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NEWS STORIES

Local Company Flooded With Hurricane Sandy Insurance ClaimsSubmitted: 11/08/2012
Story By Matt Doyle


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.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
2 men on sinking boat are rescued on Lake MichiganSubmitted: 11/22/2014

- One Wisconsin man is recovering in a hospital after he and another man were rescued from a sinking boat on Lake Michigan Friday morning.

The Ozaukee County Sheriff's Office responded to a call from a man who said his boat was taking on water at about 11 a.m. The boat was less than a mile off the coast of Belgium, Wisconsin, according to the sheriff's office.

The men and their boat were recovered and brought back to shore.

A 31-year-old man from Oak Creek was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. A 24-year-old Neshkoro man was uninjured. Neither man has been identified.

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Local stores compete with retail chains for holiday shoppersSubmitted: 11/21/2014

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RHINELANDER - Hundreds of people will shop for bargains on Black Friday. The sales at chain retail stores can take business away from local shops.

That's why one Northwoods toy store wants to promote shopping local for the holidays. Imaginuity is holding their own sale to compete with Black Friday.

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Early snowfall, windy conditions give best condition for early kite skiingSubmitted: 11/21/2014

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RHINELANDER - A Northwoods man believes our early winter has laid the foundation for early kite skiing. The combination of snow and wind gives Mark Collar the chance to use his skis and his kite.

Collar calls wind a friend, but that sometimes seems like the only friend at first.

"There is certainly a learning curve," Collar said. "When you're beginning you're falling."

But the falling didn't stop Collar from falling in love with the sport.

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As Wisconsin hunt starts, Upper Peninsula hunters struggle to harvest deerSubmitted: 11/21/2014

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UPPER PENINSULA - Another gun deer hunt starts Saturday in Wisconsin.

In Michigan, it's been going on for a week already.

For the western Upper Peninsula, it's not going well.

"It's been a very slow opener for us in the U.P.," Michigan DNR Wildlife Chief Russ Mason said. "I think on opening day, we ended up checking seven deer peninsula-wide. It isn't surprising because Wakefield on Friday afternoon had 41 inches of snow. That was a week ago (Friday)."

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Tomahawk Future Business Leaders design t-shirts for eventSubmitted: 11/21/2014

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Tomahawk High School's Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) designed and sold shirts at Friday's 49th Annual Venison Feed.

The young business students did more than just put a design on a t-shirt and sell them.

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49th Annual Tomahawk Venison FeedSubmitted: 11/21/2014

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TOMAHAWK - The smell of venison was strong in Tomahawk Friday.

More than 1600 venison burgers were served at the 49th annual Tomahawk Venison Feed.

Organizers believe the event is the only free feed left in the country.

One first time burger flipper was prepared for the crowd.

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Some Northwoods school districts give students longer Thanksgiving break for deer huntSubmitted: 11/21/2014

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CRANDON - Students in some Northwoods school districts won't go to school at all next week.

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The School District of Crandon gave students Friday and all of next week off.

They've been giving students the week of Thanksgiving off for as long as anyone can remember.

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