport where planes taking part in the annual AirVenture convention land.

EAA spokesman Dick Knapinksi says the plane went down on the southeast side of Wittman Regional Airport about 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

Knapinski says the man piloting the custom-built Breezy aircraft died from his injuries. The pilot's female passenger is in serious condition.

Names and hometowns of those involved were not immediately released.

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Phillips couple celebrates 75th wedding anniversary Submitted: 07/31/2014

PHILLIPS - A Phillips couple proves that hard work and love can make a marriage last.

Russell and Dorothy Sawallish just celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary on Tuesday.

The couple got married on July 29, 1939.

Over the years, the couple always seems to work through their problems together.

"You have your troubles and you work through them. We never had really serious, serious trouble. We had trouble but they got better," says Dorothy.

"God always settled our serious problems," Russell said.

Russell and Dorothy met when they were kids.

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Sokaogon Chippewa Health Fair draws attention to well-being on reservation with unique challengesSubmitted: 07/31/2014

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MOLE LAKE - Health workers often face different challenges on the Sokaogon Chippewa reservation in Mole Lake compared to elsewhere in the Northwoods.

"I think they're a little different. We have a (few) more challenges. Sometimes, for a lot of people, it's more crisis than prevention, or preventative services," said Tammy Queen, who works at the Sokaogon Chippewa Health Clinic. "A lot of times, they'll come in when something's bad instead of coming in before something gets really bad."

On Thursday, the tribe wanted to get people thinking about their health before problems occur.

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"We were painstaking about finding things that you cannot find at other shops here in the Eagle River area," said Homeward Bound Specialty Foods owner Patti Katz Black. She and her husband, Dave, opened their Eagle River store last week.

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Law limiting collective bargaining upheldSubmitted: 07/31/2014

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The court has upheld the 2011 law in a split decision.

The court ruled 5-2 Thursday morning that the law is valid.

The decision came in a challenge filed by the Madison teachers union and a union representing Milwaukee public workers.

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Repairs to Mike Webster Stadium starting soonSubmitted: 07/31/2014

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Last week, the School District of Rhinelander's Capital Projects Committee got approval for their preliminary plans for the stadium. They're looking to do many things.

One of the main projects they want to complete is to get the track fixed so the school can hold track meets again.

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