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NEWS STORIES

Donations coming in for River Bend Trail in MerrillSubmitted: 06/28/2013
Story By Kailey Burton


MERRILL - A group in Merrill wants to build a 2 and-a-half mile bike trail along the Wisconsin River. They've had a lot encouragement from the community, and now they're starting to get financial support too.

It'll cost around $1,000,000 to make the River Bend trial safe, eco-friendly, and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"Once you start looking at environmental factors and safety factors, the dollars do start adding up. But we want this to be a high quality trail that's going to last for years and years," said Debbe Kinsey, Administrator for the Merrill Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

The Merrill Chamber of Commerce Foundation is overseeing the project. Kinsey says economics, health benefits and recreational enjoyment make the trail worth every penny.

"How wonderful it will be to connect our downtown to Council Grounds State Park that gets over 200,000 visitors per year. And now they can walk or bike from Council Grounds all the way downtown once it's completed."

So they've raised $75,000 for the project. Kinsey says that money has come from private families for the most part. They're still waiting for bigger donations from local businesses. They hope to have the trail open by next summer.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

EAGLE RIVER - You may not notice the Northwoods trade school tucked along Highway 17 in Eagle River.

One national organization thinks it deserves more attention.

The Advanced Welding Institute will receive an award for its high graduation and employment rates.

The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges is granting the welding school its School of Excellence Award. School administrators are invited to attend the professional development conference in September in Arlington, Va. 

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's search for a new city administrator got a little narrower - from nearly two dozen candidates to a handful. Rhinelander has been without a city administrator since the middle of May when Blain Oborn went to Lake Geneva.

The Rhinelander City Council held a meeting last night to go through a list of candidates. At the end of that meeting, they went front from having 22, down to a list of four.

"We have four candidates that we have coming in," said Rhinelander's Mayor Richard Johns. "And the candidates vary, one's from Eau Claire, Antigo, Kewaskum, and Stevens Point. We pretty much have a local area so-to-speak, rather than out of state."

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MERRILL - We told you earlier in July about the Merrill Citizen's Fire Academy.

People who take the 10 week course this fall will learn more about what firefighters do.

12 people will take the class.

Spots for the course are filling up.

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RHINELANDER - Thousands of people will come to the Oneida County Fair starting Thursday.

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RHINELANDER - Many Americans struggle with fitness. But it's a challenge you can tackle even at an older age. And a frequent swimmer at the YMCA of the Northwoods will tell you the same.

Bev Linnihan-Moye didn't start competitively swimming until she was 65. She's now 77 and faster.

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MERRILL - All K-8 students in Merrill Schools will get their own iPads this fall.

Wednesday, teachers were trained on how to use the new technology.

Last year, six third grade classrooms tried out how it would work.

District leaders said parents and students involved in the pilot program liked it.

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BOULDER JUNCTION - A Vilas County shooting range will get some financial aid thanks to the Wisconsin DNR.

The Boulder Junction Shooting Range got a grant for venue upgrades.

The range also got a grant last year.

It used the money to make its facilities handicap accessible.

Range officials say they will use this year's grant for additions.

Those include making the space more energy efficient.

"[The] money will be used for insulating the clubhouse," says Secretary of the Boulder Junction Shooting Range Pete Drahn. "It'll be used to remove doors and windows that we no longer need, and to replace a window with a more energy efficient window."

The range has gotten grants two years in a row, but it won't happen again next year.

"They've told everybody that received the grants this year that they'll start doing grants only every other year for someone who has received it," says Drahn. "So at the earliest, it would be the year after next."

The range's board members want to make the venue better for shooters, but they say they couldn't have done it without the grant's help.

"These are projects we probably wouldn't do for eons," says Drahn. "We don't receive any money from anybody except the users of the range. So we don't have a lot for our capital needs."

The range also plans to install a new fence to improve the facility's safety.

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