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NEWS STORIES

What the Wausau Paper Brainerd Mill Closure Means for Wis. MillsSubmitted: 02/22/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

RHINELANDER - We found out yesterday a Wausau Paper mill in Brainerd, Minnesota will close. That's bringing the impending sale of the Rhinelander plant back to the forefront of many minds here in the Northwoods.

Many people aren't sure whether to be relieved or worried, so we spoke with a representative from the company today.

Wausau Paper expects the Brainerd mill to close by April. The company will try to sell the mill. But it will close first, and the town will lose about 130 jobs.

Director of Investor Relations Perry Grueber says the factors that led to the decision to close that mill are specific to Brainerd. He says there are specific differences between that mill, and the two Wisconsin mills up for sale.

"Both the Rhinelander and Mosinee mills are substantially larger operations with substantially larger workforces. They have far more diversified product offerings and have been very well established in the technical specialty market for many years. They are performing significantly better at the present time than Brainerd was," says Perry Grueber.

Brainerd's customers will still need to get their orders from somewhere. Grueber expects production for those products to move to Rhinelander or Mosinee. That should make those mills more appealing to buyers.

Rhinelander Mayor Dick Johns hasn't heard of any serious interest yet.

But he and a group of other community leaders wrote a letter in a show of support for the city, and one of its biggest employers. They also asked Wausau Paper to keep the lines of communication open so the city and its people aren't kept in the dark.

"We just have to be patient and see where it goes. And I know it's hard for a lot of people in the community. There are families out there that want to know, 'Can I buy this? Can I do this? Can I do that?' But I'll tell you, with a positive attitude I think we can all come through it very well," says Mayor Johns.

He told us when news of the sale first broke, the City of Rhinelander would do whatever it could to help find a buyer, and keep the mill open.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 10/20/2014

- Nicolet College wants feedback from the community about choosing a new president. Nicolet College Board of Trustees will listen to people's input tonight at 6 p.m. in the University Transfer Center Fireside Room on the Nicolet Campus. The previous president, Elizabeth Burmaster, left in June to serve as president of Frederick Community College in Frederick, Md. Kenneth Urban, the college's vice president Teaching, Learning, and Student Success, is serving as interim president. We'll have more coverage tonight on Newswatch 12.

- Plus, we'll show you what it looked and sounded like when Marinette Marine and the U.S. Navy launched a Littoral Combat Ship in northern Wisconsin this weekend.

We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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Antigo Marching Band takes third place at state competitionSubmitted: 10/20/2014

WHITEWATER - The Antigo marching band took third place at state on Saturday. The competition was held in Whitewater.

The marching band had a successful season this year. The band won first place at four competitions.

This was the 13th year the band has gone to state. Last year they took second.

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Northwoods school hosts anti-bullying programsSubmitted: 10/20/2014

MINOCQUA - Schools across the country struggle with bullying.

Northwoods schools like MHLT hope students learned from a traveling theatre group today.

All of their students attended a short play by the group, CLIMB Theatre.

Bullying has been a problem for the school.

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Police: Indiana suspect in 7 slayings hints at more killingsSubmitted: 10/20/2014

HAMMOND, IN - Police investigating the slayings of seven women whose bodies were found over the weekend in Indiana say the suspect has told them that he may have killed people going back 20 years.

Hammond Police Chief John Doughty said during a news conference Monday that the suspect, identified as Darren Vann, is being cooperative with investigators. Vann was convicted of sexual assault in Texas in 2009 and now lives in Gary.

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Woodruff man charged with driving drunk, stealing and damaging property at Minocqua's WalmartSubmitted: 10/20/2014

RHINELANDER - A Woodruff man faces multiple charges for allegedly driving drunk, stealing and damaging property.

The criminal complaint says police got a call last Monday.

Timothy Brewster was allegedly knocking stuff off shelves at Minocqua's Walmart.

Security video from Walmart shows Brewster driving his car into a cart corral.

The video also shows him stumbling and knocking items from the shelf on the floor.

Brewster fought with officers when they tried to arrest him.

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Two car crash sends 2 to hospitalSubmitted: 10/20/2014

WOODRUFF - A car driving the wrong way on Highway 47 west of Woodruff hit another car this morning.

An 86-year-old Lac du Flambeau man was driving south in the northbound lane.

He hit a car driven by an 87-year-old woman.

The man and his passenger, an 87-year-old woman, were taken to Howard Young Medical Center.

Their injuries aren't life threatening.

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Room tax funds marketing opportunities for events, non-profitsSubmitted: 10/20/2014

RHINELANDER - If you stay at a motel or resort, you may notice an extra tax on your bill.

A room tax is an extra tax placed on overnight stays.

Lodges and resorts in the City of Rhinelander and Town of Pelican collect room tax.

Now you may be able to get some of that money.

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