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NEWS STORIES

Camp visiting weekend brings business to NorthwoodsSubmitted: 07/11/2014

Lauren Stephenson
5 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
lstephenson@wjfw.com

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NORTHWOODS - You may notice more people on the roads, lakes, at restaurants, and in stores the next few weekends. Many overnight camps in the Northwoods host a visiting weekend for their campers' families, and that means big money for local businesses.

"We're talking thousands of parents invading Minocqua, and Rhinelander and Eagle River throughout the weekend," said Camp Kawaga Director Matt Abrams.

There are more than 20 overnight camps in Vilas and Oneida Counties, and at least half host a visiting weekend. That's when parents come up to visit their kids spending the summer at an overnight camp. Though they visit camp, parents and campers spend a lot of time in the community.

"Really, most of the time they're out," added Abrams. "They're going to dinner. They're going go-carting."

"Camp weekend really is a special weekend. We can count on the store being packed to the walls with people. And they're a very good crowd," said Michael Johnson, manager of Dan's Minocqua Fudge.

The store has been welcoming campers and their families for 47 years.

"Every year we have people that stop in here at the store and will tell us a nice story of how they came here when they were a camp kid or when they came here with their grandparents and now they're bringing their grandchildren here," Johnson added.

Like Dan's Minocqua Fudge, The White Stag Inn in Sugar Camp also sees a larger crowd on visiting weekend. The owners say they'll serve more than 500 people in just a five hour period. It's a popular restaurant among visiting families and camp alumni.

"We are seeing multi-generations. So my brothers and I are now the third generation here at the White Stag and we're seeing the third and fourth generation of campers. So it's really kind of a unique experience to have grown up not only with the parents, but now having their kids and grandkids here," said White Stag Inn co-owner Anissa Widule.

Restaurants and shops aren't the only businesses that get a boost from visiting weekend.

"These parents are booking the hotels a year ahead because they know they're coming the next year so this is a consistent boon for the Minocqua area," Abrams said.

But the business boom doesn't necessarily end on Sunday.

"We've had families that have ended up buying second homes up here," Abrams added. "The other thing that a lot of them do is they rent homes."

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 11/26/2014

- The Northwoods teaching assistant accused of having sex with an underage teen reached a plea deal. Find out more tonight on Newswatch 12.

- Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) wants a spot on the legislature's powerful budget committee. Find out which Northwoods lawmaker beat him to it.

- It's a double whammy for cranberry growers in the Northwoods " a smaller harvest, and lower cranberry prices. What the U.S. government is doing about it, tonight on Newswatch 12.

- And your organization can get some free help solving a challenge or working on a project. 16 members of the Leadership Oneida County program are spending 9 months getting to know the services and organizations in the county.


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

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Small Business Saturday: why stores want you to shop localSubmitted: 11/26/2014

RHINELANDER - Following Thanksgiving Day shopping and after Black Friday, Northwoods businesses hope you'll stick around for one more shopping day- Small Business Saturday.

The day encourages shoppers to stay local and help businesses in the community.
Small Business Saturday first began in 2010.

Last year consumers spent about $5.7 billion at independent stores.

Shops like Imaginuity in Rhinelander have jumped on board to bring in customers.

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Bakeries in the Northwoods prepare for ThanksgivingSubmitted: 11/26/2014

ST. GERMAIN - Not many "made from scratch" bakeries exist in the Northwoods.

But, the ones that do are busy preparing treats for Thanksgiving tomorrow.

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Torgerson pleads not guilty for murder & disappearance of Stephanie Low; more information about informants Submitted: 11/26/2014

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WAUSAU - The case against a Wausau man facing murder charges will move forward. Thirty-five-year-old Kristopher Torgerson pled not guilty in court during his preliminary hearing Tuesday.

Torgerson didn't admit to the murder in September, but he led police to Stephanie Low's burial site in the woods of Forest County. She had been missing for nearly four years.

Torgerson faces charges of intentional homicide, armed robbery, and hiding a body related to Low's disappearance and death.

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Lawsuit filed claiming magazine subscription scamSubmitted: 11/26/2014

MADISON - The state Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against two Oregon-based publishing groups alleging they ran a subscription scam targeting the elderly.

The DOJ filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Madison.

It alleges Liberty Publishers Service and Orbital Publishing Group sent invoices to nursing home residents and the elderly warning them to renew their subscriptions to periodicals such as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel but charged far more than the actual cost.

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Representative Bill Kramer sentenced for sexual assaultSubmitted: 11/26/2014

MADISON - Representative Bill Kramer will spend five months in jail.

Kramer was sentenced to sexual assault charges yesterday.

The former Assembly majority leader agreed to a plea deal earlier this year. That was for two misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree sexual assault.

A criminal complaint says Kramer groped a woman outside of a tavern in 2011.

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After Ferguson, focus on body cameras for officers; many departments in Northwoods already use themSubmitted: 11/25/2014

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TOMAHAWK - On Monday, a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri refused to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

After that decision, Brown's family urged all police departments in America to start using body cameras to document situations.

A camera recording in the Michael Brown shooting could have given us a better sense of what happened.

We wanted to know if Northwoods police departments think body cameras are a good idea.

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