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NEWS STORIES

Ginseng Board Strikes $200 Million Deal with Chinese CompanySubmitted: 04/23/2013

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EDGAR - You see "Made in China" stickers every time you go to the store.

But soon, Chinese people will be seeing more Wisconsin-grown and made products in their stores.

Governor Walker went on a trade mission to China last week to help generate business in Wisconsin.

"Ginseng in our area is a pretty popular thing because of our soil and climate," said ginseng farmer Joe Heil. "Marathon County is the leading producer of ginseng in the US."


Heil is the president of the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin. He farms corn, soybean and 100 acres of ginseng. Ginseng is highly valued as an herbal medication, especially in Asia.

"It's definitely a bigger challenge. Soybeans, corn, anyone can grow that crop," he said. "Ginseng is a real challenge, there's no books, there's not been a lot of research done as far as how to grow it, because it's such a challenge."

But there's a payoff. Heil's fields are muddy and snow-covered now, but in October, they're worth upwards of $100,000 per acre.

Governor Walker worked out a big ginseng deal with Chinese leaders last week.

He announced growers could export $200 million worth of ginseng over the next ten years. Most of it will come from Marathon County.

"We understand a win-win proposition," Walker said from Beijing. "For us, a strong Chinese economy is just as important to us as a strong American economy in Wisconsin is for the people of China."

Heil hopes Governor Walker's trade mission will help Wisconsin's ginseng industry grow.

"I'm hoping that it's sustainable enough that young people will start getting back into the business or taking over the family farms," he said. "That's one thing we've seen, if we go back about ten years we have 1500 farmers and now we're down to about 140 in the state of Wisconsin just because it's not been profitable."

Story By: Lex Gray

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Lawsuit challenging Obamacare thrown out by federal judge in WisconsinSubmitted: 07/22/2014

GREEN BAY - A federal judge in Green Bay throws out a lawsuit challenging Obamacare.

U. S. Senator Ron Johnson filed the lawsuit in January.

The Wisconsin republican argued members of congress received special treatment under the affordable care act -- in the form of subsidies.

Johnson claimed those regulations forced him to participate in something he believed was illegal.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court rules on whether past sexual relationships can be considered in rape casesSubmitted: 07/22/2014

MADISON - The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled today on whether a prior sexual relationship can be considered in rape cases.

A Milwaukee man found guilty of rape challenged his conviction.

That's because the trial court refused to allow evidence that the man previously had consenual sex with the woman.

The Supreme Court decided it was proper to exclude that information at his trial under Wisconsin's rape shield law.

The court on Tuesday reversed an appeals court ruling that found in favor of the Milwaukee man.

The Supreme Court sent the case back to the appeals court to rule on other issues raised in the case.

The man is serving a 10 year sentence for second degree sexual assault.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)

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ACLU objects to full court hearing gay marriageSubmitted: 07/21/2014

MADISON - Gay couples challenging Wisconsin's ban on same-sex marriages are objecting to the state's request that the full 7th Circuit Court of Appeals hear arguments in the case.

American Civil Liberties Union attorneys representing eight same-sex couples challenging the ban filed an objection Monday to the state's request that the entire appeals court hear the arguments.

The ACLU says that would delay the appeal and put a burden on the court without any benefit.

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50-year-old airlifted after getting hit by car on HWY 51Submitted: 07/21/2014

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MINOCQUA - One person is in the hospital after getting hit by a car on Highway 51 in Minocqua Tuesday.

The person was eventually airlifted to St Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield.

It happened around 3 p.m. just north of the north loop in Minocqua.

50-year-old Pennae Biersach from Forest, Wisconsin was originally sent to Howard Young Medical Center after the crash.

There is no word on Biersach's condition.

Police are still investigating the crash.

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New opportunity for Northwoods potato seed farmSubmitted: 07/21/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - A Northwoods potato seed farm recently shared a big announcement.

Felix Zeloski Farms operates 1900 acres in Eagle River.

Zeloski Farms in Eagle River will now run under new ownership.

"It's been a real opportunity for all of us who are employed to do something that's important to the industry and we love it. We enjoy working every day here," said Ron Krueger.

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Hwy 51 lane closures by Minocqua bridgeSubmitted: 07/21/2014

MINOCQUA - Important news for folks heading to work, or summer camp. You'll need to plan for construction work on parts of Highway 51 if you're heading to Minocqua.

You can expect single, lane closures on northbound and southbound US 51. The Wisconsin DOT hopes all the work will be done by the end of the day on Thursday.

Those lane closures start at Country Club Road and go to West Park Avenue at Minocqua Lake.

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Man who spends summers in Northwoods invents first-of-its-kind CPR deviceSubmitted: 07/21/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - One in four Americans will need to perform CPR on someone. But 70% of those people feel helpless because they don't know what to do, according to the American Heart Association. Joe Hanson, a man who spends his summers in Eagle River, spent more than 45 years in the cardiovascular medical device industry. Over time he saw devices improve. But one thing that didn't was the survival rate of people who suffer from sudden cardiac arrest.

"2005, 2010 area, the American Heart Association and others started to look at the reason for that low survivability. And what they found was that people really hesitated to do CPR," Hanson explained.

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