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NEWS STORIES

Better for beef? Japan buying $1.5 billion in U.S. beef exportsSubmitted: 02/08/2013
MADISON - Japan is buying more American beef, which is good news for Wisconsin's 14,000 cattle farmers.

Japan used to restrict U.S. beef imports out of concerns about mad-cow disease, but it recently relaxed some restrictions. Now U.S. beef exports to Japan are expected to grow from about $850 million per year to $1.5 billion.

John Freitag is the executive director of the Wisconsin Beef Council. He says the new standards are good for Wisconsin, especially because the industry is struggling through an especially tough period.

He says some beef farmers have been thinking of leaving the industry or shrinking their herds because of high feed prices. He says a stronger Japanese market gives Wisconsin farmers more incentive to stay in business.

Story By: The Associated Press

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Volunteers start setting up Oneida County FairSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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RHINELANDER - Volunteers started preparations Monday for the Oneida County Fair.

About 50 people helped set up.

A lot of work was completed ahead of schedule thanks to volunteers.

Fair leaders think most of the setup will be done Monday.

"We're hoping to be done pretty much today with the initial setup," says Fair Coordinator Nancy Gehrig. "K&M Amusement is already setting up today, which normally they aren't setting up until Tuesday. So yeah, we're ahead of the game already."

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80-year-old dies after getting hit by trainSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS - An 80-year-old woman died Sunday in Wisconsin Rapids after getting hit by a train.

Police say Joyce Huber, 80, died at the scene.

Huber tried to cross the tracks and was hit by a Canadian National Railway train that was going south.

Police say the railroad crossing safety arms and lights were working.

They also say the train's horn was working.

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Study: fist bumps spread 90% fewer germs than handshakesSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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NATIONWIDE - You could spread fewer germs by going with the fist bump instead of a handshake.

A new study from Aberystwyth University in Wales shows a fist bump spreads 90 percent fewer germs compared to a handshake. That could be the difference between staying healthy and getting sick.

"That portion of our hands is subjected to every surface area, desktops, and countertops as well," said Oneida County Public Health Nurse Charlotte Ahrens. "We probably have a gazillion germs that are hitting that surface at any given point in time."

Researchers say the fist bump may be more hygienic because of its speed and smaller surface area. Health leaders like Ahrens say the transfer of some germs can actually help us.

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Speeding past orange barrels could bring $300 fineSubmitted: 07/28/2014

MINNESOTA - Getting caught speeding through a road construction work zone is about to get more costly in Minnesota.

Starting Friday, the offense comes with an automatic $300 fine plus the normal traffic ticket surcharges. That's under a new state law approved during the legislative session.

Officials from the Department of Transportation, a highway contractor and the State Patrol planned a news conference Monday to highlight the change. They hope the steeper penalty will serve as a deterrent.

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UPDATE: Missing man found dead in car underwaterSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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IRONWOOD, MI - Police found a missing Hurley man in his car underwater in Ironwood, Sunday.

74-year-old Duane Jussila's car was found underwater under about 10 feet of water in an area off of Alfred Wright Boulevard.

Jussila was reported missing July 5th. The man was suffering from dementia.

Police are still investigating.


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Merrill's downtown mural by student artists evokes history, cultureSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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MERRILL - "We normally do murals inside the high school by famous artists, and we do a re-creation of their work," says Merrill high school junior McKenzie Broeking.

But Broeking is painting with six other juniors, not only outside of the high school, but completely outdoors.

"They've run out of room in the high school for these murals. They have many of them now in the school. They decided to move their talents outside," says Art Lersch, a Community Resource Development Educator with the Lincoln County UW-Extension.

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Wisconsin man gets 9.5 years for drunk drivingSubmitted: 07/28/2014

MILWAUKEE - A Wisconsin man has been sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison for leading police on a drunken driving chase that ended in a near-fatal crash.

The Journal Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/1nSZKzi ) 41-year-old Kevin Hutchins Jr. of Milwaukee reached speeds of 100 mph during a seven-mile police chase. Deputy Scott Griffin was critically injured when Hutchins' vehicle bounced off of a barricade and smashed into his squad car.

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