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NEWS STORIES

Judge upholds jury award in Ventura caseSubmitted: 08/08/2014
Story By Associated Press

ST. PAUL, MN - A federal judge has ruled a $1.8 million defamation damage award to former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura is reasonable.

A federal jury last month sided with the former pro wrestler and movie actor in his two-year fight to prove he was defamed by a military sniper and best-selling author who claimed to have punched out Ventura at a bar for bad-mouthing the Navy SEALs.

The jury found ``American Sniper'' author Chris Kyle's claim was false and defamatory. Jurors awarded $500,000 for damages and advised $1.3 million for ``unjust enrichment,'' or how much money Kyle improperly made from the claim.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press (http://bit.ly/1pGsewd ) reports Judge Richard Kyle, who is unrelated to the deceased author, upheld the jury's enrichment figure Thursday, saying it's ``reasonable and supported by a preponderance of the evidence.''


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 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER -  A Northwoods veterans group wants people to remember those who died serving our country. 

The Oneida County Veterans Council held a Memorial Day ceremony in Rhinelander on Monday.

The Rhinelander High School band and choir performed at the ceremony.

Mayor Dick Johns was the speaker. 

Event organizers hope people take time on Memorial Day to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. 

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ST. GERMAIN - A popular Northwoods tradition kicked off its 40th season today. The St. Germain Flea Market draws thousands of bargain hunters each week during the summer.

The market attracts nearly 400 vendors every week. Vendors showcase everything from homemade crafts and artwork, to plants and homemade treats.

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EDGAR - Marathon County authorities say a woman has died from drowning in a pool in Edgar in central Wisconsin.

Lt. Tim Burkholder of the Marathon County Sheriff's Department says it happened sometime after midnight Monday.

While the investigation is ongoing, he says the drowning appears to be accidental.

The department is withholding the victim's name and other details for now.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Last Thursday, fifteen members of the Oneida County community graduated from Leadership Oneida County. The nine month program aims to give participants a better understanding of the county's resources and to improve participation in organizations throughout the county.

"You just don't know what can happen when people get into the same room and start talking," said Demmer Memorial Library executive director Erica Brewster.

That talking led to a new job and greater involvement in the Oneida County community for Brewster. She was a member of the first Leadership Oneida County class.

"When I went through the program, that's where I learned about UW-Extension.  That's where I learned UW-Extension was hiring.  That's where I got the motivation to look at the job description and apply," Brewster explained.  "I worked at UW-Extension for four and a half years, and then the position had opened up here in the library in Three Lakes so I could be working back in my hometown, in my home community."

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RHINELANDER - A local outdoor sports club hopes the second annual RASTA (Rhinelander Area Silent Trails Association) Rally at Washburn Lake will be even more successful than the first. This Sunday's mountain bike races are some of the earliest in the year in the Northwoods.

Bikers will race on the trails at Washburn Lake west of Rhinelander. Multiple races target different experience levels of mountain bikers, from beginner to expert.

The money raised goes to RASTA projects like trail grooming and maintenance. Races start at 1pm on Sunday. Click the link below for more information.

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WISCONSIN DELLS - A 21-year-old Chicago man who went missing in the Wisconsin River near the Wisconsin Dells remains missing.

Police in Columbia County are using sonar to try and find his body. Police say the man went under water around 7:15pm on Saturday while swimming to shore and didn't resurface.

Divers worked until midnight to find the man. Search efforts continued Sunday morning. Police say the man was fishing on a rock island area and appeared to get caught in a current while swimming back to shore.

Family members and witnesses tried to help him but couldn't. The victim's name is not being released at this time.

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RHINELANDER - Many people in the Northwoods got the chance to try out canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards this weekend.

Mel's Trading Post held a paddle demo day in Rhinelander.

Anyone could come out to Hodag Park to try out the equipment.

The store's owner thinks it's good for people to try boats out before buying them. 

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