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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
Rock throwing case moves forward for one of the accusedSubmitted: 07/31/2014

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CRANDON - Prosecutors in Forest County accuse a group of four people of throwing rocks off of a bridge and damaging a car. Victims Wednesday described the sound like a bomb going off.

19-year-old Thomas Hines is one of four people facing charges for throwing rocks off of a Forest County bridge just after 3 a.m. June 3, 2014. The other three facing charges include 18 year-old Mariya Tuckwab, 20 year-old Ryan Kitchmaster, and 21-year-old Dillon Votis.

All four face multiple felony charges for recklessly endangering safety and criminal damage to property.

Prosecutors say those rocks hurt a woman inside of the car.

Hines was in court Wednesday for his preliminary hearing.

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Man hit by own boat in Vilas County Submitted: 07/30/2014

CONOVER - We don't know the name or the condition of a man in a boating accident. He got hit by his own boat. He was airlifted to a Wausau hospital after a boating accident in Vilas County Wednesday, according to the Vilas County Sheriff's Office.

They say the man was in Upper Buckatabon Lake in Conover Wednesday. They believe he was hit by his own boat a little before 4 p.m.

The man was rescued from the water and CPR was immediately performed. He was flown to Wausau Aspirus Hospital.

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Wisconsin Valley Fair Continues to Showcase TraditionsSubmitted: 07/30/2014

WAUSAU - You can find tradition around every corner at the Wisconsin Valley Fair.

Some of those traditions keep vendors coming back.

First English Lutheran Church runs a food booth. 15 to 20 volunteers report to their stand every day.

They've served fair-goers homemade favorites for more than 90 years.

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Classic and antique boat showSubmitted: 07/30/2014

TOMAHAWK - The Tomahawk Classic Motor and Boat Show is a chance for people who love outboard motor boats to come together each year. The show is hosted by the Northwoods Chapter of the Antique Outboard Motor Association and is now celebrating the 35th anniversary of the show.

"A lot of these people have had them, because this is boating country up here," said Northwoods AOMCI President Bob Dalle Ave. "Even the younger ones will say my grandpa had a motor like that or my dad has a motor like that at home. So it's the motors that draw them in."

The show hosts swap meets, boat shows, boat parades, and boat cruises. Out of the more than 200 registered show boaters, many of them planned to do more than just display their boat.

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Man accused of holding wife against her willSubmitted: 07/30/2014

FON DU LAC - An armed standoff in Fond du Lac has ended with the arrest of a man accused of holding a gun to his wife's head and refusing to let her leave their home.

Police say the 37-year-old man was arrested shortly before 7 a.m. Wednesday after the 28-year-old woman fled from the house. Authorities say two children in the home were not harmed.

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Yard maintenance being recognized in Rhinelander Submitted: 07/30/2014

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RHINELANDER - Summertime can mean a lot of yard work for homeowners. It's a time for people with green thumbs to show off their skills and to make flowers bloom.

A group in Rhinelander wants to recognize people and businesses for their exceptional yards.

Yard of the Month was introduced to Rhinelander by former city administrator Bill Bell. The community where he used to live had a similar program. So he approached Master Gardeners of the North to see if they would be willing to partner with the city.

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Researchers believe smoke-free policy could lead to more customers at Northwoods casino Submitted: 07/30/2014

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU - More than two-thirds of visitors to the Lake of the Torches Casino say smoking bothers them.

That's just one of the results from the first-of-its-kind study on attitudes towards smoking in casinos.

The Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council and the casino in Lac du Flambeau joined together to survey more than 950 people in 2011.

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