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Phelps, Wabeno to get help revitalizing downtownsSubmitted: 07/02/2014

Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com


PHELPS, WABENO - Two small Northwoods communities will be able to use state-level resources to help revitalize their downtowns.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation accepted both Phelps and Wabeno into its Connect Communities Program last week.

Phelps and Wabeno will be able to connect with similar communities around the state to share ideas.

State-level staff will also visit to offer training for revitalization and redevelopment.

"Phelps and Wabeno, I've been working with those communities for almost two years now in both cases. They have some potential with regards to the dedicated group of individuals that are there working with them," said Naletta Burr, a WEDC Community Account Manager.

We've told you about the Friends of Wabeno group.

The volunteers are committed to making Wabeno a more vibrant community.

"Phelps is not that different from that standpoint, either. They've got a very strong base of elected officials that are working with them," Burr said. "They're working on downtown. They've got some tremendous opportunities with regards to some redevelopment opportunities. Both of them are great candidates. I'm excited that they're both in the program this year."

The Village of Marathon City will also participate in this year's program.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/20/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

Mild temperatures are expected for this weekend's World Championships Snowmobile Derby in Eagle River. Tonight we talk to the derby president to see how the warmer weather effects the event.

We'll show you how the Tomahawk Public Works Department determines when it would be required for residents to keep their water running in cold weather.

We'll take you to a Merrill restaurant that has a special menu for Inauguration Day.

And tonight on Friday Night Blitz we'll bring you scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following games:

College Hockey:

UW-Eau Claire vs. UW-Stevens Point


Boys Basketball:

Lakeland vs. Rhinelander

Florence vs. Crandon

Assumption vs. Marathon

Mosinee vs. Tomahawk


That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.

We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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RHINELANDER - Rejection can be difficult for anyone to handle.

A Rhinelander woman faced rejection four times already. But Dawn Knudsen plans to try again a fifth time.

"I'm not going to give up in life," said Knudsen.

This is the fifth time she'll be auditioning for NBC's The Voice. The reality show is a singing competition with celebrity judges

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WAUSAU - Caitlin Harris recently began her family medicine residency at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. She is originally from California.

"A lot of people say 'what are you doing out here in Wausau' and 'can you handle the winters?'" said Harris. 

You would think that someone who grew up Los Angeles would want to be closer to the hustle and bustle of city life. Not Caitlin.

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RHINELANDER - A Northwoods teacher is being recognized for connecting her students with the world. 

Linda Goldsworthy, a social studies teacher at Rhinelander High School, won the second annual Global Educator of the Year Award. 

She is the only teacher in the state to win the award.

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PARK FALLS - People in Park Falls can look forward to a summer of major road construction in the city's downtown. After it's done, they can look forward to a more appealing downtown layout.

But for several months, the work will literally split the city in two.

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SUGAR CAMP - On Friday, we will officially call Donald Trump the President of the United States.

One Sugar Camp bar owner has been counting down the days on a sign outside his bar.

"We had people stopping by and taking pictures and coming in and giving me a thumbs up," says Gator's Landing owner, Frank Pirolo.

Pirolo has owned the bar for 12 years and has lived in the Northwoods for 18 years.

"People have been noticing my Obama countdown sign," Pirolo said. "I been doing that since there was 89 days to go. Haven't missed a day."

Pirolo is excited to see President Elect Donald Trump take office. He takes on a straightforwardness not unlike the man he voted for.

"I'm kind of outspoken," Pirolo said. "I've been kind of referred to as the Archie Bunker of Sugar Camp."

He also has a sign outside of his bar that advertises his burgers, but people likely flock to his bar because he's frank.

"I see something on the news that bothers me, I'll come up with a quip and maybe put it out there," Pirolo says.

But that doesn't discourage him.

"I see good things going to happen," Pirolo said. "A lot of people say he's arrogant. My wife and I for the first time in 44 years have agreed on a political person." 

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EAGLE RIVER - Northwoods emergency workers should find some small comforts of home when they're out fighting fires or running search-and-rescue operations for hours at a time.

The area's Salvation Army Emergency Radio Network--or SATERN--now has a mobile canteen trailer. The trailer can carry food, beverages, and radio equipment.  Mississippi-based sports drink company Sqwincher had the trailer sitting around and donated it to the Salvation Army.

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