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Business incubator opening in Vilas County Submitted: 11/07/2013
Story By Dan McKinney


VILAS COUNTY - Building a successful business can be challenging especially if you don't have experience.
That's why some owners turn to business incubators. They offer space for start-up companies to develop and share resources.

A new business incubator in Vilas County will open soon. The 13,000 square foot building was originally a 7 UP distribution center.

"People have ideas and we can be the vehicle for them to develop those ideas into a functional or profitable business," says Bob Egan, Executive Director Vilas County Economic Development Corporation.

This incubator focuses on helping start up manufacturing companies. But it's not just a place to host companies. It also offers resources including mentors.

"The key element to success is having a really really proactive business plan moving forward, and that requires legal advice marketing advice, insurance advice, all kinds of that," says Barry McLeane, Project Manager for Eagle River and Manitowish Waters Incubators.

"That's what we do we've got a extensive list of advisors that help with all of those processes," says McLeane.

The new business incubator will open early next year.




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ONEIDA COUNTY - Back in November, a 20-year-old Rhinelander man drove and crashed his car after a night of drinking, killing his best friend in the passenger seat.

That driver will now spend nine months in jail.

Randall J. Lego was sentenced in Oneida County Court on Friday. 

He faced two charges of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.

According to court documents, Lego's car hit a power pole on River Road just outside Rhinelander.

The passenger, 23-year-old Jacob Juedes, was dead at the scene. Juedes was a husband and father of a young daughter.

Oneida County Circuit Court Judge Patrick O'Melia said it was a tragic set of circumstances.

"The only aggravating factor here, and when I say that I don't mean to diminish the loss here, but is the result of this accident," O'Melia said. "That is the only thing that is not in your favor, which is the result of the action and the permanency of it."

Some witnesses testified to Lego's character and pleaded with the judge to not give jail time.

But, Judge O'Melia sentenced Lego to nine months in jail and seven years probation.

"There's a lot of people in the community who have strong feelings about what should happen," O'Melia said. "But the court can't sentence on community anger or community empathy."

Lego must also complete 200 hours of community service, for which Judge O'Melia wants Lego to speak to kids and teens about his experience. 




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But the Merrill firefighter and paramedic knows chances are he'll likely respond to humans instead of fruit the next three days.

"It becomes a pretty busy weekend pretty quick," Cruise said.

Friday, Cruise and members of the Merrill Fire Department set off mortar shells and firecrackers demonstrating how quickly a fun holiday activity can turn into a trip to the ER.

"About 55 percent of those are related to your hands, arms, legs, kind of the extremities of your body," Cruise said.

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