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NEWS STORIES

Proposed Rhinelander halfway house: another viewSubmitted: 04/04/2014

RHINELANDER - Neighbors of a proposed halfway house in Rhinelander packed City Hall this week to oppose the project.

Their advocacy was effective.

A city commission recommended the City Council deny a private agency's ability to set up the house.

It would serve recovering ex-convicts.

But some others point out the good things a halfway house could provide.

Tony Fralick has worked at Community House in Rhinelander for three years.

It's a different kind of halfway house - serving people with mental illnesses instead of ex-convicts with drug and alcohol problems.

But like the proposed house on Phillip Street, there was plenty of skepticism about Community House in the beginning.

People worried about their new neighbors, their own safety, and property values.

That was in the late 1980s.

"A lot of our guys and women in Community House go in the community every day. You wouldn't even know it. We haven't had any problems with the neighbors since. People just accept it. They're like, hey, they do good work there," Fralick says.

Opponents are concerned the new halfway house would be near their homes, a city park, and a school bus stop.

Fralick doesn't live in that neighborhood.

But he thinks the chance for people to do GOOD outweighs their concerns.

"I understand their concerns, and their safety, and their stuff, and their homes, and everything. That's fine. I'd feel the same way. But at the end of the day it's about making a difference. It's about helping people. It's about second chances. We all deserve one," Fralick says.

The city's Planning Commission rejected the idea on Wednesday.

But nothing is decided just yet.

The City Council will have the final say on April 14th.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Police search for hit and run driverSubmitted: 07/28/2014

MERRILL - Police need your help finding the driver of car involved in a hit and run accident over the weekend.

It happened around 3:30 in the morning on Saturday in the town of Merrill.

No one was hurt in the crash.

The victim was driving east on Hillside Drive, just west of County Rd K.

That's when a small silver car sideswiped the victim's dark blue Dodge Avenger.

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Trial date set for former Assembly Majority LeaderSubmitted: 07/28/2014

WAUKESHA - The former majority leader of the Wisconsin Assembly will go on trial in October for sexual assault.

State Representative Bill Kramer is accused of shoving a woman into a car, groping her and making inappropriate comments.

The charges date back to a GOP event in April 2011.

During a hearing Friday, a Waukesha County Circuit Judge set a jury trial for October 28th.

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AirVenture gets underway this week in OshkoshSubmitted: 07/28/2014

OSHKOSH - Aviation enthusiasts from as many as 70 countries will gather in Oshkosh this week for the annual Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture.

The convention draws about a half million people to the weeklong event near Wittman Regional Airport.

Thousands of planes have already landed at the airport.

On Monday, NASA representatives will talk about their plan to take people to Mars starting in 2030.

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Blues festival raises money for youth sports teamsSubmitted: 07/27/2014

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ST. GERMAIN - Most communities sell cookies and pies to raise money for their kid's athletic programs. But athletes in the Northland Pines district get most of their funding from a blues festival.

The Joe Bucher Blues Fest is the biggest blues festival in northern Wisconsin. More than 350 people come to the festival every year. All of the money raised is donated to the Northland Pines sports teams.

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Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team inspires Northwoods crowdsSubmitted: 07/27/2014

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - Two things unite a special group of 24 of our nation's heroes - traumatic injury and softball. The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team is made up of veterans and active duty servicemen who served in the Global War on Terrorism.

"I thought the world was over. And I thought there was no way in the world I'd ever do anything again," Army veteran and Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball player Rick Wilk said of losing his leg.

Wilk came home safely from two deployments only to lose his leg below the knee to a drunk driver in 2010. Within a year of losing his leg, Wilk was up and running, literally. Now, three years after losing his leg, he plays softball better than most people with all their limbs.

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Boat show displays restored wooden boats, raises money for medical researchSubmitted: 07/27/2014

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MINOCQUA - It can take years to restore an old wooden boat. But some wooden boat owners are willing to put that time in because the finished product can teach people about antique boats.

People got the chance to show off their boats at 22nd annual Antique Wooden Boat Show in Minocqua this weekend.

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Pilots take to the sky in Air Cup Race Submitted: 07/27/2014

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WAUSAU - You can find adrenaline and speed at a race track, but nothing compares to racing 300 miles per hour in the sky.

46 Pilots from across the country competed in the EAA AirVenture Cup Race. This is the 17th year racers took to the sky, but it's the first time they made a pit stop in Wausau.

The chairman for the race says it's all about having fun with your friends.

"It's really about how well you can fly your airplane. It promotes efficiency, flying accuracy, a flight planning; it's really just about having fun," said EAA AirVenture Cup Race Chairman Eric Whyte.

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