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NEWS STORIES

Rhinelander's Mayor cautiously optimistic mill buyer will keep plant openSubmitted: 03/22/2013
Story By Lane Kimble

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RHINELANDER - We need to wait awhile to figure out how the sale of Wausau Paper's Rhinelander and Mosinee mills will really effect the communities.

But Friday night, we did find a sense of cautious optimism coming from city leadership.

Rhinelander Mayor Dick Johns worked at the paper mill from 1955 to 1994. He's seen plenty of changes at the plant over the years, including three separate sales.

That past experience keeps him hopeful for the future.

"Confident's not a good word, but I'm hoping that it will be," Johns said. "That's important to all of us. You know, we have PrintPack down on the other side of town, that's an improvement to our community and we're proud of that and we're proud of that paper company."

KPS Capital Partners in New York invested $130 million to buy the two Wisconsin mills.

They're offering Wausau Paper 25 percent ownership in the new paper company they plan to form. Wausau Paper claims the investment group has "significant experience" in the paper business.

Mayor Johns hopes KPS understands Rhinelander needs to keep its mill.

"Any industry in this day and age is important to the community, especially when it's over 100 years old, you've had it here and it's been a part of your community for those many years," Johns said.

The sale isn't official just yet. There are seveal steps to go through, including establishing a new collective bargaining agreement with the unions.

Wausau Paper hopes to wrap things up by the end of the second quarter this year.

KPS invested in Waupaca Foundry, Inc., based in Waupaca, Wisconsin. Just last month, Waupaca Foundry dolled out a $200 million return to investers.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
School District of Rhinelander passes 2014-15 budget; sees increase in enrollmentSubmitted: 10/31/2014

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RHINELANDER - The School District of Rhinelander will get a little bit more funding from property taxes this year. Rhinelander passed a referendum in 2013.

The district gets 4 million dollars per year through 2016.

On Monday the district approved the tax rate and mill levy for the year. Taxpayers will pay $10.99 per thousand dollars of property values.

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Hire me then fire me, Northwoods candidate for State Treasurer wants to eliminate positionSubmitted: 10/31/2014

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RHINELANDER - Hire me then fire me. That's what a Northwoods candidate for State Treasurer wants voters to do.

Jerry Shidell is a libertarian from Rhinelander. You'll find his name on the ballot for State Treasurer. He plans on getting rid of the job.

Shidell says the treasurer doesn't have many responsibilities and the position costs too much.

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Homeless charity drive needs helpSubmitted: 10/31/2014

RHINELANDER - The Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing needs your help taking care of the homeless. The alliance helps homeless people in Lincoln, Langlade, Forest, Oneida, and Vilas counties. Organizers just started the Everybody Deserves Shelter Campaign. Local businesses are helping run the campaign.

"We are working at establishing businesses ,within our hopefully five counties that we serve, that will offer customers and employees the chance to make a nominal one dollar donation," said NATH Executive Director Tammy Modic.

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Drivers surprised by icy roadsSubmitted: 10/31/2014

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RHINELANDER - Drivers got an icy surprise as they hit the road this morning.

People needed to show a little caution as they got used to driving on snow and ice again.

Some accidents tied up traffic for a time. In Wausau, one lane of Highway 29 was shut down near Highway 51.

An accident caused the problem shortly after 4:00 a.m. The road was fully open again around 6:00 a.m..

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Man gets 40 year prison sentence for shooting deputySubmitted: 10/31/2014

MEDFORD - A 29-year-old man will spend 40 years in prison for shooting a Taylor County sheriff's deputy after getting sentenced in court Friday.

Police say Alexander Schneider told them he aimed for the deputy's face when he shot him in September 2013.

The deputy went to Schneider's house in Rib Lake to talk with him about a violated restraining order. Schneider refused to come outside. He then shot at the deputy through the front door.

He will be on extended supervision for 20 years once he gets out of prison.

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Minocqua Chamber of Commerce members break ground for expansion Submitted: 10/31/2014

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MINOCQUA - Minocqua gets many tourists. An expansion to the town's chamber of commerce might bring and keep more people in the area.

Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce board members broke ground outside of the chamber Friday. They'll be adding an extra 900 square feet of office space.

"It'll have a small kitchenette for gatherings and then a really large open concept room with all concealing. It'll have a new foyer for guest," said Minocqua Building Committee chairman, Mike Brighum." Then we'll also be remodeling about 150 square feet of the existing building to make it more useable for the staff for efficiencies."

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25th Senate candidates differ over mining law, agree on importance of broadband and educationSubmitted: 10/31/2014

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RHINELANDER - The mining issue might decide the winner of the 25th State senate district. The huge district covers a large portion of northern Wisconsin stretching from parts of Vilas County to parts of Barron County. Two types of mines have caused controversy in the district. A proposed taconite mine in the north, and sand mines in the west.

Gogebic Taconite is proposing a four-mile open pit taconite mine in Ashland and Iron County. Project leaders say the project will lead to 700 direct jobs, as well as numerous spillover jobs because of the construction of the mine.

Republicans rewrote and passed the state's mining law in 2013. Many believe the rule change weakened water protections, but Republican candidate Dane Deutsch doesn't agree.

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