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U.P. health provider
4:47 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Aspirus, Northstar Form Affiliation

NorthStar Iron River, Michigan
Credit Aspirus

NORTHSTAR Health System and Aspirus Health System have announced an affiliation agreement.

 

Based in Iron River, Michigan NORTHSTAR includes a 25-bed critical access hospital with clinics in Iron River, Marenisco and Crystal Falls. They also have home health and hospice services. NORTHSTAR has 370 employees. Aspirus is based in Wausau. The transaction is expected to be done in late January.

Connie Koutouzos, NORTHSTAR Chief Executive Officer says the juncture will help them do more...

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A Look At Insurance Premiums
4:47 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Rhinelander Healthcare Costs Rank Average Statewide

Rhinelander health care premiums are falling somewhere in the middle as compared to the rest of the state.  That’s according to a new report from progressive group Citizen Action of Wisconsin.  It compares health insurance rates in different regions statewide.

It finds Madison tends to rank lowest, while the highest premiums are found in the Milwaukee area and in far Northwestern Wisconsin. 

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High schoolers taking college training
4:33 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Gov. Walker Signs Youth Apprenticeship Bill In Rhinelander

Gov. Walker and Nicolet College President Elizabeth Burmaster
Credit Ken Krall-WXPR

Governor Scott Walker has signed a bill in Rhinelander that he says will help employers get more skilled workers to companies. Youth Apprenticeship integrates high school-based and work-based learning to instruct students in skills defined by Wisconsin industries. It works with local school districts and the area technical colleges.

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Controversy Over Indian Team Names
4:00 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Mascot Bill Could Become Law Thursday

A bill relating to race-based mascots is still sitting on Governor Scott Walker’s desk.  He until the end of the day Wednesday to sign or veto the bill, before it automatically becomes law.  The bill changes a process established in 2010 for how to handle complaints about race-based school mascots and team names. 

Supporters of the new process say it’s more fair – a person has to prove a mascot is discriminatory before they can get it changed.  And that person needs a petition of signatures to file an initial complaint.  Here’s Representative Steve Nass, who authored the  bill. 

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Baier died Sunday
3:37 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Long Time Oneida Co. Bd. Member Remembered

Gary Baier's District 20 seat Tuesday morning
Credit Ken Krall-WXPR

The Oneida County Board remembered one of their own Tuesday. 69 year old Gary Baier, who represented the towns of Nokomis and Little Rice died Sunday after battling cancer.

Board Chair Ted Cushing said Baier was a mentor to him when he joined the board...

 

"...with Gary you knew where you stood. He had a position and he stuck by it..and I admire him for that..."

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Oneida county board
2:47 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Property Rights Versus Public Rights Debate Resurfaces

A photoshopped version of what Crescent Lake near Rhinelander might look like if the proposed boathouse changes were enacted. Others disputed this portrayal as not realistic.
Credit Joel Knutson-Crescent Lake

The Oneida County Board has tabled a move to allow boathouses  at the water's edge.

A two-hour debate ensued, centering around the long-time flashpoint of property rights versus the water rights of all residents.

A public hearing in July asked whether to allow boathouses at the water's edge for storage and whether those structures could have flat roofs.

Lake protection groups have said the area near a lakeshore is crucial to maintaining a healthy lake, with runoff a problem.

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Running for Congress
2:31 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Democrat Westlund Campaigns in Rhinelander

Kelly Westlund spoke in Rhinelander Tuesday, after declaring her candidacy for Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

A Democratic challenger to Representative Sean Duffy paid a visit to Rhinelander Tuesday.  Kelly Westlund declared her candidacy last week.

About thirty people gathered at the Rhinelander Days Inn to hear from the newest candidate to represent Wisconsin’s 7th  Congressional district.  The 30-year-old Kelly Westlund has served for two years on the Ashland City Council.  Her background is in environmental and sustainability work.  And she says she’s not worried about being relatively new to the political game. 

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Fundraising to start soon
10:00 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Rhinelander Library Project Close To Approval

Credit Natalie Jablonski-WXPR

A draft proposal for an addition to the Rhinelander District Library is nearing a decision by its Board.

The board has been working with an architect to provide additional space, especially meeting rooms says Library Director Ed Hughes...

 

"....I saw what was supposed to be the penultimate drawing for the plan, this is long before the final one, but I'm looking at it and I think there's some things in there that need to be fixed in my opinion. It's looking really good. If it was ready tomorrow I'd say, 'go ahead'.....

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Speaking to the business community
5:30 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Walker Touts Business Growth During Vilas County Visit

Governor Scott Walker says the state’s business climate is improving.  He made an appearance at a Vilas County Economic Development meeting Monday at Eagle Waters Resort.    

Speaking to a crowd of business people and local officials, Walker said good things are happening in Wisconsin, and noted 13,000 new businesses have been created since he took office.   Walker also talked about his Walleye Initiative, which resonated with Dick Mendham, owner of Sunset Resort near Phelps:

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Upgrading All Lighting
5:18 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Crandon Schools Net Thousands For Energy Upgrades

WPS and Focus on Energy presented Crandon Schools with a substantial check Monday.
Credit Wisconsin Public Service

Crandon School District is getting a financial boost to pay for energy conservation measures.  Wisconsin Public Service and the statewide Focus on Energy program presented Crandon Schools with a $34,000 check Monday to help pay for energy-efficient lighting. 

District Administrator Jim Asher says the school was looking to save money on costly energy bills.

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