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NEWS STORIES

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

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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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 IN OTHER NEWS
Updated--ATV rider killed in crash along Highway 29 Submitted: 09/02/2014

MARATHON COUNTY - A Marathon County man died when his ATV crashed on Highway 29.

Deputies were called at 9:42 Monday night with a report of the accident in the town of Rib Falls.

The man riding the ATV was dead at the scene.

He had been heading north on Cardinal Lane and went across Highway 29, apparently headed for 9th Avenue.

Instead, the ATV collided with two cars on Highway 29.


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New gunsmith shop targeting niche market in the Northwoods Submitted: 09/02/2014

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RHINELANDER - Owners at a new custom gun shop in Rhinelander believe they can fill a void in the Northwoods firearm market.

American Hot Shots LLC opened in August. They'll have their official grand opening on Sept. 12 & 13.

The shop works on old guns, custom guns and even offers gun training.

William Nosek is the company's gunsmith and chief instructor. He believes they have an opportunity to fill a niche market in the northern part of the state.

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Another try for White Lake referendum after two-vote failureSubmitted: 09/02/2014

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WHITE LAKE - A big part of the community in White Lake takes its small rural school very seriously.

Two years ago, the community helped build a brand new gym and fitness center at the school.

The wood for the basketball floor was even donated by local loggers.

Each grade level at the school has only about 15 students.

Despite its size, for many, it's still the center of the community.

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Phelps to welcome business incubatorSubmitted: 09/02/2014

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PHELPS - The Vilas County Economic Development Corporation will open a business incubator in Phelps.

New chairman Carl Ruedebusch bought a 9,000 square foot building.

It will give small businesses space to develop and share resources.

Leaders hope it will also bring some much needed businesses to the community.

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Walker says he won't make another jobs promiseSubmitted: 09/02/2014

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker says he won't make another job-creation promise like he did four years ago.

Walker said Tuesday that his economic development plan to be unveiled in coming weeks will be a detailed proposal about how to grow jobs, but it won't include a specific promise of how many jobs would be created.

Walker promised during his first campaign for governor in 2010 that if elected he would make sure the state added 250,000 private-sector jobs over his first term. Based on the latest figures, only about 103,000 jobs have been added.

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Walker says 'right to work' not on agendaSubmitted: 09/02/2014

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker says making Wisconsin a ``right to work'' state is not a part of his agenda, but he refused to say if he would veto such a bill.

In ``right to work'' states, private-sector workers can't be required to join a union or pay dues as a condition of employment.

Walker has repeatedly been cool to the idea, saying it wasn't a priority and would be a distraction from his agenda, but he hasn't definitely ruled it out.

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Rhinelander Food Pantry needs volunteers to help move to new locationSubmitted: 09/02/2014

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RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Food Pantry could use more volunteers to help move to their new location.

The pantry will move into the old Golden Harvest building.

But before they move they need to make some changes to the building.

One of those changes is building a new wall.

"It will separate the distribution area from the storage area," says Rhinelander Food Pantry volunteer Bill Vancos. "The distribution area will end up being about twice the size of what our current area is right now at the current location, so that'll be great. And then we'll also have the storage all on one level."

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