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NEWS STORIES

Oneida County Realizes Big Savings From Insurance, Retirement PlansSubmitted: 10/30/2012

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RHINELANDER - Budgets will go in front of county boards across the Northwoods over the next few weeks.

In Oneida County, the budget will reflect significant savings.

The county saved more than $550,000 last year because of changes to collective bargaining and retirement contributions.

Human Resources director Lisa Charbarneau says some of the changes to health care plans were minor - but the changes resulted in big savings.

"We increased the employees contribution level," Charbarneau said.

"The employees are paying an additional 3 percent towards that premium. We have seen good renewal numbers for 2013 and with some negotiating with our health insurance company and changes to deductibles we're hoping to hold that increase down to less than six percent."

She also said it gives local government a chance to look at multiple options.

"It does give us some more flexibility in order to look at those plan designs and that we can change them more often," Charbarneau said.

"With the contracts in place as they were, we used to have to bargain those changes with each individual union with the county. With if there's six, you could have six different health plans."

The county has also completed work on next year's budget.

It's now heading to the county board for possible amendments.

Charbarneau says this year's budget is even more promising.

"The final budget that is being submitted to the county board is actually below a zero percent tax levy increase," Charbarneau said.

"They've worked very hard to get it to that number. Certainly there can be additional amendments and changes made."

The county board will review the budget next month.

Story By: Matt Doyle

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Volunteers start setting up Oneida County FairSubmitted: 07/28/2014

RHINELANDER - Volunteers started preparations Monday for the Oneida County Fair.

About 50 people helped set up.

A lot of work was completed ahead of schedule thanks to volunteers.

Fair leaders think most of the setup will be done Monday.

"We're hoping to be done pretty much today with the initial setup," says Fair Coordinator Nancy Gehrig. "K&M Amusement is already setting up today, which normally they aren't setting up until Tuesday. So yeah, we're ahead of the game already."

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Golden Harvest opens it's doorsSubmitted: 07/28/2014

RHINELANDER - Doors officially opened for one Northwoods Grocery store.

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Timothy Conjurske, Golden Harvest's president, says the entire team has been working extremely hard the past few weeks.

"We've already added a few thousand items in all categories," says Conjurske. "Also, the deli is new and will be opening here in the next week or two. We're slowly working our way up to more production in that area."

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Wisconsin schools get money for energy efficiencySubmitted: 07/28/2014

APPLETON - More Wisconsin school districts have begun to take advantage of a change in state law allowing them to borrow money to help fund energy efficient projects.

The Appleton Post-Crescent reports (http://post.cr/1plXwIE ) 55 districts raised more than $23 million without having to ask voters to approve a referendum. The amount raised has nearly tripled since the previous year.

The two-year-old law allows schools to borrow money for energy conservation projects over multiple years in a way that diffuses costs to taxpayers.

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Police search for hit and run driverSubmitted: 07/28/2014

MERRILL - Police need your help finding the driver of car involved in a hit and run accident over the weekend.

It happened around 3:30 in the morning on Saturday in the town of Merrill.

No one was hurt in the crash.

The victim was driving east on Hillside Drive, just west of County Rd K.

That's when a small silver car sideswiped the victim's dark blue Dodge Avenger.

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Trial date set for former Assembly Majority LeaderSubmitted: 07/28/2014

WAUKESHA - The former majority leader of the Wisconsin Assembly will go on trial in October for sexual assault.

State Representative Bill Kramer is accused of shoving a woman into a car, groping her and making inappropriate comments.

The charges date back to a GOP event in April 2011.

During a hearing Friday, a Waukesha County Circuit Judge set a jury trial for October 28th.

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AirVenture gets underway this week in OshkoshSubmitted: 07/28/2014

OSHKOSH - Aviation enthusiasts from as many as 70 countries will gather in Oshkosh this week for the annual Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture.

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Thousands of planes have already landed at the airport.

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Pilots take to the sky in Air Cup Race Submitted: 07/27/2014

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WAUSAU - You can find adrenaline and speed at a race track, but nothing compares to racing 300 miles per hour in the sky.

46 Pilots from across the country competed in the EAA AirVenture Cup Race. This is the 17th year racers took to the sky, but it's the first time they made a pit stop in Wausau.

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