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NEWS STORIES

Two Northwoods Companies Expand with Help from Jobs AgencySubmitted: 04/26/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


CRANDON - A quarter million new jobs- that's what the Governor promises by the end of his first term.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation wants to help create them, and local companies are taking advantage of the effort.

The WEDC loaned two Crandon companies hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Hometown Trolley recently finished a 20,000 square foot expansion, and Infinity Wood Floors opened a manufacturing location in Crandon in January.

The two companies are bringing 77 new jobs to the area. That's a lot of jobs for the city, but 250,000 jobs is still a ways off. WEDC CEO Reed Hall thinks it's still a realistic goal.

"I do. And we're going to do whatever's in our power to make that number come true. One of the things I think helps us, is I think Wisconsin is right on the edge of a turn-around. I think we have a very stable political environment, or much more stable than it was in 2010, 2011," says Hall.

Hall also thinks the regulatory environment is better than it was in the past. He points to housing and auto sales as indicators of a turn-around.

Hall says economic development in the Northwoods presents unique challenges.

"The timber industry here is so very, very critical. Certainly tourism is so very critical to this area. Broadband issues are sort of unique here too because we don't always have enough broadband capability. I think we need to concentrate on the timber industry specifically," says ," says Hall.

Hall says they'll hold a conference this summer to promote getting more timber harvested from the national forests.

He wouldn't name specific companies, but Hall did say the WEDC is working with other businesses in the area.



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Walker says GOP complacency a big concernSubmitted: 08/29/2014

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker says complacency and fatigue among Republican voters is one of his biggest concerns as he faces re-election in less than 10 weeks.

Walker addressed his concerns Friday on WTMJ-AM when asked about a poll released on Wednesday indicating that Democrats were more enthused about the upcoming election that Republicans. Walker calls that ``one of my biggest concerns.''

The Marquette University Law School poll showed the race between Walker and Democrat Mary Burke to be a dead heat, both among registered and likely voters.

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Gov. Walker warns Potawatomi it could lose gamesSubmitted: 08/29/2014

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker's administration has warned the Forest County Potawatomi tribe that it could lose about 2,000 slot machines if it succeeds in withholding its $25 million annual payment to the state.

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Export markets sought for Wisconsin cranberriesSubmitted: 08/29/2014

WISCONSIN RAPIDS - China might be a good place to send some of Wisconsin's extra cranberries.

The state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection hosted a group of potential buyers from China this past week.

They talked to growers and toured cranberry facilities.

Industry leaders are hoping to expand demand for cranberries as an oversupply causes prices to drop.

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Some child pornography tips see slow Justice Department responseSubmitted: 08/29/2014

MADISON - Most people would expect quick action if they provided a tip about possible child pornography.

Newly released records show state Justice Department field offices across Wisconsin have delayed investigating some child pornography tips for months.

For example, the agency's Madison office took about three years to assign two tips for follow-up.

The Department of Justice earlier had fired the Milwaukee Special Agent-In-Charge for allowing nearly four dozen tips to languish.

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Improvements on the way for this weekend's PotatoFestSubmitted: 08/28/2014

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After last year's success, the event will expand even more this weekend.

PotatoFest features a parade, eating and cooking contests, live music all day, and the YMCA Couch Potato Race.

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Wisconsin faces $281 million budget shortfallSubmitted: 08/28/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin tax collections are more than $281 million short of estimates, a drop that could require the Legislature to take action to keep the budget in balance.

The state Department of Revenue on Thursday released the figures for the fiscal year that ended in June. Those figures show the state collected $281.2 million less than was anticipated by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau in January.

That is nearly 2 percent less than anticipated.

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School District of Antigo loses 18 teachers to retirement, could face a similar problem next yearSubmitted: 08/28/2014

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ANTIGO - The School District of Antigo will see a lot of new faces this fall.

The district hired 26 new teachers this year.

They lost so many teachers last year because of retirements and teachers leaving for bigger districts.

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"We've tended overall on average to be in the middle of the pack but at some levels we're falling behind," says Antigo School District Interim District Administrator Don Childs. "Particularly in areas of high need and specialty. You'll find there are districts that are willing to pay premiums for and that sometimes draws people as well away from another district."

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