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More Wisconsin homes sold in the first quarter this year than the beginning of the Great Recession in 2007.

St. Louis-based Ascension Health plans to issue $1.35 billion in tax-exempt revenue bonds to finance and refinance numerous projects and debt of its Wisconsin Benefited Affiliates, including Ministry Health Care, Inc.

The maximum principal amount for each of the local Ministry facilities was listed as follows: Eagle River Memorial Hospital, Eagle River -- $12 million: Sacred Heart-Saint Mary’s Hospital, Tomahawk and Rhinelander respectively -- $84 million; and Howard Young Medical Center, Woodruff -- $24 million.

Businesses Spring Up In Minocqua

Apr 13, 2016
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The Minocqua Plan Commission has sent a trio of new and expanded business plans to the town board with recommendations to approve them.

Northwoods Zip Lines unveiled plans Tuesday to add another 3 zip lines and aerial trekking elements to their complex south of the Island of Minocqua. But a proposal to add a team building option was held over for more information, including impact on sanitary facilities.

Benson Builders of Land O’ Lakes will open a new home sales office for Timber Bay Homes just south of the Island also.

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Wisconsin residents behind in their utility bills have been given notice they need to make arrangements or face possibility of a disconnection.

Wisconsin's winter moratorium on utility disconnections ends on April 15.

Elise Nelson from the state Public Service Commission of Wisconsin says customers should act soon...

Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce

Changes are taking place within some Northwoods organizations.

Tuesday, the Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce accepted the resignation of Kristin Tichacek as Executive Director. In a letter to Chamber members, Tichacek said she was taking a position as Community and Events Coordinator at the Minocqua Chamber of Commerce. But a familiar name was announced as the new Boulder Junction leader, as long-time Executive Director Theresa Smith agreed to return to lead the Boulder Chamber.

Wisconsin Public Service

An annual report from Wisconsin Public Service notes the utility, its foundation and employees, awarded more than $2 million dollars in dollars and in-kind giving in 2015 within the WPS service area.

Community Relations Manager Karmen Lemke says the money went to a variety of categories...

"....those dollars include our Foundation giving, which is our charitable giving entity, it also includes employee and retiree donations through our United Way campaign, and our matching gifts program, and it includes a value on our volunteer hours...."

Tomahawk Chamber of Commerce

The Tomahawk Chamber of Commerce is looking for a new Executive Director.

Tamra Anderson announced she would be leaving the job April 1. She has been Director for 7 years.

Anderson says it's time for a person with fresh ideas to take the chamber to the next level. She says she's taking a new unnamed position in a field that she is passionate about.

She thanked Chamber members for her support. Chamber President Andy Hein says the chamber is accepting resumes to fill Anderson's position.

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A meeting in a far away place soon could have an impact on Northwoods gas prices.

The joy of much lower gas prices has started to fade as prices at the pump have pushed past $2.00 a gallon in the Northwoods.

Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan from the website gasbuddy.com  says two anticipated factors are in play: the switchover to costlier and cleaner summer blend gasoline and expected refinery maintenance. But a third factor is causing the quick hike and that's the rise in the price of a barrel of oil caused by foreign nations...

Keweenaw Research Center

This week they ran from Houghton to Copper Harbor, Michigan in an effort to find the cleanest and most efficient snowmobile possible.

The 2017 SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge is being held at the Keweenaw Research Center near the campus of Michigan Tech in Houghton.

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Aspirus MedEvac has announced they will provide ambulance and emergency medical services (EMS) coverage in Watersmeet, Michigan beginning Saturday, March 5 when residents call 911 and need patient transport.

Ambulance services for Watersmeet previously were provided by the Conover EMS.

Due to a contract dispute concerning an operating deficit, Watersmeet officials declined to renew the contract with Conover, effectively ending the service as of March 5.

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A report from the Wisconsin Hospital Association shows the progress hospitals are making in reducing infections, preventing falls and decreasing hospital re-admissions.

Data collected by the WHA from nearly 100 community hospitals the Association quality improvement team has worked with over the past four years shows they have reduced catheter-associated urinary tract infections 66 percent, reduced falls with injury 26 percent, and decreased sepsis mortality by 16 percent.

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Almost nine of every ten U-S drivers admit to committing at least one risky behavior behind-the-wheel in the past month. That's according to a survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety -- which cites a "culture of indifference" as too many motorists drive while distracted by cell phones or texting, speeding in neighborhoods, driving while impaired, running red lights, and not wearing seat-belts.

Nick Jarmusz from Wisconsin AAA says the findings are no surprise, as traffic deaths in the Badger State rose by 13-percent last year compared to 2014...

TravelWisconsin.org

The town of Boulder Junction has approved a 1 percent increase in the town's room tax from 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent.

Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kristen Tichacek says the Chamber's board asked the town board for the increase. She says after a public hearing and other discussion, the matter came to a vote Tuesday. The initial request for for a 2 percent increase. She says a compromise was reached with the town board for a one percent increase instead of two. Tichacek says the money will be used for town infrastructure and to promote tourism....

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Usually during the winter months, housing sales tend to fall off as buyers become less interested in looking. But the Wisconsin Realtors Association reports a brisk business in January, resulting in higher prices.

The Association reports sales jumped 10 percent from January, 2015 and statewide median prices surged 10 percent to an average of $148,000. Spokesperson David Clark says January reflects a strong trend begun last year. He says so many people are in the market, the number of homes to sell has rapidly shrunk...

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A national AAA study has found that potholes caused about $15 billion in vehicle repairs over the past 5 years.

The study also found about two-thirds of respondents were concerned about potholes and the cost the vehicle owner bears to fix a damaged car.

AAA's Nick Jarmusz talks about the average vehicle repair cost....

"....it can cost about $300 dollars, but it could be significantly less than that or more than that, depending on what exactly your vehicle sustains...."

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