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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: 11/21/2014

- Find out about a new attraction to downtown Rhinelander in advance of the holiday shopping season.

- Plus, Michigan's deer hunt started a week ago today. How is the western Upper Peninsula doing in terms of harvest success?

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

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Wisconsin faces $2.2 billion budget shortfall Submitted: 11/21/2014

MADISON - Governor Scott Walker's administration says Wisconsin faces a $2.2 billion budget shortfall by mid-2017, a problem that will have to be tackled by the Republican-controlled Legislature next year as Walker is building his resume for a potential presidential run.

The estimate released Thursday by the state Department of Administration is required under the law. It takes into account spending requests made by state agencies for the next two years.

The figures will be further refined by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau in January.

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Fire exit sign caused school fireSubmitted: 11/21/2014

PRENTICE - Administrators now know what caused a fire in the Prentice School art room, and it's ironic.

A sign that guides people to an exit in case of a fire shorted out.

The fire happened last Tuesday. No one was in the school at the time because of a snow day. The fire was contained to the art room.

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Remember safety when gun deer season kicks off tomorrowSubmitted: 11/21/2014

ANTIGO - Saturday kicks off the start to the nine day gun deer hunting season here in Wisconsin.

Many people in the Northwoods spent this Orange Friday shopping for their last minute hunting gear.

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Local stores compete with retail chains for holiday shoppersSubmitted: 11/21/2014

RHINELANDER - Hundreds of people will shop for bargains on Black Friday. The sales at chain retail stores can take business away from local shops.

That's why one Northwoods toy store wants to promote shopping local for the holidays. Imaginuity is holding their own sale to compete with Black Friday.

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Some Northwoods school districts give students longer Thanksgiving break for deer huntSubmitted: 11/21/2014

CRANDON - Students in some Northwoods school districts won't go to school at all next week.

The districts decided not to stand in the way of family hunting traditions.

The School District of Crandon gave students Friday and all of next week off.

They've been giving students the week of Thanksgiving off for as long as anyone can remember.

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Going above and beyond in the classroom; Meet the special ed teacher who's "made of magic" Submitted: 11/21/2014

RHINELANDER - Teachers can be influential and important people in children's lives.

For the ones that go above and beyond in the classroomâ€"it's the students who benefit.

A Crescent Elementary School special education teacher is really making a difference in her student's lives.

Amy Scholz works with four students.


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