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NEWS STORIES

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

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.

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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Child runover by van on driveway, dies at hospitalSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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RACINE - A 5-year-old girl has died after being struck by a van in the driveway of a Racine home.

Police say the child had just arrived for a party in the neighborhood Saturday afternoon and was facing the street when a 16-year-old boy backed a van over the girl.

Authorities say a rear wheel ran over the girl. The teen heard people yelling and shouting, but didn't know he had hit someone. So, he pulled the van forward, running over the girl a second time.

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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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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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Speeding past orange barrels could bring $300 fineSubmitted: 07/28/2014

MINNESOTA - Getting caught speeding through a road construction work zone is about to get more costly in Minnesota.

Starting Friday, the offense comes with an automatic $300 fine plus the normal traffic ticket surcharges. That's under a new state law approved during the legislative session.

Officials from the Department of Transportation, a highway contractor and the State Patrol planned a news conference Monday to highlight the change. They hope the steeper penalty will serve as a deterrent.

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