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NEWS STORIES

Iron mine could help rail service push in NorthwoodsSubmitted: 11/22/2013

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RHINELANDER - A group representing more than a dozen northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan counties would love to see increased rail service in their areas.

The Northwoods Rail Transit Commission believes an iron ore mine in the Penokee Hills would dramatically help their efforts.

The Commission formed last year to push for better freight rail service in the North.

Service by rail companies has slowed or stopped in many areas of the Northwoods.

Rail companies often say there's not enough freight to make service profitable for them.

An operating iron ore mine would increase freight traffic heavily.

"You can see what happened with frac sand mining in the Chippewa (Falls) area. If that mine becomes operational and starts shipping ore, a lot of that could come east toward the port in Escanaba. That will help give reason and volume to reopen that Highway 8 line that we're talking about," says Northwoods Rail Transit Commission Chair Wendy Gehlhoff at a meeting of the Commission Friday in Rhinelander.

Most of the rail line that hugs Highway 8 from Ladysmith to Pembine currently sits unused.

The Canadian National railway shut down service, saying it wasn't profitable.

The director of Michigan Tech University's Rail Transportation Program addressed the Commission Friday.

He stressed that for a rail company to operate, it needs to see a way to make money on carrying freight in a certain area.

"If we have high volumes, low value, long distance - if you don't look at rail or intermodal, you're absolutely nuts. It has to be in the equation, or you're not going to be able to compete with the other regions of this nation or other nations," said Dr. Pasi Lautala.

The Commission's next task is to get better information from companies on how they would use rail service, if it was available.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 07/22/2014

- The state Supreme Court made a ruling today that could impact what evidence can be used in rape cases. Find out more tonight on Newswatch 12.

- We'll show you how a downed electrical wire started a fire in the Rhinelander woods.

- A survey of deer across the state reveals just how tough the winter was on deer in the Northwoods.

- And competitors from across the Northwoods face off in the Rhinelander District Library's Annual Worm Race. We'll tell you who won the crown and how kids come up with their strategy for winning.

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

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Trek Bicycles defends ad - GOP files complaintSubmitted: 07/22/2014

MADISON -
A spokeswoman for Trek Bicycles says its full page newspaper advertisement complies with Wisconsin law and is constitutionally protected free speech.

The Wisconsin Republican Party on Tuesday filed a complaint with the state elections board saying the ad that ran Sunday in Madison and Milwaukee newspapers was an illegal campaign contribution to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke.

Her father started Trek and she formerly worked for the company.

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Laona man faces meth chargesSubmitted: 07/22/2014

FOREST COUNTY - Prosecutors believe a Forest County man made meth and had other people buy ingredients for him.

36-year-old Shandon Tallier of Laona faces four felony charges.

Police became suspicious when Tallier bought ephedrine or pseudophedrine more than 50 times during the last year. Those are drugs commonly used to make meth.

Tallier was also blocked from buying the drugs more than 20 times in the last year. That's because he already bought more than the federal limit allows in a 30 day period.

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Library Page Program teaches students research skills to use in collegeSubmitted: 07/22/2014

ANTIGO - The Antigo Public Library can help high school students better prepare for college.

The library's page program helps students become familiar with all of the library's resources. The students get paid to work at least 12 hours a week during the school year. They have a lot of responsibilities like shelving books and helping the librarians.

Librarians think getting them familiar with library will help them succeed in college.

"It's surprising how many kids go to college freshman year and they don't understand how the Dewey Decimal system works," says Children's Librarian Jackie Rammer. "They don't understand how to find a book in the library. Getting experience at a small library, such as the Antigo Public Library, will help you."

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Kids compete in annual Worm RaceSubmitted: 07/22/2014

RHINELANDER - Kids found one of the biggest races of the year in the Northwoods Tuesday.

The Rhinelander District Library hosted their annual worm race.

Teams of two faced off with worms in hand.

Each believing their worm would win the trophy this year.

"ShadowWind is the fastest racer. Because he is never beaten," said 10-year-old Louis Malias.

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Sexual assault victim advocate responds to Tuesday's state Supreme Court rulingSubmitted: 07/22/2014

RHINELANDER - The state Supreme Court made a ruling Tuesday that could impact what evidence can be used in rape cases.

It reversed the decision of a state appeals court in a 2011 case.

A defendant argued evidence of a previous consensual relationship with the victim should be allowed in court.

But the Supreme Court said evidence of a previous relationship falls under the state's rape shield law.

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Gas station robbed in Stevens PointSubmitted: 07/22/2014

STEVENS POINT - Stevens Point police want to find the man who robbed a gas station last night.

A store employee told police a man came into the Southside B P on Church street just after 9:30 last night.

He demanded cash from the register.

No weapon was seen, but the man kept his hand in his pocket.

He escaped on foot with the money.

Police have not said exactly how much he got away with.

The Portage County K9 unit was brought in to try to track him.

The man is described as being six feet tall with short blond hair.

He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses.

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