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NEWS STORIES

Two Northwoods Companies Expand with Help from Jobs AgencySubmitted: 04/26/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

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CRANDON - A quarter million new jobs- that's what the Governor promises by the end of his first term.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation wants to help create them, and local companies are taking advantage of the effort.

The WEDC loaned two Crandon companies hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Hometown Trolley recently finished a 20,000 square foot expansion, and Infinity Wood Floors opened a manufacturing location in Crandon in January.

The two companies are bringing 77 new jobs to the area. That's a lot of jobs for the city, but 250,000 jobs is still a ways off. WEDC CEO Reed Hall thinks it's still a realistic goal.

"I do. And we're going to do whatever's in our power to make that number come true. One of the things I think helps us, is I think Wisconsin is right on the edge of a turn-around. I think we have a very stable political environment, or much more stable than it was in 2010, 2011," says Hall.

Hall also thinks the regulatory environment is better than it was in the past. He points to housing and auto sales as indicators of a turn-around.

Hall says economic development in the Northwoods presents unique challenges.

"The timber industry here is so very, very critical. Certainly tourism is so very critical to this area. Broadband issues are sort of unique here too because we don't always have enough broadband capability. I think we need to concentrate on the timber industry specifically," says ," says Hall.

Hall says they'll hold a conference this summer to promote getting more timber harvested from the national forests.

He wouldn't name specific companies, but Hall did say the WEDC is working with other businesses in the area.



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 IN OTHER NEWS
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra visits RhinelanderSubmitted: 10/01/2014

RHINELANDER - Sounds of Mozart, Beethoven and Rossini filled Rhinelander High School's auditorium Wednesday. Those same sounds were in concert Wednesday night.

Students attended a concert by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra that morning.

The Northwoods Concert Association brought the symphony into town. They were able to play at the high school thanks to the Hodag Schools Foundation.

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Tour and workshop to help businesses draw more customers to Northwoods Submitted: 10/01/2014

VILAS COUNTY - The beautiful scenery, resorts, and other attractions draw many tourists to the Northwoods.

Local businesses want to keep it that way.

While the summer season wrapped up a month ago, some businesses are already thinking about next summer.

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Organizers prepare for Cranberry FestSubmitted: 10/01/2014

EAGLE RIVER - Cranberry Fest draws about 40,000 people to Eagle River each year. Organizers think this year will be no exception.

They started preparing the fairgrounds on Wednesday for this weekend's festival.

A majority of people who come to the festival are visiting from out of town.

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Teenagers open long-awaited grocery store in WabenoSubmitted: 10/01/2014

WABENO - Wabeno has been hungry for a grocery story since its last one closed years ago.

Now, the community has one, and customers are in for a surprise.

"They're like, is the owner or manager here? I'm like, I'm right here," says 17-year-old Kaitlyn Ashbeck.

Twins Kaitlyn and Abigail Ashbeck opened Ashbeck's One Stop this summer at age 16.

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DNR begins Little Rice dam repairs, some homeowners unhappy about water levelsSubmitted: 10/01/2014

CRANDON - The Wisconsin DNR will start repairing the Little Rice dam this month.

But in order to do their work, the agency will have to lower water levels earlier than usual and that's upset some people living on the water.

The dam was built in the 1930s.

"There's leaks, there's chips and cracks and it was time to do some major repair," says DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz.

The structure creates the Little Rice Flowage by damming the Wolf River just outside of Crandon.

The DNR started lowering water levels in the flowage Wednesday to repair the dam.

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UPDATE: 17-year-old suspect admitted to bomb threats at Medford Area Senior HighSubmitted: 10/01/2014

MEDFORD - Medford Police wants a 17-year-old charged with a bomb scare felony after Wednesday's evacuation of the high school.

The suspect made two different bomb threats through the social media app "Yik Yak."

He referred to bombs in his locker.

Medford Area Senior High was evacuated and searched after 1 o'clock.

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Walker slightly ahead of Burke in new pollSubmitted: 10/01/2014

MADISON - With less than five weeks until Election Day, a new poll shows Gov. Scott Walker is slightly ahead of Democrat Mary Burke in the race for Wisconsin governor.

The Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday shows Walker with 50.5 percent support among likely voters compared with 44.7 percent for Burke.

That 5.8-point lead is just above the poll's 4.5 percentage point margin of error.

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