Business & Industry

Company self-reported violation
4:07 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Merrill Company Fined By State For Pollution

Attny. Gen. J.B. Van Hollen
Credit wisconsin.gov

The state has obtained a judgment against a metal fabrication facility in Merrill for violations of state pollution control laws.

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen reports his office fined Merrill Fab, Inc. $60,000 including court costs.
The DNR compliant reports Merrill Fab was classified as a "major source" of air pollution for toluene and xylene. Officials say over exposure to these pollutants can be a serious health threat.

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Businesses Hoping for Relief
2:09 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Minocqua 51 Construction Set to Take a Break Soon

Orange cones and construction signs are a common sight in Minocqua right now.
Credit Grant Hollingworth

Construction along Highway 51 is getting closer to completion.  But it will still be jamming up traffic and slowing business for a little while longer. 

“Here in Minocqua and there is lots of construction going on, lots of traffic and heavy equipment, whole lanes are torn up…” 

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Biking Grows in Popularity
5:12 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Boulder Junction Awaits Bike Trail Connection

Boulder Junction offers 29 miles of paved bike trails, and soon will connect to another trail in Manitowish Waters.
Credit Pete Rondello

Boulder Junction is hoping to rally enthusiasm for its growing bike trail system this summer.

Chamber of Commerce Director Theresa Smith says the original Boulder Junction trail was built in 1994 and has been expanding ever since.  Right now there are 29 miles of paved trail connecting Boulder Junction with Sayner and St. Germaine.  And she says there’s more to come.

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Burglary on Rainy Night
6:04 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Robbery at Local Greenhouse

A burglar robbed a family-owned greenhouse of thousands of dollars this week.

Brent Hanson of Hanson’s Garden Village in Rhinelander says a thief apparently broke in between closing Sunday night and opening Monday morning. 

“They were looking around in the office, and there should not have been an extra safe key in the office, but they took enough time to open up a lot of desk drawers in the office and actually open it up with the key and get away.” 

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Utilities Not Sure of Cost
5:38 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

EPA Emissions Proposal May Prompt Investment In Clean Technologies, Push Toward Natural Gas

The EPA wants to require existing coal-burning power plants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Credit Arnoldius via http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Coal_power_plant_Knepper_1.jpg

Advocates and industry leaders are beginning to digest the EPA’s proposed rule package on carbon emissions for power plants.  The plan would require Wisconsin power plants to cut carbon dioxide emissions by an average of 34 percent between 2005 and 2030. 

Keith Reopelle of Clean Wisconsin says the proposed changes are modest ones, and will be economic drivers for clean energy alternatives to fossil fuels.

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Visitors Arriving in Northwoods
4:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Tourist Season Off to Solid Start

Now that Memorial Day weekend is behind us, many businesses are reporting a strong start to the summer tourism season. 

Minocqua Chamber of Commerce Director Kim Baltus says business seems to have been higher than usual for the holiday weekend. 

 “It was definitely up for the businesses that I spoke to.  I talked to a couple of different restaurants that said it was their largest Saturday on Memorial Weekend that they’ve ever had.  Typically Memorial Day is not the best weekend – but we certainly proved that wrong.” 

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Outlining Park Specifics
6:00 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Committee Proposes Location, County Land Purchase for Off-Road Park

The proposed site is north of Laona and east of Argonne in Forest County.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Proponents of a controversial off-road park in Forest County have unveiled the details of their proposal. 

A planning committee has selected a location north of Laona, near the intersections of county highways G and O.  It includes a stretch of the Peshtigo River. 

The group Wisconsin Off-Road Vehicle Park Incorporated wants Forest County to purchase the 10-thousand acre site over a series of several years and phases.  The land is currently held by private companies Crandon Timber and Plum Creek. 

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More long term unemployed
11:15 pm
Sun May 25, 2014

Mixed Jobs Numbers As Summer Arrives

Ford Motors assembly line 1913
Credit en.wikipedia.org

While the jobless numbers are trending down across the U.S., those numbers remain above the national average in most of the Northwoods.

Last week the state released unemployment numbers for local communities. Iron county has the state's second highest rate, trailing only Menominee county, at 13.3 percent. Vilas county is third highest at 11.3. Forest county is 7th highest at 9.3 percent, followed by Oneida county's 8.9 percent. Langlade county has fallen to 8.1 percent and Lincoln county is at 7.7 percent.

 

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Sales Lower Than 2013
4:57 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Winter Hinders Housing Market in April

Home sales compared to last year dropped for the fourth straight month in April, with the trend more dramatic in the northern part of the state.

According to the Wisconsin Realtors Association…northern home sales in April were down more than 17 percent compared to April of last year.  Statewide the drop was almost 12 percent. 

CEO of the Wisconsin Realtors Association Mike Theo says even though it’s getting warmer…we’re still feeling the effects of a long cold winter.

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Talking About Options
6:51 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Iron County Forum Hones In On Economic Development

A forum in Iron County will take a closer look at economic drivers in the area, and brainstorm possible new ones.

The nonpartisan Iron County Citizens Forum this Wednesday at the Oma Town Hall is looking at economic sectors like timber, tourism and retirees. 

Coordinator Terry Daulton says the idea evolved out of discussions on how jobs factor into the Penokee Mine proposal.    

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