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What the Wausau Paper Brainerd Mill Closure Means for Wis. MillsSubmitted: 02/22/2013
What the Wausau Paper Brainerd Mill Closure Means for Wis. Mills
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: 10/23/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll take you live to Crandon where a police officer shot and killed a man after a traffic stop and a physical struggle last night.

We talk to the Department of Corrections Secretary about an attack at Lincoln Hills School over a week ago which sent a teacher to the hospital. The secretary recently said the facility is safe even after the attack.

And we'll tell you about a new homeless shelter that will soon open up in Merrill.

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

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MADISON - A Wisconsin tribe is set to grow hemp in hopes of extracting oil from the plant that could help treat seizures and other health problems.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports the St. Croix Chippewa plan to begin production at the end of the month.

Parents of children who suffer seizures contend cannabidiol oil, a hemp extract, can help ease symptoms.

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TOWN OF NEWBOLD - The Town of Newbold decided to put the finishing touches on the new disc golf course and open it in 2018.

Newbold Recreation Committee Chairman Pete Cody says the course is basically complete, but a few things still need to settle before they can open it to the public.

"We have some areas seeded on the course that just haven't hardened up and it's in a pretty delicate stage at this time," said Cody.

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RHINELANDER - A walk down a gravel driveway and up a leaf-covered path in the Town of Crescent led Lon Roberts to one of Oneida County's prized projects.

"People who are trying to get into the process should look at what Oneida County has done," Roberts said.

Roberts is the new state Public Service Commission commissioner, which is the agency that regulates utilities across Wisconsin and doles out grant funding for broadband projects.  Monday morning, Roberts got to see one of more than a dozen broadband internet towers Northwoods Connect and the county put up in the last two years.

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MADISON - Enrollment in Wisconsin private school vouchers programs increased nearly 8 percent this year.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction released totals Monday for enrollment in the programs operating statewide and in Milwaukee and Racine. Under the programs, students can receive a taxpayer-funded voucher to attend private schools.

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Lowery doesn't typically wear expensive brands. 

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LINCOLN COUNTY -
Update:

The man who died when his ATV hit a bear in Lincoln County lived in Tomahawk.

Lincoln County Sheriff's deputies tell us 51-year-old Kevin Ives died in the accident northwest of Tomahawk Thursday night.

Ives had been headed west on County Road CC, east of Poplar Drive in the town of Wilson.

The ATV rolled when it hit the bear, and Ives was thrown off.

He was taken to the hospital but died of his injuries.

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