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Governor Walker visits Wasuau to introduce new WEDC CEOSubmitted: 01/31/2013
Story By Hayley Tenpas


WAUSAU - We hoped to see him Tuesday, but bad weather cancelled Gov. Walkers scheduled stop in Wausau.

Thursday, Walker finally was able to make it.

The new executive Director of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation came along.

Reed Hall was appointed CEO of the WEDC Tuesday.

Hall previously was the executive director at Marshfield Clinic.

He hopes his new opportunity will move the state forward and create jobs.

"We're going to concentrate in the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation- expanding businesses, nurturing existing businesses, nurturing start-up companies, certainly looking for companies to transfer here from out of state," said Hall.

Some of those jobs in the Northwoods might be in jeopardy.

Governor Walker said today he plans to follow up with Wausau Paper.

The company announced earlier this month they were selling three of their plants, including one in Rhinelander.

"We're going to do everything in our power to make sure that's a strong base here in Wisconsin. It's not only through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, but through the department of work force and other state agencies and we can play an active role," said Governor Walker.

Hall adds that he's ready to work with other state agencies to build economic development in areas like the Northwoods.


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WOODRUFF - You don't see very good odds of catching someone who poached a deer unless someone saw or heard it happen.  Luckily for law enforcement, that's what happened in Woodruff and Minocqua last week.

People living near Theis Road off Highway J and near Gopher Lane along Highway 70 heard gunshots late Wednesday night, September 21.  Minocqua police found two 16-year-old boys who shot and killed two bucks.

DNR Warden Supervisor Dave Walz says the teens were shooting within 100 yards of homes.

"There's a serious safety aspect when these people are out shooting deer at night, they may not know what's in the background," Walz said.  "Even if they do know what's in the background, it's still not a safe situation."

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MERRILL - The debate in Merrill over what's junk and what's historic treasure may not end soon.

It appears Merrill City leaders won't punish two of its workers for taking items from a now demolished building on the Lincoln County Fair Grounds. 

After about a month-long investigation, Mayor Bill Bialecki sent out a statement Thursday morning on behalf of the common council with a decision.

It said, "The actions of City Administrator Dave Johnson and Fire Chief Dave Savone, although not in violation of city Ordinances or policies, were in poor judgment. They have been advised to follow City ordinances and policies to avoid improper conduct or the appearance of such conduct, as it reflects poorly on City Government."

Back in July, Savone got the okay from Johnson to help a friend take some shutters and tables from the 
Schultz building on the grounds before it was demolished.

But some people considered those items historic and expressed their concern on social media.

The Merrill City Common Council then hired an outside firm to investigate.

Now that that's done, Johnson still feels the same way he always did.

"I've stated from the beginning that there were no laws, ordinances or policies that were violated, and that is what the investigation showed," Johnson said. "So, I mean, how can I feel other than vindicated?"

Johnson and Savone did return the items.

Savone did not want to talk on camera but told Newswatch 12 he did not violate any ordinances.

Opponents of this decision believe the city leaders violated state open meetings laws.

According to documents obtained by Newswatch 12, those opponents filed a complaint Thursday afternoon with the Lincoln County District Attorney.

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GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers have doubled down on their image of playing on the frozen tundra, unveiling more details for its Titletown District that include a winter tubing hill and a skating rink at its heart.

The team announced Thursday the district will also include a football-themed playground and full-sized football field with an artificial surface.

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MINOCQUA - You can see the leaves just beginning to turn here, but soon the Northwoods will be a whirlwind of oranges, reds, and yellows. 

"Not only is the environment around us changing, but just kind of the pace of life in the Northwoods starts to change a little," said Northwoods Zip Line General Manager Andrew Warner.

Many people enjoy hiking or taking a scenic drive to view the fall colors, but Northwoods Zip Line in Minocqua offers people a different perspective.

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MILWAUKEE - A jury has convicted a Milwaukee man of first-degree reckless homicide in the fatal shooting of a 5-year-old girl.

The jury on Thursday also found Carl Barrett Jr. guilty of recklessly endangering Laylah's Peterson's grandmother, grandfather and sister who were present during the shooting in November 2014. Laylah was shot in the head as she sat on her grandfather's lap. Police say the shooters targeted the wrong house.

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ST. GERMAIN - 300 Vilas County sixth-graders joined together against drugs and alcohol in St. Germain Thursday.
The kids got to hang out with peers they will be going to high school with in a couple of years.

Though it all looked like fun and games, each exercise opened the floor to more serious topics like cyber-bullying, drug use, and underage drinking.

"There are little things that we are planting seeds and as those seeds are planted, later on others can help it grow as well," said UW Extension Youth Agent Nancy Ann Miller.

Throughout the day, the middle schoolers rotated through hands-on positive activities.
Kids were even able to talk to Nicolet College about future career plans.

At one station, the leaders showed off Native American traditions with drumming and dancing to get the middle schoolers to open up.

"They just have a riot. You ask them what's the best thing and they say everything!" said Miller.

This is the twelfth year the positivity conference joined at St. Germain Park.

Conference coordinators say the end goal is to leave the kids with a lifelong memory of the Northwoods.


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ST. GERMAIN - The owner of a Northwoods yoga and massage studio believes her business offers more than just a place to stretch.

 It's a way to change the body image of the community.

St. Germain's Shanna Stein committed herself to yoga when she was 18. 

She lost more than 100 ponds and gained a new view of her body image. 

Now 14 years later, she is using that new view to help others. 

"You set these goals and they're so far away and you're like someday," said Stein.

 "And now it's here and it's happening so it's just kind of surreal."

Because of her past, Stein is committed to providing a space to uplift people.

 She created a monthly wondrous woman class, providing a place for women to encourage each other's body in a positive way. 

"When I look at people coming into my studio and when I see their struggles and what they're going through I know because I've been there," said Stein.

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