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NEWS STORIES

New Merrill superintendent looks ahead to future, back on district he's leavingSubmitted: 02/13/2013

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PHILLIPS - A Northwoods school leader will make a big leap this summer to a larger community.

Phillips Superintendent Wally Leipart accepted the open Merrill Area Public Schools superintendent job.

He expects to sign a contract with Merrill by February 25th. He'll replace interim superintendent Don Stevens.

Leipart is excited for the move, but knows Phillips helped him develop into the leader he is.

"They gave me the opportunity to take on a leadership role at a district level, and I'm very grateful for that opportunity and theres a lot of great people that I'm going to miss here, and I wish them the very best," Leipart said.

Leipart joins a Merrill School District with funding problems similar to Phillips.

This year, the Price County district is asking voters for an additional $650,000 a year.

Merrill voters rejected a multi-million dollar referendum in 2009. Leipart knows he'll need a plan from day one.

"Make sure people understand the value of investment that they are making in education and just being open with them and answering questions," Leipart said. "Develop relationships built within the community and the students and staff and just bring everybody together and talk about what's good for education and what's good for the community of Merrill."

Leipart's last day with Phillips will be June 30th.

Story By: Lane Kimble

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 IN OTHER NEWS
One person dead after being pulled from lakeSubmitted: 07/29/2014

WOODRUFF - Woodruff police want to know what happened to a person who died after ending up in the water.

The Woodruff Police Department was called to Indian Mounds boat landing about 4:30 p.m. Monday.

Two DNR rangers there had pulled an unconscious male from the lake.

Medical personnel at the scene told officers the victim had died, and the coroner was called.

An autopsy will be performed.

No name will be released until the victim is positively identified.


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Green Bay to consider cell phone ban for driversSubmitted: 07/29/2014

GREEN BAY - Rhinelander and Wausau tried to make streets safer by banning cell phones while driving.

Now Green Bay is the latest city in Wisconsin to consider banning cell phones behind the wheel.

A Green Bay Alderman says he's almost been hit several times by someone talking on their cell phone while driving.

That included his trip to City Hall Monday night.

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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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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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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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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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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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