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Construction and Lawsuit Move ForwardSubmitted: 05/16/2013
Story By Lex Gray

Construction and Lawsuit Move Forward
MERRILL - Major road construction near Merrill moved forward this week, and so did a legal battle from a local business owner trying to stop it.

Construction at Highway 51 and County Road C began three days ago.

Raj Bhandari owns the Citgo gas station at the intersection.

He says business has already slowed down and will eventually stop.

The state DOT's plan to build an overpass would cut off access to Bhandari's gas station.

Bhandari filed a suit in federal court late last month.

He says Wisconsin planned to use federal funds until he protested.

Then the DOT switched to state funds, which it wasn't allowed to do.

On May 8, a judge denied the state's motion to dismiss the case.

A hearing is scheduled for May 31.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

ANTIGO - You won't find any pesticide sprays at one Antigo apple orchard, but you will find pigs.

Grandview Orchard and Nursery Stock sits on the highest point in Langlade County.

Lisa Rettinger bought the orchard two years ago with the plan to manage it naturally.

She's still in the transition process of going organic, but she doesn't use chemical pesticides.

Orchard pigs do some grazing and eat wind-fallen apples.

Solo cups and milks gallons make for moth and maggot traps.

Lisa does most of the work by herself every day; much of her work is observation of the orchard.

"Going through the orchard, what is going on, monitoring pest traps, and looking at the leaves, looking at the whole orchard," says Lisa.

Grandview's season will be done at the end of the month.

You can find Lisa at the Wausau Indoor Farmers Market through the winter.

Click below for more info.

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PRENTICE - The Prentice School Board approved a new policy for the district tonight.

The goal of the policy is to keep the district's social media accounts focused on celebrating its successes, and to teach students appropriate social media behavior.

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LAONA - Lumber, logging, and the Connor family make up a lot of Laona's history. But some people say the rural town could be losing a lot of its history.

A group of people want to preserve that history and it's starting with one building.   

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MADISON - Rhinelander's former police chief just finished the FBI's "crown jewel" of training.  Mike Steffes -- who is now the Deputy Administrator of the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Law Enforcement Services --completed the three-week "National Executive Institute" in September.

The academy is designed for executives that lead more than 500 sworn officers and serve populations of 250,000 or more.

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RHINELANDER - Lawyers expect to call "a number" of expert witnesses in the Oneida County homicide case against Ellen Tran.

Finding and vetting those experts could take months, lawyers told a judge on Tuesday in court.

Tran is charged with causing the death of her 20-month-old stepson, Avery Edwards, at a Rhinelander home in April.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys will spend until February to identify those witnesses.

After that, the case could go to trial.

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MADISON - The leaders of Gov. Scott Walker's job creation agency met behind closed doors again to discuss contract negotiations with Foxconn Technology Group but didn't take any action.

The electronics giant wants to build a flat-screen manufacturing campus in Mount Pleasant. Walker signed a $3 billion incentives package for the company last month.

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RHINELANDER - Cross Country teams enter the postseason this weekend. Rhinelander runners are hoping to have their best race yet. 

Their season has been leading up to this weekend's sectional meet in Waupaca. Rhinelander's top runner, Alayna Franson, knows what the state meet feels like and is hoping to get back there. 

As the cross country season comes to a close and the air gets cooler, the competition heats up. 

"I'm just hoping to stay with the front pack, get a good time, close to whoever is in the front," said Franson. 

And for senior runner Alayna Franson, that means the battle to get to the state meet is on. 

"I have really high hopes for myself, high goals, I want to make it to state hopefully place at state," said Franson. 

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