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Northwoods rail system could see possible upgrade Submitted: 07/30/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

Northwoods rail system could see possible upgrade
Photos By Shardaa Gray

RHINELANDER - Manufacturing businesses still use freight trains to bring in products.

It's easier to use a freight train than a truck to bring those products in.

But the rail system needs to be fixed.

The Northwoods Rail Transit Commission wants to improve the area's rail system.

It can be a more economical way for businesses to transport products.

Governor Walker recently signed a law to help the Freight Railroad Preservation Program.

They need more than 1000 surveys from different businesses in the Northwoods.

They've already conducted surveys, but they need more so they can finalize their report for the fall.

"It would be a very difficult selling proposition on our behalf if we don't have the numbers, obviously it's not going to work," said Oneida County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director, Roger Luce.

"No one would invest millions and millions of dollars into the rail system right now."

One mile of new rail cost about more than a million dollars.

Most of the products shipped to the Northwoods by rail are coming in from the south and east.

But they have to go a different route because a piece of rail line west of Rhinelander is out of service.

"So if you're bringing a product from the forest of the upper Peninsula and you want to get it down to Wisconsin Rapids or down to the Rothchild Mill, it's a big mess, it's going to take you quite a bit longer." Luce said.

They have two months to get those surveys from different businesses.

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RHINELANDER - As technology advances, more kids turn to tablets and electronics rather than toys.

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Watching the changes in bigger companies show local stores the direction consumers are moving.

Local book seller Kira Peters said it also helps smaller stores like Book World in downtown Rhinelander to move forward.

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LAND O' LAKES - Plenty events celebrated the fall season in Land O' Lakes this weekend, but one of them was brand new to the area.

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PORTAGE COUNTY - A motorcycle rider died after a car crash in Portage County Saturday.

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ADAMS COUNTY - 46-year-old Susan Hall, 46- year-old Michael Mathewson and 55-year-old Debra Phillips are suspects involved in hiding the body of Isaac Salinas. 

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LAND O' LAKES - Even though it may not feel like it, Autumn has officially begun. Plenty of towns in the Northwoods celebrate the season with a colorama.

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WESTON - About six months ago a family lost a loving father, husband and friend. 

Everest Metro Police Detective Jason Weiland died during a shooting that took the lives of four people in total. 

Saturday Weiland's family and friends came together to give back to the community that gave them so much support and helped them move forward during their time of need. 

"He was a person who loved to laugh, he had a nick name for everybody," said Weiland's longtime friend and organizer of Jay's Ride Josh Preiser. 

People who knew Weiland and even those who didn't, came out on Saturday to ride in his honor. 

"We had all this pent up energy we didn't, know what to do with it," said Preiser. 

Weiland's family and friends organized Jay's Ride.

 It's fundraiser for the Jason Weiland Criminal Justice Scholarship at Northcentral Technical College. 

"This is a testimony of Jason's daughters wanting to support the community after the community helped them," said Weiland's mentee and friend Matt Krembs. 

Even though Jason is no longer here, his wife of 14 years says seeing people come out months after the tragic event shows the support isn't going anywhere.

"It makes me hopeful for the future that we'll still have events like this and people will be there for us," said Weiland's wife Kara. 

A loving officer was lost, however his family and friends say the fundraiser will help inspire and lead to more officers like Weiland.  

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