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NEWS STORIES

Local Company Flooded With Hurricane Sandy Insurance ClaimsSubmitted: 11/08/2012

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MERRILL - A Northwoods company finds itself hit hard with claims from the East Coast.

Church Mutual Insurance in Merrill is handling 530 claims between New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

The company insures around 98,000 churches nationwide.

Nearly 10,000 of those are in those three states.

Brian Arndorfer is the Vice President of Claims.

He says claims started coming in right away, but understands churches aren't always top priority.

"You have people that are out of their own homes and in flooded situations, they have to be concerned about their personal well-being and safety first," Arndorfer said.

"Secondly, their homes, so third in line might be the Church property. So they're less likely to report that first. There will naturally be a delay in reporting church losses at the time of a tragedy such as this."

Church Mutual has 100 adjusters out in the field assessing damage.

One of the biggest challenges is getting to the damaged areas.

He says insuring churches is a niche business.

"We do have art objects, priceless or near priceless stained glass windows," Arndorfer said.

"It's a specialty in knowing how to deal with a claim of that nature. In fact we know of one situation in New York where the stained glass windows have been blown out in the storm and there's water damage into the building."

Most claims should be completed over the next few months, but some could take up to a year or longer.

Story By: Matt Doyle

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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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Campers help the communitySubmitted: 07/30/2014

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RHINELANDER - Many campers come to the Northwoods to enjoy outdoor activities, but for some, it's all about giving back to the community.

A group of 30 students from four-years old through high school age take a week of their summer to attend Crescent Lake Bible Camp.

While they're at camp, they spend their days working on different projects around Rhinelander. Today, they're using their vacation time to improve the pavilions at Hodag Park.

"Today we're prepping and painting the pavilions," says 16-year-old Tylor Hoople. "They have thousands of staples in them. We're pulling all the staples and we're repainting them to make them look a lot better for the park."

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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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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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New DNR program offers chance for expert management for private landownersSubmitted: 07/30/2014

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RHINELANDER - Many hunters, wildlife watchers, and landowners would like to see more deer on their property.

The Wisconsin DNR wants to help them do that.

Its new Deer Management Assistance Program offers landowners a chance to partner with the agency.

The DNR can visit private plots of land and offer management suggestions.

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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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Possible police shooting suspect caught in Minn.Submitted: 07/30/2014

WEST ST. PAUL, MN - A potential suspect in the shooting of a police officer in West St. Paul has been captured near the suburb of Woodbury.

Television news footage shows the man being pulled from his vehicle just off Interstate 494. Police have a massive presence with scores of officers and squad cars on site.

The capture comes about three hours after an officer was shot while making a traffic stop.

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