NEWS STORIES

Second winning lottery ticket sold in MerrillSubmitted: 07/02/2013

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MERRILL - People win the lottery at a one-in-a-million rate.

But in Merrill, the odds might be a little better.

This is the second time a winning lottery ticket was sold in the city of Merrill within a few weeks.

A woman in Merrill just won 82- thousand dollars.

The original jackpot was 164-thousand dollars, but another winning ticket was sold in Hurley.

The first winning $1.4 million ticket was sold at Drew's Piggly Wiggly Supermarket last week.

Just two days later, this ticket was sold.

Believe it or not, it was right across the street at the Pine Ridge Convenience store.

This store has had other winning tickets before, but nothing this big.

"It was exciting because we didn't know who it was. So you're wondering who got the ticket," said Pine Ridge Convenience Store Owner, Gary Schwartz.

"And then we found out and it's a long-term customer. So we were pleased with that."

The store will get two percent from the winning ticket.

Owner Gary Schwartz is planning a nice surprise for his nine employees.

"You can't tell anybody, but my wife had a good idea. She thought we ought to give it to the employees," Schwartz said.

"So we're going to split it up with everybody who works here."

The $1.4 million winning ticket still has not been claimed yet.

Story By: Shardaa Gray
Photo By: Shardaa Gray

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Northwoods filmmaker makes movies for the big screenSubmitted: 04/18/2014

MERRILL - When you think of movies you probably think of Hollywood, but one man from Northcentral Wisconsin is bringing his feature film to the local screen.

Wausau’s Jarrod Crooks not only makes movies, but he also stars in them.

His latest film, "Dispatched" is based off the Elvis Presley movie, “Girl Happy,” says filmmaker Jarrod Crooks. “My character Jake is sent to go watch my bosses daughter while she’s on vacation with a friend. Then an old enemy is kind of after him while he’s on vacation, so some things happen.”

Crooks made, "Dispatched" on a $5,000 budget and it’s full of romance, action, and comedy.

“My buddy would joke with me, ‘why don’t you just pick one genre man and then just go with it'," says Crooks. "I’m like because I want to make this movie how I want to make It'." "I actually like romantic comedies, I think they’re kind of fun, and I think they’re cute. I like action films because I’m a guy, and I like comedy because Jim Carey is great.”

Crooks is only 28 and has already made 4 feature films. His passion started when he was 12 years old.

“I went over to my friend’s house and he had a video camera. I was like oh we should make a movie, and at that time I was really into, “Wishbone,” says Crooks.

“We’d always remake our own literature pieces. Then I saw my first Jackie Chan movie and I’m like, alright it’s settled we’re doing action films from now on," says Crooks. “From then on it was just a love affair with the filmmaking.”

His latest film will be shown at the Cosmo Theatre in Merrill on Saturday at 5pm.

“The fact that I’m bringing it to central Wisconsin is great because this is where I grew up," says Crooks. "All my family and friends get to see it, so I’m very excited about that and you get to see yourself on the big screen what’s better than that.”





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UPDATE: Name released in Tomahawk house fireSubmitted: 04/18/2014

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TOMAHAWK - A man in a wheelchair couldn't make it out of a burning Tomahawk home Thursday.

The fire killed 70-year-old Kenneth Pietila.

A snow plow driver saw smoke coming out of the windows of the home on East Pine Shore Lane just after 1 p.m.

Tomahawk firefighters found an active fire spreading throughout the home.

Pietila, in his wheelchair, couldn't be saved.

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Merrill library stays ahead of technology, offers visitors 3D printerSubmitted: 04/18/2014

MERRILL - Workers at the T.B. Scott Free Library in Merrill want people to use the library for more than just books.

They're offering the newest in technology and design to visitors.

The library just got a 3D printer for everyone to use.

3D printers are most often found at places like manufacturing plants and tech colleges.

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Observing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday Submitted: 04/18/2014

RHINELANDER - You could find a decent amount of businesses closed early Friday.

That's because many of the owners and employees were in church.

People filled the pews at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rhinelander on Good Friday.

People honored the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

"His death which looks really bad for us is really good because it's in our place," said Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church pastor, Richard Krahn.

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Statton's General Store will close after ten yearsSubmitted: 04/18/2014

TOMAHAWK - Statton’s General Store in Tomahawk will close its doors after ten years.

Dick and Rita Statton opened the business in May of 2004.

“I decided it was time for a change,” says Dick Statton.

Dick worked in manufacturing for 32 years before opening the business.

He wanted to try something new.

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RHS Mock Trial team recognized for accomplishments Submitted: 04/18/2014

RHINELANDER - A Northwoods team broke their own state record last month by winning a 17th state title.

A pair of state legislators honored them Friday.

Republican State Representative Rob Swearingen and Republican State Senator Tom Tiffany honored the Rhinelander Mock Trial Team at the Oneida County courthouse today.

"It's on behalf of myself and Senator Tom Tiffany from the 12th senate district," said Republican State Representative, Rob Swearingen.

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Snow and ice won't stop fishermen from enjoying opening weekendSubmitted: 04/18/2014

EAGLE RIVER - The snow on the ground makes it seem more like January than mid-April.

The record-breaking snow will make it more difficult for lakes to melt in time for the fishing opener on May 3rd.

Fishing guides have just two weeks until opening weekend.

They say they're having flashbacks to last year's late season ice, but they're not worried.

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