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NEWS STORIES

Helium Shortage Affects Local Floral BusinessSubmitted: 02/12/2013
Story By Ryan Abney

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RHINELANDER - Helium-filled balloons will cost a little more this Valentine's Day.
There's a helium shortage. And some florists are worried about their store's biggest shopping day of the year.

Forth Floral Owner Ruth Hempel has seen helium prices rise over the past year. But her store is doing all they can to keep prices low.

"We've tried to do a better job on finding better deals on the actual balloons themselves to offset the increase. At this time of the year though, because it's Valentine's Day, the little bit extra they might have to pay usually isn't a big deal. For most, especially guys, if they want that balloon they're going to buy it."

Some parts of the country are out completely. Hempel said her business could deal without, but having balloons is an added perk.

"It's just that added exclamation point on the bouquet so as long as we can continue to do it we're going to hope we can. But if it gets to that point we're just going to have to find some other thing that gives that little punch."

Helium is also used for welding, medical devices, and some computer parts.


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 IN OTHER NEWS
Art lovers travel from all over to go to painting and photography classes at TreehavenSubmitted: 09/23/2014

TOMAHAWK - People traveled from all over the country to take a class taught in Tomahawk.

Painting and Sketching in the Northwoods is being taught at Treehaven.

A photography class is also being offered.

Both classes take place over the next two weeks.

One of the teachers thinks this class is helpful because people stay at Treehaven for the duration of the course.

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Home sales decline in AugustSubmitted: 09/23/2014

WISCONSIN - Sales of existing homes in Wisconsin have declined.

The Wisconsin Realtors Association reports sales dropped 5.7 percent in August compared to a year earlier.

Association board chairman Steve Lane says tighter inventory of properties in the state's metro areas could have slowed sales there.

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Search on for inmate who walked off job siteSubmitted: 09/23/2014

MARATHON COUNTY - Police want your help finding an inmate who walked away in Marathon County.

The sheriff's department tells us inmate Dylan Alexandroni had been out on work release at Draeger's Dairy Farm.

At 8:45 Monday night, the Marathon County Jail got a call from Draeger's that Alexandroni had quit working and left.

Alexandroni called the work release office and talked to an officer.

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Northwoods counties will form transit commission, expand transportation optionsSubmitted: 09/23/2014

FOREST, ONEIDA, VILAS - It can be difficult to get around the Northwoods without a car.

Three counties will join together to make getting around easier.

Oneida, Forest and Vilas Counties will form a transit commission.

The Vilas County Board voted unanimously Tuesday to join Oneida and Forest counties.

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Dems outspend Republicans in summer TV ads; expect things to heat up even more with close raceSubmitted: 09/23/2014

ACROSS WISCONSIN - You should expect to see even more political advertisements as the November election approaches.

A report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel shows Democrats spent more than Republicans for the governor's race on television ads across the state this summer.

That's a reversal from 2012. The report showed that both candidates and outside groups spent nearly $5 million in television ads.

A September release of the Marquette University Law School Polls shows a close race between Mary Burke and Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin). Gov. Walker received support from 46% of all registered voters polled, while Burke received 46% support.

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Northwoods airport gets grant for pavement repaintingSubmitted: 09/23/2014

PRENTICE - Only about 700 people live in Prentice.

You may not think a small community like it would need an airport.

But local businesses depend on the Prentice Airport to bring in potential customers.

Pilots need clear markings on the runway to fly in safely.

Crews started repainting the pavement markings at the airport Tuesday.

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Wausau School District wants every student to have iPad or Chromebook by 2018Submitted: 09/23/2014

WAUSAU - The Wausau School District wants every student in the district to have either an iPad or Chromebook.

They hope to reach that goal by 2018.

Buying the computers and training could cost the district more than $2 million.

The district started giving out iPads to some students two years ago.

But the district might have to go to a referendum to get them to everyone.

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