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Construction and Lawsuit Move ForwardSubmitted: 05/16/2013
Story By Lex Gray


MERRILL - Major road construction near Merrill moved forward this week, and so did a legal battle from a local business owner trying to stop it.

Construction at Highway 51 and County Road C began three days ago.

Raj Bhandari owns the Citgo gas station at the intersection.

He says business has already slowed down and will eventually stop.

The state DOT's plan to build an overpass would cut off access to Bhandari's gas station.

Bhandari filed a suit in federal court late last month.

He says Wisconsin planned to use federal funds until he protested.

Then the DOT switched to state funds, which it wasn't allowed to do.

On May 8, a judge denied the state's motion to dismiss the case.

A hearing is scheduled for May 31.

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RHINELANDER - After the vendors closed up at the end of the first Hodag Farmers Market of the season, several people stayed behind to honor the man who started the market.

That's Douglas Jacobson, and he died last October.

His son, Jonathan Jacobson, said Douglas Jacobson was a big part of the Rhinelander community‚Ä"serving as Lions Club president, being part of many clubs and being a landscape architect for the U.S. Forest Service.

The Jacobson family and Rhinelander city leaders worked to dedicate a bench in his honor in Pioneer Park. That bench went up on Saturday, just off the road that leads into the park.   

"He was a pioneer in helping to establish the Hodag Farmers Market many years ago. And from those humble beginnings, the market vendors, the patrons that arrive here, the citizens of Rhinelander, and those in the community have a wonderful place to come to get fresh, home grown, locally grown vegetables," Jonathan Jacobson said. "It was a great event. It was really nice to have everybody stop out and pay attention to what my dad's been doing and acknowledge all the effort he put into the farmers market for many years. And not only that, dad was a great citizen here in the Rhinelander community."

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PIERRE, SOUTH DAKOTA - South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says a body discovered in Grant County on May 17 has been identified as a missing Wisconsin woman.

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An investigation being conducted by the Grant County Sheriff's Office and the state Division of Criminal Investigation is ongoing.

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WAUSAU - The roads will get busy tonight as tourists return to the Northwoods for Memorial Day weekend. With more traffic on the roads, state troopers want people to be extra careful.

They expect the roads to be the busiest tonight and Monday, when people are driving back home.

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RHINELANDER - Every kid deserves a safe and comfortable place to sleep, but many parents can't afford to buy their children proper beds.

That's why Slumberland Furniture in Rhinelander is giving away 40 new twin mattress sets and frames to families who need them. 

The effort is thanks to Slumberland's 40 Winks Foundation. The program found families in need through the local housing authority. Slumberland sees the program as a big benefit to the community.

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The Safe Boating Council has designated this week as National Safe Boating Week.

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This week, Wisconsin's Natural Resources Board approved the fall hunt plans submitted by County Deer Advisory Councils (CDACs) all over the state. Langlade and Price counties had had bucks-only harvests in each of the last two deer seasons. But in 2016, some hunters will get antlerless tags as well.

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RHINELANDER - You'll likely find some slow-moving guests on the road this weekend. Turtles start laying their eggs in late May and continue through mid-June. But, because of where they like to lay those eggs, it's a dangerous time for the reptiles.

Wild Instincts Rehab Center in Rhinelander treats at least 30 injured turtles each summer.  Painted and snapping turtles are most common in the Northwoods.  They tend to lay their eggs along roadsides, driveways, and in places with soft sand.

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