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Rhinelander City Council approves Kwik Trip site plans, next move belongs with companySubmitted: 05/16/2013

Lane Kimble
Assistant News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com


RHINELANDER - We know Kwik Trip plans to build a store in Rhinelander. Some people can't wait for it, while others think we have enough gas stations already.

You can't make everyone happy, but most people Newswatch 12 spoke to in town think bringing Kwik Trip to town is a great idea. Now, we're just waiting on them to break ground.

"It's out there, they're coming," mayor Dick Johns said. "Just be patient and they'll be here."

You won't find much there yet. But a wooded piece of land in Rhinelander between Eisenhower Parkway and Highway 17 will soon become the city's first Kwik Trip convenience store.

The City Council took the last big step it needed to by approving the store's site plans Monday night. Johns says the next move belongs to Kwik Trip.

"We're pretty much done, we're waiting for them to apply for permits and that will take care of that," Johns said.

The council thinks that will happen sometime in the next month or two. Then, construction will probably begin in late summer. Mayor Johns thinks expansion of any kind is a good thing.

"We'll take expansion where any developer wants to go, we'll work with them," Johns said.

But not everyone is convinced the city needs a Kwik Trip.

Traci Tregler usually goes to the same pair of gas stations out of convenience. She isn't too impressed with Kwik Trip's decision to come here.

"I think we have enough gas stations in this town. That and bars," Tregler said. "I don't know why we would need many more."

Still, others, like Eric Nei, seem to welcome the move - especially if it helps gas prices.

"They all seem to go up and down together within a few pennies of each other," Nei said. "If it's like anything else, I suppose that competition will moderate those prices a little bit."

We'll find out if that's the case once Kwik Trip starts building here later this year. The mayor thinks people should be excited for the direction the city's headed.

"We're in good shape for further advancement," Johns said.

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According to the Vilas County Sheriff's Office and Wisconsin State Patrol, it happened around 3:30 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. Highway 51 and County Highway H.

Investigators think a van went through an intersection and hit a semi truck.

"There was injury," said Boulder Junction Fire Chief Matthew Reuss. "The two passengers in the van had to be extricated. One was taken to Howard Young Medical Center for further care. The driver of the semi was uninjured and the second passenger in the van was pronounced dead at the scene."

According to Wisconsin State Patrol, the driver of the van is a 68-year-old woman from Colby. Crews later took her to St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield for non-life threatening injuries. Her passenger, a 77-year-old male from Colby, died in the crash. They were both wearing seatbelts. 

The driver of the semi is 63 years old and from South Range. 

Traffic was rerouted through Boulder Junction for several hours and was reopened shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Several units responded to the scene.

"Because we had multiple patients, we dispatched multiple ambulance units," Reuss said. "We called in resources from Arbor Vitae for traffic control and we called Manitowish Waters for help in extrication and ambulance service as well as Medic 5 out of Howard Young."

State Patrol and the Vilas County Sheriff's Office will investigate the crash.

Police will not release the names until the families are notified. 

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