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

Donations coming in for River Bend Trail in Merrill
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

MINOCQUA - You don't need to wait for the grass to turn green for golfing.

Minocqua's Ice Golf is an end of season charity tournament coming up on March 3rd.

The tournament raised more than $18,000  last year for charities including the food pantry and Dr. Kate Hospice.

It has become a Northwoods tradition for some people.

"First year we had it, we had only like 35 golfers, now last year we had over 300 golfers," says Albee's owner Randy Albrecht.

If you don't have a group, they'll put into one.

After everyone is done putting, there will be dinner and a raffle.

For tickets and info call: Albee's Yacht Club at 715-356-1366 OR The Thirsty Whale at 715-356-7108.


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MADISON - An effort to clean up voting records caused problems for some voters during Tuesday's spring primary.

Some voters' information was removed, even though it was current.

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PARK FALLS - People in Price County should keep an eye out for fake $20 bills.

The Park Falls Police Department is looking into several cases of a customer using the counterfeit money at various businesses.  The bills all have the same serial number and stand out when you use a detection marker on them.

Police Chief Scott Straetz says the bills look very similar to the real thing, but you can tell the difference if you hold them.

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SUGAR CAMP - A major fire destroyed a machinery repair shop in Sugar Camp on Wednesday morning, sending clouds of black smoke over the Northwoods.

The shop, next to a home on County Highway D west of Sugar Camp, caught fire around 10 a.m.

"There was a machinery malfunction that [the owner said] he was dealing with, and there could also be a heating issue," said Sugar Camp Fire Chief Jason Goeldner. "We got an area to look, but we haven't gotten in there yet to actually try to do a thorough investigation yet."

No one was hurt.

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MINOCQUA - Kevin Bolger worked hard to get to this moment.

The Lakeland Union High School grad has won his fair share of cross-country ski races since earning a high school state championship title in 2011.

But now he'll get the opportunity to represent the United States at the Cross Country World Cup series in Finland and Sweden next month. 

"Skiing at this level is kind of like the next step you want to get to and ski at. I'm just beyond, I can't really explain it, I'm just super excited," said Bolger. 

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RHINELANDER - Wednesday morning multiple fire agencies responded to a fire in Sugar Camp. That response was made much easier with MABAS. MABAS stands for Mutual Aid Box Alarm System. Agencies use MABAS to call other departments from the area to help with emergencies like fires or mass casualties. 

Wednesday night, fire departments from across Oneida County met at Nicolet College for an exercise using MABAS. The exercise gave first responders the experience of responding to a large incident in a learning environment.

The exercise simulated a large emergency response to a structure fire in downtown Rhinelander.
Depending on the level of the MABAS alert, different agencies send different resources to help. 

"What we do is we preplan who is going to respond. We do that by using an 80/20 rule so that all departments will only send 20% or their resources and leave the other 80% in place," said Rhinelander Fire Department Lieutenant Michael Wesle. 

MABAS Division 114 is made up of 21 fire departments from across Oneida County and is one of 60 Divisions in the state of Wisconsin. Agencies in Oneida County have started using MABAS more often over the past few years. 

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WAUSAU - Anger over last Wednesday's Florida school shooting could force Congress to find some agreement on gun control. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) thinks it's about time.

The debate on gun rights and public safety has been a big focus since 17 people died at Stoneman Douglas High School.

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