Lawmaker listening session focuses on Drs. Foster and Smith closureSubmitted: 01/29/2019
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

Lawmaker listening session focuses on Drs. Foster and Smith closure
RHINELANDER - Rhinelander would love another large employer to come to town, taking the place of Drs. Foster and Smith (DFS).

That's not on the table right now. But if it was, Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Minocqua) said he'd consider exploring tax breaks for that company.

It was one of the things Tiffany and Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) told the crowd at a listening session Tuesday in Rhinelander.

"Rhinelander is still the hub of the north. Everything happens and centers around Rhinelander. I think there's good things yet to come in Rhinelander," Swearingen said.

Earlier this month, Petco, which owns DFS, announced it was closing most of its operations. The move impacts 289 employees.

"Does it hurt our community? Yes, it hurts our community. But sometimes, when you get hurt, you get stronger, too. That's truly what I hope for," Rhinelander Mayor Chris Frederickson said. "In the absence of great prosperity, challenges come, and when they come, that's opportunity for us to stand and rise."

State-funded unemployment and workforce employees started meeting with DFS workers this week. A job fair is being planned for the end of February.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 07/17/2019

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll bring you the details of a faith-based group that is trying to buy a former school building in Mattoon to be used as a private school and tell you why the Antigo School District is trying to block it.

We'll show you some items found at the Oneida County landfill that shut down the recycling line and tell you why those items are hazardous to the people who need to sort them.

And we'll show you some of what happened at the motion hearing for a contractor accused of mishandling money in two different projects including the St. Germain Chamber's new building construction.

We'll bring you this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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RHINELANDER - Nativity of our Lord Parish in Rhinelander will see more structural changes following the renovation of its worship space in February 2018.

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MADISON - It's been a busy week for former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

On Monday, he announced he would not run for office in 2022 because he had accepted a full-time position starting in 2021 with the Young America's Foundation.

And on Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced he was appointing Walker to the board of trustees of one of the world's most highly regarded think tanks.

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MADISON - Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is headed to Japan in September for his first trade mission.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation says Wednesday that the trip it is coordinating will include stops in Tokyo, Yokohama and Chiba City. Evers will also be attending the Midwest U.S.-Japan Conference.

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MADISON - A Wisconsin prisons official has been posting Facebook memes comparing Muslim children to garbage and flying the LGBTQ flag with flying the Confederate flag.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Deputy Warden Richard Schneiter in June posted a meme of two black garbage bags next to a Muslim woman and child in black burqas and a caption saying the woman had three beautiful children.

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MERRILL - Police believe a group of men have been driving around north-central Wisconsin trying to scam homeowners through shoddy "improvement" work.

The latest case comes from the Town of Corning in Lincoln County. Sheriff Ken Schneider reports the men showed up at woman's home in the last week offering to seal her metal roof.

The suspect, described as an eastern European man in his 40s, offered to demonstrate the product when two other men got out of their truck and started putting the sealant on her roof.

A family member showed up soon thereafter, confronted the men and they left.

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WAUSAU - UPDATE: James Begay was apprehended on his warrant and has been transported to the Marathon County Jail.

The Wausau Police Department thanks the community for sharing the information and offering tips.

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