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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: 07/28/2015

- After years of rumbling over potholes, drivers in Rhinelander will soon be able to travel smoothly over Lincoln Street. The city will completely resurface the busiest part of the road starting Monday. We'll have what drivers need to know.

- Veterinarians in the Northwoods have been treating more cases of heartworm in dogs lately. The illness can leave a foot-long parasite in your dog's body. We take a look at treatment and prevention.

- The Northwoods attracts campers from all across the state every summer. But tonight at 5, we'll introduce you to some Boy Scouts who ventured more than 3,000 miles to visit Langlade County.

- Learn more about spiny water flea, one of the newer invasive species in Northwoods lakes.

- And we'll look at the Wabeno Art and Music Fest, a first-year event coming up this weekend.

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

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RHINELANDER - As temperatures rise in the dog days of summer, knowing how to prevent and react to heat exhaustion can save a life.

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RHINELANDER - Kids these days don't learn like older generations did—they rely on technology.

Some Rhinelander teachers went to school Tuesday to learn about tools like coding and green screens. It's part of a week-long even called Hodag Tech Fest at James Williams Middle School.

It's the second year the school district has hosted the forum for classroom technology, and about 90 Rhinelander teachers and administrators will attend throughout the week. Some of the seminars cover iPads, Chromebooks, Smart Boards and coding. 

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VILAS COUNTY - "Back in 2010, people wanted answers," says DNR Research Scientist Dr. Carl Watras, who works out of the UW-Madison Trout Lake Research Station in Boulder Junction.

Lake levels across the Northwoods were down. Way down.

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WABENO - Wabeno wants to draw more and more people to its small community by making improvements such as building new trails and hosting new cultural events.

This weekend, the town will host the first ever Wabeno Art and Music Fest. People in Wabeno say they have a unique passion for the arts.

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VILAS COUNTY - Spiny water fleas look like monsters under a microscope. A long, spiny tail extends from a big body. The creatures are three or four times bigger than their native counterparts, the other zooplankton in Northwoods lakes.

"Spiny water fleas eat our native zooplankton, and our native zooplankton eat our algae," says Carol Warden, an Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist at the UW-Madison Trout Lake Station in Boulder Junction.

That can be a problem for water quality in lakes.

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NORTHWOODS - Heartworm can be deadly for a dog if left untreated.

Some veterinarians here in the Northwoods have seen a rise in dogs with heartworm lately.

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