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NEWS STORIES

ObamaCare forces Trig's to limit workers' hoursSubmitted: 07/24/2013

MINOCQUA - ObamaCare will dig into the pocketbooks of part-time workers at one of the Northwoods' biggest employers.

If Trig's Supermarkets hadn't cut part-time work hours, it would have been out of business within a year.

That's what a consultant told the company.

About two-thirds of the 1,100 Trig's employees are part-time workers.

But if they work more than 30 hours a week, the president's health care legislation technically considers them full time.

That means Trig's would be forced to provide health insurance to those workers.

The report said keeping the work schedules as they were AND providing that health coverage would have been disastrous to the company's bottom line.

"Doing nothing was not an option. It would have put us out of business. Within a year, it would have put us out of business. There's no doubt about that. So obviously we've had to make some changes," says Angie Dreifuerst, Trig's' Vice President of HR, Benefits, and MIS.

Those changes include promoting a few workers to full time.

But the biggest impact comes to the 65 percent of employees working part-time.

They're not allowed to work more than 30 hours per week.

That way, Trig's can avoid considering them full time workers.

"Yeah, they were frustrated, but I believe they also understood why we had to make the decisions that we did. I said, 'this isn't good for you, this isn't good for us, it's not what we want to do either.' Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of options. We have to do what we have to do to comply and stay viable," she says.

Companies like Trig's aren't the only ones facing employment challenges from the Affordable Care Act.

Even school districts like Minocqua-Hazelhurst-Lake Tomahawk have taken steps to make sure their part-time workers stay under the 30 hour threshold.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Man claims he robbed bank to pay off court obligationsSubmitted: 07/23/2014

RICE LAKE - A northern Wisconsin man probably could have found a better way to pay his court obligations.

The 19-year-old Rice Lake man told police he robbed a local bank to get money for court obligations...so he wouldn't go to jail.

The man was arrested last week.

He had been spotted running from the Sterling Bank in Rice Lake.

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Packers coach gets special recognitionSubmitted: 07/23/2014

ASHWAUBENON - The Lambeau Field area boasts Lombardi Avenue, Brett Favre Pass and Donald Driver Way.

Now, Packers coach Mike McCarthy will get his own street name near Lambeau Field.

The Ashwaubenon Village Board voted last night to change part of Potts Avenue to Mike McCarthy Way.

The village will work with the Packers to cover the costs of the address changes.

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Art competition winners announced Tuesday nightSubmitted: 07/22/2014

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RHINELANDER - Artists found out who won the Northern National Art Competition Tuesday night.

Artists from across the country submitted artwork to the art competition held at Nicolet College in Rhinelander this year.

Organizers expect about 200 people at the reception.

Some of the artists that submitted work will be at Nicolet.

The artists competed for $8,500 in prize money.

The entries come from all over the country, but there is art from the Northwoods on display.

Artists from Rhinelander, Antigo and Lake Tomahawk have work in the show.

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Woman, boy nearly drown in swimming accidentSubmitted: 07/22/2014

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STAR LAKE - Two people nearly drowned in Vilas County today. A boater pulled a 47-year-old woman and an 8-year-old boy out of the water after they started drowning in Star Lake.

The Vilas County Sheriff's Office believes both went under water during a rescue attempt.

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Library Page Program teaches students research skills to use in collegeSubmitted: 07/22/2014

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ANTIGO - The Antigo Public Library can help high school students better prepare for college.

The library's page program helps students become familiar with all of the library's resources. The students get paid to work at least 12 hours a week during the school year. They have a lot of responsibilities like shelving books and helping the librarians.

Librarians think getting them familiar with library will help them succeed in college.

"It's surprising how many kids go to college freshman year and they don't understand how the Dewey Decimal system works," says Children's Librarian Jackie Rammer. "They don't understand how to find a book in the library. Getting experience at a small library, such as the Antigo Public Library, will help you."

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Downed power line starts small fire near RhinelanderSubmitted: 07/22/2014

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RHINELANDER - Gusty winds forced a domino effect that caused a small fire south of Rhinelander Tuesday morning.

Winds blew over a tree, which sent a power line to the ground.

The electrical current started the fire.

It happened just before 11:00 on Hat Rapids Road near Highway 17.

Firefighters were glad the land nearby wasn't too dry with drought.

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Trek Bicycles defends ad - GOP files complaintSubmitted: 07/22/2014

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MADISON -
A spokeswoman for Trek Bicycles says its full page newspaper advertisement complies with Wisconsin law and is constitutionally protected free speech.

The Wisconsin Republican Party on Tuesday filed a complaint with the state elections board saying the ad that ran Sunday in Madison and Milwaukee newspapers was an illegal campaign contribution to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke.

Her father started Trek and she formerly worked for the company.

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