NEWS STORIES

Gingerbread House Adds Holiday Spirit to Small TownSubmitted: 11/25/2012

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PHELPS - Kids and adults love gingerbread houses around the holidays.

But in Phelps, they're taking that passion one step further.

What was a vacant lot has turned into the perfect place to start a new holiday tradition.

This life-size gingerbread house was the idea of Shelly Ray, who designed it so that every detail is just perfect.

"Shelly had it all mapped out, and said, 'you're doing this, you're doing this, you're doing this', then we all came together and did everything," says Tuckey Requa of the Phelps Chamber of Commerce.

"I've been stringing the lights, making candy canes, and helping to put rebar in," Phelps student Taylor Huca chimes in.

Between this gingerbread house, the candy canes, the lollipops, it took a team effort from the people in Phelps to make it happen.

It's a true sign of the community in the small town.

"There's tremendous support in this town for itself. People pull together amazingly here. It's a very, very committed community," Requa says.

While the team finished the house Sunday, the real unveiling will be on Friday.

Santa lights the town Christmas tree every year around this time before dozens of anxious kids.

For the first time, it will be here, by the gingerbread house.

"It's drop-dead perfect. It's perfect. It's going to look gorgeous when it's lit up," Requa says.

"It's actually better than I imagined that it would be," says Huca.

A better gingerbread house - starting a new tradition in town.

Santa's visit and tree lighting are at 6:30 Friday night in Phelps.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Proposed scenic byway takes step forward with planning meetingSubmitted: 04/23/2014

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MOLE LAKE - You can drive along plenty of scenic stretches of roads across Northern Wisconsin.

However, the state of Wisconsin only considers one stretch of highway in the Northwoods as an official scenic byway.

Leaders in a handful of counties want to change that by earning a distinction from Wisconsin's Scenic Byways program. They held a public planning meeting in Mole Lake Wednesday.

The proposed scenic highway, The Wolf River Nicolet Scenic Byway, is a more than 100 mile stretch of Highway 55. It stretches from Langlade, in Langlade County, north to the Michigan boarder.

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Sentencing date released for Lincoln. Co. man convicted of killing wifeSubmitted: 04/23/2014

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50-year-old Mark Bucki was convicted earlier this month in connection to the death and disappearance of his wife Anita.

He was convicted on three charges including first-degree intentional homicide, hiding a body and strangling a person.

The first-degree intentional homicide charge carries a mandatory life in prison sentence, according to Lincoln County Judge Jay Tlusty on the day of the April verdict.

Prosecutors want to add more years on top of the mandatory sentence with additional years from the other two charges.

Bucki will be back in court for his sentencing July 3rd.

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Walker signs bill prohibiting cellphone trackingSubmitted: 04/23/2014

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The measure Walker signed Wednesday passed the Legislature in February with no opposition.

Under the new law, police would have to present details about their investigation when seeking a warrant to track a cellphone. That includes the phone's owners or whoever is possessing it, the subject of the investigation, a statement of the crime and a statement of probable cause about how tracking the cellphone is related to criminal activity.

The bill was among 55 bills Walker signed privately.

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State increases fines for parking in handicap spotsSubmitted: 04/23/2014

MADISON - It will soon be three times more costly for drivers to park illegally in a disability parking spot in Wisconsin.

Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill Wednesday increasing those fines starting Friday.

The new law will increase minimum fines from $50 to $150. The current maximum penalty of $300 won't change.

The law also creates a fine for building owners to not provide enough disability parking spaces on site. Building owners or occupants with at least 26 parking spaces must reserve disabled parking spaces or pay between $150 and $300.

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Late start expected for farmersSubmitted: 04/23/2014

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ANTIGO - Some farmers get ready to plant new crops around this time of year.

But the planting season could be pushed back this spring.

That could hurt potato farmers in Langlade County.

Some seed distributors expect a late start for crops because of the long, cold winter.

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Library requests bids for expansionSubmitted: 04/23/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - A library in the Northwoods met their fundraising goals for a new addition.

Now the Walter E. Olson Memorial Library in Eagle River could see changes to their original plan.

The Eagle River city council members told the library trustees to look for new bids.

This could result in changes to the design that the library fund-raised for over the past two years.

Design and Build by Visner in Eagle River designed the expansion plan they fund-raised for.

"I think there was some disappointment on the part of the person that created the conceptual design that we fund-raised with," said Library Trustees President Tina Koller. "But they've stepped up to the plate and are willing to participate in the bidding process. So this is where I think we can really move forward today."

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Outside agencies will investigate officer related deathsSubmitted: 04/23/2014

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RHINELANDER - Police departments in Wisconsin will now need to hire an outside agency to investigate deaths that happen in their custody.

Governor Walker signed a bill requiring the outside investigations today.

Lawmakers hope the new law will prevent police departments from protecting their own officers during investigations.

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