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NEWS STORIES

Water rates may increaseSubmitted: 10/10/2013
Story By Ryan Michaels

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MERRILL - Merrill residents wanted cleaner city water and they got it. But it will come at a price.

The city's water was full of manganese. A mineral naturally found in well water.

But too much of it in your water can make things dirty says City Administrator David Johnson.

"People would find their toilet bowls stained black. If you opened your tank on your toilet bowl everything in the tank would be black. If you touch it, it would be like a greasy black gritty black residue. The fix for this was actually at the request of the people of Merrill not liking this black residue in their water."

The city improved its water treatment plant to remove the unwanted mineral last summer. But it cost 2.2 million dollars.
To pay for it the city will ask for a water bill rate hike for residents. "It will be about a 10% increase in revenue for the water department, which will equate to about $0.08 per day for the average homeowner. So what we've done is something to make our customers happy. Unfortunately, anything you do that changes your system requires a cost increase and that's what we are doing now."

A hearing on the rate hike is scheduled in Merrill's City Hall next Tuesday at 10am.




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 IN OTHER NEWS
Minocqua Chamber of Commerce members break ground for expansion Submitted: 10/31/2014

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MINOCQUA - Minocqua gets many tourists. An expansion to the town's chamber of commerce might bring and keep more people in the area.

Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce board members broke ground outside of the chamber Friday. They'll be adding an extra 900 square feet of office space.

"It'll have a small kitchenette for gatherings and then a really large open concept room with all concealing. It'll have a new foyer for guest," said Minocqua Building Committee chairman, Mike Brighum." Then we'll also be remodeling about 150 square feet of the existing building to make it more useable for the staff for efficiencies."

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100 Yards of Halloween DecorationsSubmitted: 10/31/2014

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RHINELANDER - A lot of people in the Northwoods will put out decorations for Halloween. But one Rhinelander woman and her daughter have gone above and beyond. They've grown their display for the past 10 years to extend between their houses and covering more than 100 yards.

"We had four boys and we wanted a girl and she was born on Halloween, so my husband said, 'Look, we finally got our witch!'" said Linda Klaver.

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School District of Rhinelander passes 2014-15 budget; sees increase in enrollmentSubmitted: 10/31/2014

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RHINELANDER - The School District of Rhinelander will get a little bit more funding from property taxes this year. Rhinelander passed a referendum in 2013.

The district gets 4 million dollars per year through 2016.

On Monday the district approved the tax rate and mill levy for the year. Taxpayers will pay $10.99 per thousand dollars of property values.

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25th Senate candidates differ over mining law, agree on importance of broadband and educationSubmitted: 10/31/2014

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RHINELANDER - The mining issue might decide the winner of the 25th State senate district. The huge district covers a large portion of northern Wisconsin stretching from parts of Vilas County to parts of Barron County. Two types of mines have caused controversy in the district. A proposed taconite mine in the north, and sand mines in the west.

Gogebic Taconite is proposing a four-mile open pit taconite mine in Ashland and Iron County. Project leaders say the project will lead to 700 direct jobs, as well as numerous spillover jobs because of the construction of the mine.

Republicans rewrote and passed the state's mining law in 2013. Many believe the rule change weakened water protections, but Republican candidate Dane Deutsch doesn't agree.

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Hire me then fire me, Northwoods candidate for State Treasurer wants to eliminate positionSubmitted: 10/31/2014

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RHINELANDER - Hire me then fire me. That's what a Northwoods candidate for State Treasurer wants voters to do.

Jerry Shidell is a libertarian from Rhinelander. You'll find his name on the ballot for State Treasurer. He plans on getting rid of the job.

Shidell says the treasurer doesn't have many responsibilities and the position costs too much.

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Homeless charity drive needs helpSubmitted: 10/31/2014

RHINELANDER - The Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing needs your help taking care of the homeless. The alliance helps homeless people in Lincoln, Langlade, Forest, Oneida, and Vilas counties. Organizers just started the Everybody Deserves Shelter Campaign. Local businesses are helping run the campaign.

"We are working at establishing businesses ,within our hopefully five counties that we serve, that will offer customers and employees the chance to make a nominal one dollar donation," said NATH Executive Director Tammy Modic.

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Drivers surprised by icy roadsSubmitted: 10/31/2014

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RHINELANDER - Drivers got an icy surprise as they hit the road this morning.

People needed to show a little caution as they got used to driving on snow and ice again.

Some accidents tied up traffic for a time. In Wausau, one lane of Highway 29 was shut down near Highway 51.

An accident caused the problem shortly after 4:00 a.m. The road was fully open again around 6:00 a.m..

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