Business & Industry

Workers Looking to Make a Living
4:51 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

National Fair Wage Rally Hits Wausau

No protest activity took place at the Rhinelander McDonald's.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Fast-food workers in at least 50 cities rallied Thursday to get higher wages and have the right to organize.


Wausau organizer Melissa Alice Engles-Lewis says minimum wage workers don't have the means to support families on their wages. 



"They're having a hard time paying their bills. They're having a hard time putting groceries on the table. Nobody wants to be on any public assistance, of course, But when you work these jobs you almost have to be(on assistance) because you have no other options..."

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Proposal Incites Controversy
4:45 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Federal Approval For Off-Reservation Casino Divides Tribes

The Menominee have an existing on-reservation in Keshena, WI.
Credit By Royalbroil (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Forest County Potawatomi tribe is condemning another tribe’s proposal for an off reservation casino approved Friday by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs. 

The Menominee tribe wants to build a gaming facility in Kenosha.  But Potawatomi Spokesperson George Ermert says the area falls within Potawatomi ceded territory. 

“Potawatomi historical lands have traditionally stretched from the tip of Door County, all along the shores of Lake Michigan.  So for one tribe to go on another tribe’s historical lands is a very very big deal.”

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Vilas county electric generation
9:02 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Company Buys Otter Rapids Dam From WPS

Otter Rapids Dam
Credit threelfbybike

Wisconsin Public Service has entered into negotiations to sell the Otter Rapids dam to Renewable World Energies.

The dam forms much of what is known at the Eagle River chain of lakes.

WPS spokesperson Kerry Spees says the sale is pending federal approval, but says the new owner isn't going to change the hydroelectric operation...

"...the key thing is nothing will change for the community of Eagle River and the surrounding area in terms of the water situation and the Chain of Lakes. We knew that's what everyone would be most concerned about..."

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Thousands of jobs
9:14 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Tourism Big Business For The Northwoods

Coming attractions
Credit oneidacountywi.com

A Northwoods chamber of commerce leader showed the impact tourism has to Oneida county's economy during a presentation this week to the county board.

Kim Baltus from Minocqua also is president of the Oneida County Tourism Council, which is a joint effort among several communities to cross-promote the county to potential visitors. In 2012, visitors spent almost $186 million dollars here... 

"that's roughly a little over $5,000 for every man, woman and child in the county. That's a significant increase in spending over 2011..."

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Sales up; prices slightly higher
3:50 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Housing Rebound Continues In Most of Northwoods

More homes sold
Credit wellheeledblog.com

Sales of homes in the Northwoods continue to climb, but prices leveled off in July according to a Wisconsin Realtors Association monthly survey.


Economist David Clark says July homes sales in the 18-county northern region were up about 300 units from 2012, or 3,314 sold. Average price was $110,000, down about 2 percent from last year.


Clark says statewide sales were up 17 percent from a year ago and the median sales prices were up about 9 percent. He says July is one of the prime home buying times in Wisconsin.

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Federal subsidies recommended to be cut
4:05 am
Sat August 17, 2013

Alarm Sounded For Future Of Some Rural Hospitals

Aerial view Sacred Heart Hospital Tomahawk
Credit cardcow.com

The Wisconsin Hospital Association put out the alarm bells Friday after a report from Washington D.C. indicated a subsidy for some small rural hospitals should be discontinued.


The federal Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of Inspector General recommended removing a Medicare payment status known as "Critical Access Hospital" for hospitals that do not meet certain distance requirements.


Wisconsin Hospital Association President Steve Brenton says Antigo, Merrill, Tomahawk, and Eagle River hospitals have this special status.

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Crops Threatened
1:00 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Late Blight Arrives in Northern Wisconsin

Late blight can affect leaves or other parts of potato and tomato plants.
Credit Howard F. Schwartz / Colorado State University

A destructive plant fungus has been found in Langlade and Portage Counties, and could spread to other parts of Northern Wisconsin.  

Late blight affects tomato and potato plants. Steph Plaster is an Agriculture Agent for UW Extension Langlade County.  Plaster says check often for signs of late blight on almost any part of the plant.

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Laying the Groundwork for Broadband
6:43 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Lac du Flambeau Tribe Forms Broadband Start-Up

The Lac du Flambeau tribe is moving forward with a plan to bring high speed internet access to the Lakeland area.  The tribe has formed Ogema Communications, a company it hopes will deliver broadband access not only to tribal lands, but other parts of the Northwoods.  Tribal spokesman Brandon Thoms  says access to high-speed internet would stimulate job and business growth.

“There’s a huge need for reliable service throughout the Northwoods.  And the tribe is looking to fill that need, or fill that void through the creation of Ogema Communications.”

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Stimulating Economic Development
6:37 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Crandon Likely to Net $2.1M in State Loans

The Board of Commissioners of Public Lands has approved $2.1 million in loans for the Crandon area.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

A state lending agency has given the green light to loan more than two million dollars to the city of Crandon and its schools.  

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Anything for Fall Color
6:26 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Tourism Dept.: Falling for Fall in Wisconsin

State tourism officials are harnessing some star power for a new fall tourism campaign.  A 90-second television ad released last week features football star Jordy Nelson, and is directed by Jerry Zucker, producer of the movie Airplane.  Danielle Johnson from the state Department of Tourism says the ad tells viewers, ‘there’s no place like fall in Wisconsin.’

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