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NEWS STORIES

Early snow believed to draw more tourists to NorthwoodsSubmitted: 02/28/2014
MINOCQUA - Many of us can't wait for the chilly temperatures to give way to spring.

But people in the tourism industry say the weather brought more visitors to the Northwoods at the end of 2013.

The Lakeland Area saw a $4,500 increase in room tax collected this past October, November and December.

That's compared to the same time last year.

Hotels and other places of lodging collect room tax on all accommodations.

People in the industry believe the increase was because of the early snowfall in early December.

"We think a large part of the reason that we experienced that increase was really due to our early snow-cover and heavy snow cover that allowed the snowmobile clubs to get the trails open. Most of the trails in Oneida County opened December 15th. That was very early considering it's usually about two weeks later at least that the trails open," Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kim Baltus.

The room tax rate in Arbor Vitae, Woodruff, Lake Tomahawk and Minocqua is 4%.

Three-quarters of that goes to the Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce to promote the area.

The Chamber advertises heavily in the Chicago area and southern Wisconsin.

The cold weather isn't just drawing more people to the area now.

It also has many people thinking about the spring and summer.

"I've had many, many calls from people that are making those plans and they're anxious to start thinking about summer and coming up to the lake," added Baltus.

They hope the numbers will also be up for January, February and March.

January and February are the strongest winter months for tourism.

Story By: Lauren Stephenson

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Kids compete in annual Worm RaceSubmitted: 07/22/2014

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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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Laona man faces meth chargesSubmitted: 07/22/2014

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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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College board looking for new-member for Board of Trustees Submitted: 07/22/2014

RHINELANDER - The Nicolet College Board of Trustees hopes to fill an open seat.

State guidelines mean only a certain candidate can apply for fairness and equal representation.

Criteria for the open seat are that candidates must be female, considered a minority, reside in Oneida County or the portion of Langlade County in the Nicolet District, and meet the definition of an employee.

The new trustee will serve a term that expires June 30, 2015.

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Woman, boy nearly drown in swimming accidentSubmitted: 07/22/2014

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STAR LAKE - Two people nearly drowned in Vilas County today. A boater pulled a 47-year-old woman and an 8-year-old boy out of the water after they started drowning in Star Lake.

The Vilas County Sheriff's Office believes both went under water during a rescue attempt.

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

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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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Wisconsin & Northwoods see home sales grow in June Submitted: 07/22/2014

ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Home sales across Wisconsin are up for the first time in 2014 compared to previous year statistics recorded by the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

A strong June for home sales could hint at good news for the rest of the year. Home sales statewide were up more than four percent compared to June 2013.

More than 600 homes were sold in Northern Wisconsin last month. Realtors like Bonnie Byrnes, Headwaters Real Estate, deal with water-front property in the Manitowish Waters area. She credits the second home market for some of the boost in northern numbers

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

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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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