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Business news

An economist working with state realtors says inflationary pressures will likely be putting pressure on home purchasing power, and possibly in the overall economy.

David Clark works with the Wisconsin Realtors Association and surveys how Wisconsin's home buyers and sellers are doing. Interest rates have been near an all-time low, but he says inflationary pressures are again being seen, as measured in percentage points..

"..we actually saw a little bit of an increase in October...."

State economists have held that statistically, when unemployment is at or below four percent, it means nearly everyone seeking a job has one.

54 of Wisconsin's 72 counties are at that statistical marker. The state's monthly unemployment report finds Iron county with the second highest jobless rate at 5.9 percent. The rest of the counties in the listening area range from 3.7 percent in Lincoln county to 4.8 percent in Forest county. Those numbers are far below the recession figures of a few years ago.

Home sales are continuing to rebound in Wisconsin as reported by Wisconsin Realtors Association.

Realtor's economist David Clark says this October's sales matched last October’s extraordinarily strong market, capping off the strongest 10 months of sales in Wisconsin since 2005. 70,000 homes have been sold in Wisconsin this year, pushing median prices 6 percent higher, and Clark says while there are plentiful rural properties available, the market is tightening up in urban areas.

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Another thing to be thankful for this holiday: driving won't cost you as much as it has in year's past.

Senior Petroleum Analyst at the website, Patrick DeHaan says Wisconsin's prices remain lower than many other states...

"......some of the lowest prices we've seen in Wisconsin since 2008. Prices in Wisconsin have the distinct advantage of being lower than last year, whereas about four-fifths of the United States looking at higher than what we saw last year...."

Utilities joined forces today to alert the public to be on the lookout for scams. Thieves call businesses and individuals representing a utility. A few weeks ago several City of Marathon business owners were contacted about their bills threatening to shut off utilities in 45 minutes if they did not pay.

Wisconsin Public Service spokesperson Leah Van Zile says customers need to stay vigilant. She says WPS will not ask you to pay your bill in this manner...

A manufacturer in Rhinelander gave the public a first glance at a state-of-the-art facility to be located in the former Printpak building on Kemp Street.

Expera Coated Products will open a new type of papermaking facility next summer says Expera's Jeff Verdoorn, who describes the new product...

"....our company will be making a casting sheet or a release liner that allows the people who make fiber composite to form their product on top of our sheet, our sheet is then removed and thrown away. We allow the fiber composite sheet to be cast....."

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You can probably afford to go to relatives  Thanksgiving celebrations a little easier this year.

Gas prices are likely to continue falling through November. That word from Senior Petroleum Analyst for the website, Patrick DeHaan. He says the price of crude oil has declined from $52 a barrel recently to $45 and gas prices often follow the decline in crude prices. The falling prices reflect a report that OPEC might not be cutting production in the near future.

DeHaan says another November trend should be analyzed....


Earlier projections for the Rhinelander Streetscape project ending for the year in October have proven not to be the case, but a spokesperson says things should be wrapping up by mid-month.

Weather and added construction slowed the project says project engineer Mark Barden. A few touchups are being done with the concrete but other than that, the concrete is complete...

Wisconsin's housing market could set a record high this year according to an analysis by Wisconsin Realtors Association. September home sales were up 7 percent from one year ago.

Association spokesperson...economist David Clark...says more and more homes are being sold...

"...last year we had about 76,000 sales. This year we're on pace for about 80,000 sales. It's definitely been a strong year for sales....."

Clark says a stable economy is helping to fuel more home sales...

In 1960, Congress designated the third week of October as National Forest Products Week as a time to recognize the many products that come from our forests, the people who work in and care for our forests, the businesses that make forest products and the ways in which forest products contribute to our lives.

While those of us who live among the trees often don't think about it, the DNR's Kirsten Held says the week is designed to help people remember what trees mean to Wisconsin...


Too much rain during the summer dimmed an otherwise bright cranberry crop forecast, but Wisconsin should still lead the nation in cranberry production. Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association Executive Director Tom Lochner says the harvest is at it's midpoint, a bit later than usual, as growers waited until cooler weather for the berries to turn color...

"....overall a pretty good crop for Wisconsin. It's coming in at or above what is expected, maybe a little above that. We're seeing an increase in field rot because of the warm and wet weather....."

The 1.5 million people who live in rural Wisconsin are finding greater challenges finding and retaining medical professionals in their communities.

The President and CEO of Wisconsin Hospital Association, Eric Borgerding applauds the state Assembly for forwarding a set of proposals put together by WHA to address the problem. Borgerding says a two-edged problem in rural health care will be happening soon with an aging population need more care, and fewer people to provide it.

He says helping find, train and keep home-grown talent is essential...

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The furnaces are coming on as the colder weather settles in, and officials at Wisconsin Public Service are asking low-income residents to apply for energy assistance funds.

The Low Income Energy Assistance Program helps people pay winter heating bills. Wisconsin Public Service spokesperson Leah Van Zile says if you should check your household eligibility....

The Oneida County Board has approved a $15 million dollar state loan help buy and renovate the former Printpak building on Kemp Street in Rhinelander.

The complex deal includes Oneida County getting the money from the Board of Commissioners Of Public Lands, sending to the Northeast Wisconsin Development Corporation who in turn will get the former manufacturing plant ready for Rhinelander Coated Products. a business unit of Expera Specialty Solutions, that will make silicone-coated paper release liners.

A Land O' Lakes business leader says they've had a good tourism summer and he attributes at least some of that to a website they launched five months ago.

Mark Gosticha of the Land O’ Lakes Accommodations Commission says the extra marketing helped...

"'s only been up for five months, and we've had over 20,000 page views in the past five months. The time people have stayed on the pages, we're beating industry records and we're averaging about two minutes a page, so they really must be liking what they are seeing on there...."