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Northwoods Business Owners Ponder Card FeesSubmitted: 01/29/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Northwoods Business Owners Ponder Card Fees
RHINELANDER - Every time you pay with a credit card, business owners pay a fee.

But now, you could be paying that charge instead.

Starting last weekend, it became legal for businesses to pass on the credit card surcharge to customers.

That could mean you'll pay up to 4% of your total at the register.

Al's Furniture has been a Rhinelander staple for 32 years.

Many people in the Northwoods have been shopping there for years to buy beds, sofas, and chairs.

About half their sales are by credit card.

Owner Jeff Dibbles doesn't want to lose customers by charging an extra fee to buyers.

"First of all, we've been absorbing it for years. There's no sense in changing now. Also, I believe that if I do start charging it, I might have customers walk out the door and not purchase from me," says Dibbles.

Right next door, Coffee Beans, Etc. coffee shop owner Laura Gilbert makes her money dollar by dollar, instead of the hundred by hundred Jeff makes in furniture.

That makes her think about credit card fees differently.

She's hit with a set fee every time a card is used.

"It costs me more money to swipe the card and charge them for it, so I lose money ringing up a refill or even a small cup of coffee, with the percentage that they take out in swiping fees," Gilbert says.

Even selling small items like coffee, about half of her business comes from credit cards, too.

The new rules have Laura thinking about charging customers a little more for using a card.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/19/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

DNR wardens will start increasing patrols on snowmobile trails in the Northwoods, especially in Iron and Price counties. We talk to a warden supervisor about the number of accidents the last two weeks and how the wardens plan to minimize the accidents.

We'll show you how a new tool for the Woodruff Fire Department will help extinguish a fire even before firefighters arrive at the scene.

And tonight on Friday Night Blitz we'll bring you scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following basketball games:

Girls:

Crandon vs. Laona-Wabeno

D.C. Everest vs. Merrill

Mosinee vs. Rhinelander


Boys:

Rhinelander vs. Mosinee



That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.

We'll bring you this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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ASHLAND COUNTY - A prosecutor has cleared a sheriff's deputy in a 14-year-old boy's death.

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- On Friday, a Northwoods bank went above and beyond to celebrate National Popcorn Day. Minocqua's River Valley Bank had a kettle machine up and running from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The bank partnered with Minocqua popcorn for the fundraising event.

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WOODRUFF - Six people died in snowmobile accidents since January 5 in Wisconsin. 

Last year, 16 people died while snowmobiling during the whole season. 

DNR Conservation Warden Supervisor Dave Walz says at this rate, Wisconsin is on track to match that. 

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PRICE COUNTY - For the first time in more than three decades the Price County Circuit Court welcomed a new judge to take the bench Friday.
Family, friends and judges from all over northern Wisconsin attended the investiture ceremony for Judge Kevin Klein.

Klein grew up in Price County and practiced law for more than 36 years.
Klein had his own law practice and was the local bar President for Price County before becoming a judge.
"When you start out and you're young and eager to practice law, you're not thinking about many years later taking the bench. But in retrospect you can see how call those years fit together," said Klein. 

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PHILLIPS - When students go to Phillips Elementary School, their classroom might be heated to only 60 degrees. It could also be 80 degrees.

The heating system is old enough that consistency is nearly impossible, and fixes are tough.

"We can't get parts [anymore] for a lot of the heating systems," said Principal Dave Scholz.

Underneath the school on Thursday, he pointed to the support structure.

"You can see all of the floor joists," he said. "Most of them are rotting right out. A lot of breaking off."

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RHINELANDER - These days, it can feel like physical stores get overshadowed by online shopping. But that's not completely true in Rhinelander.

A new women's clothing boutique opened today in downtown Rhinelander.

Oak Tree Boutique owner and Rhinelander native Amber Bellile remembers a time from her childhood when downtown flourished.

"Over the years once I moved away and would come back I noticed businesses were shutting down," said Bellile. 

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