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NEWS STORIES

Group hopes tax reform helps industrySubmitted: 09/06/2013

Adam Fox
10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
afox@wjfw.com

TOMAHAWK - A storied history of industry built the Northwoods.

But it was hit hard by a recession in 2008. Now manufacturing is starting to come back.

Factory floors are humming across the Northwoods. Loggers are cutting and managing the forests.Industry looks good.

That's because Wisconsin ranks fifth in manufacturing growth in the US since 2009, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. But Wisconsin Secretary of Revenue Rick Chandler thinks an improved tax system could help manufacturing break through.

"The feeling is that if manufacturing thrives, every other sector of the economy is going to thrive," Chandler said.

That's one reason why the state cut income tax by 650 million dollars over the next two years.

"That involves reducing individual income taxes, creating new business with tax incentives and other things that make our tax structure more competitive," Chandler said.

Chandler hopes that brings more jobs to the state. But he says people might not be qualified for the open positions. That's where Grow North Regional Economic Development Corporation comes in. Executive Director Sarah Kapellusch says they bring Northwoods economic groups, trade schools and employers together.

"This is where the employers can come to the table with the technical colleges up here and create programs," Kapellusch said. "It has been very successful in the past."

But manufacturing isn't the only concern here in the Northwoods. Access to broadband is a struggle. And the group knows connectivity could improve education and jobs opportunities.

"We are all working together to get to the resolution of how we get an internet service provider up here to actually get all of us connected," Kapellusch said.

A connection the Northwoods needs to catch up with the rest of the state economically.

"We're definitely heading in the right direction and we're doing everything possible to pick up the pace," Chandler said.

Everything possible is what Wisconsin might need.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 09/04/2015

- This year, the Lakeland area will pack its millionth food packet to send to hungry kids around the world. Volunteers work with Food For Kidz to measure and package dry food. This year the group has increased its goal, but it needs 600 volunteers to help.

- We'll speak with with Crandon's new school superintendent about the challenges he faces.


- And take a visit to Langlade County to learn how one group is protecting its lake.


We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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WISCONSIN - Gogebic Taconite will no longer pursue mining in northern Wisconsin. The company scrapped its plans for a huge iron ore mine in Iron and Ashland Counties this spring.

But state Democrats aren't forgetting about the mining issue. They're proposing a bill which they say would close a loophole in the state's 2013 mining law. That law relaxed the permitting process for iron mines.

The Democrats' bill would make it illegal to fill or destroy the bed of a lake, stream, reservoir, or flowage to mine the materials underneath. Bill author Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire) said right now, mining could be done legally under flowages and reservoirs.

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TOMAHAWK - Some school board members in the Northwoods run unopposed, but that could change in Tomahawk.

Ken Schulz is one of the more than 100 community members who want change.

The change could mean there's only seven people on the Tomahawk School Board instead of nine. 
 
Schulz is the former school board president.

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CRANDON - Many people may go out of town for Labor Day Weekend, but not in Crandon.

In fact, people from all over the country are coming in town for the 46th annual World Championship Off-Road Races.

The races started Friday night and continue throughout the weekend, with championship races occuring on Saturday and Sunday.

The event's parade attracted hundreds of people in downtown Crandon on Friday afternoon.

Event organizers say there are about 145 racers. They are hoping for thousands of spectators.

"Labor Day Weekend is a happening in Crandon," said Crandon International Off-Road Raceway Cliff Flannery said. "

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RHINELANDER - The potato will be king in Rhinelander this weekend, but Friday, the focus is on fish.

The Rhinelander Café and Pub will be serving its fish fry to start PotatoFest's activities. 

It starts at 5 p.m. 

This is the second year The Rhinelander Café and Pub has served fish fry at PotatoFest.

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LANGLADE COUNTY - Lake property owners in the Northwoods often care deeply about the health and well-being of their lakes. The people who live around Rolling Stone Lake in northern Langlade County are just one example.

The lake has a weed cutter machine, a large storage and maintenance building, and public land. Members around the lake pay a little extra tax for those things. But the lake district will also raise thousands of dollars this weekend. They're hosting a picnic, rummage sale, raffles, and bake sale for their lake.

"It's really the best-kept secret in the Northwoods, I think," said Char Waite, a member of the Rolling Stone Lake Protecting and Rehabilitation District. "It's quiet. It's a great lake to fish. It's a great lake to boat. We just love it here."

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PHILLIPS - Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett wants all city police officers to wear body cameras by the end of next year. He made that proposal this week after tension between police and the public in places like Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Ferguson, Missouri.

One Northwoods police department has been using the cameras for years. Phillips police officers have worn body cameras since 2008. They turn them on while responding to many situations in the city.

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