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Local governments are putting together their budgets for next year and the city of Rhinelander came up with a pleasant surprise.

Like many municipalities, the city struggled to keep services during the Great Recession when property values were plummeting. Taxes rose because of the loss of revenue.

But this year City Council Finance committee chair Mark Pelletier says something interesting happened. He says the budget went up slightly, but it shouldn't be seen in the city's portion of the tax bills...

A Northwoods state Senate Democrat says there are some points of agreement with the Walker Administration concerning the economy, but differences remain.

Janet Bewley of Mason was at the the Northern Wisconsin Economic Development Summit last week in Minocqua. She reacted to a speech given by Governor Scott Walker where Walker outlined a need for rapid development of high speed internet in the Northwoods...

A key point of emphasis in Governor Scott Walker's speech last week in Minocqua centered on the need for getting everyone in the Northwoods access to high-speed internet.

The state has been providing grant assistance to business to put service in rural areas.

" goal in this budget cycle is to have the resources, doing it in conjunction with the federal resources. In the second(federal grant) round, Wisconsin was one of the top states in terms of what was awarded. Take the federal resources, state resources and blanket the state...."


The city of Rhinelander has received an award from a national boating organization for its new Boyce Drive boat landing. City officials along with DNR representatives presented the award to Mayor Dick Johns.

The boat landing is on the former DNR Ranger Station property where the Pelican and Wisconsin Rivers meet.

The DNR's Ann Loechler says the national States Organization of Boating Access, or SOBA, thought Rhinelander's project was outstanding for a small boat landing. She says there were many engineering challenges...

Dean S. Acheson photo

Wisconsin Army National Guard Brigadier General Joni Mathews drew upon her nearly 30 years of military service to deliver a message of self-determination and worth to Lakeland Union High School students and staff gathered Friday for the ninth annual Veteran’s Day program.

She also urged everyone to reflect on the sacrifices veterans have made for our country, saying she wasn’t just talking about time spent away from family or schooling, or the missed birthdays:

Local Veteran Surprised with Honor Flight Trip

Nov 11, 2016
Miranda Vander Leest

Tom Rudolph is a Korean War vet and served in the Army in 1953 and 1954. He lived in Minnesota at the time of his service, but has otherwise lived in Rhinelander and was a research scientist at the forestry sciences lab. To thank him for his service, students and staff at Pelican Elementary put on a popcorn fundraiser to send him on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight. They surprised him this morning at their annual Veteran’s Day program. Rudolph says he never saw it coming…

 “..I never expected anything like this…I came

Dean S. Acheson photo

Governor Scott Walker unveiled a new $10 million dollar program designed to help get more workers to businesses, here in the north and other rural areas.

Walker spoke at the Northern Wisconsin Economic Development Summit in Minocqua Thursday.

The plan is called the Rural Economic Development Initiative, designed to help businesses create more jobs in rural areas for low and moderate income persons. The second component supplies housing for people to work in an area. Walker says this will help alleviate a growing worker shortage. The third component ties to worker training.

Scocos Reminds Public Of Veterans Sacrifices

Nov 10, 2016
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Veterans Day began as “Armistice Day” on November 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance of the day, and November  11 became a national holiday in 1938.

Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans–living or dead–but observes special notice to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

Wisconsin Secretary of Veterans Affairs John Scocos says all Americans owe veterans a big thanks...

A slightly lower number of violations were reported after members of the Northwoods Tobacco-Free Coalition checked to see if retailers were selling tobacco to minors.

Maria Otterholt from Oneida county is part of the Northwoods Tobacco Free Coalition. She says any tobacco retailer can be checked.

Last year the illegal sales rate was just under 15 percent...

"....this year we did 44 randomized checks. We don't target any business, we just go out and five of our establishments sold, so we have an 11.3 percent illegal sale rate this year...."

Weston Woman Tells Story Of Lung Cancer's Effects

Nov 10, 2016

WESTON, Wis. - November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and for one young mother and widow in the Wausau area, it's a time to encourage others to tell their stories, so more people become aware of how deadly lung cancer can be.

The American Lung Association says lung cancer kills more than 400 people every day.

In Jennifer Kislow's case, her husband - a non-smoker - was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. He died four months later, leaving his wife and two young daughters. That was five years ago.

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The Governor's Northern Wisconsin Economic Development Summit began Wednesday in Minocqua and the head of the a key agency says finding enough workers has become a problem.

Wisconsin Economic Development Secretary Mark Hogan says he's hearing a key concern among people in business..

"....the workforce shortage which is everywhere in the state. It's not just the northern part of the state, it's every company in every corner of the state is looking for employees."

E.U. Demmer Library

Three Lakes voters gave mixed signals Tuesday as to the future of the town hall reconstruction which was narrowly defeated, but advised the use of tax dollars for the Demmer library would meet their approval.

Both ballot questions were advisory, but there was a clear majority favoring up to $900,000 in tax dollars for library expansion.

Library Director Erica Brewster says they were gratified with the public input, but the town board and electors will have the final say...

The need for freight rail service to keep the Northwoods economy was driven home this week to the state Secretary overseeing the service.

Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb heard from local officials about the possible interruption in freight rail service through Rhinelander. County Economic Development Director Roger Luce showed an aerial map of several businesses on Highway 8 west that depend on rail service.

Later, Gottlieb said 'freight rail is always a challenge', but they're putting together a plan to keep service viable...

Northland Pines Petition For Early School Start?

Nov 9, 2016

An effort to have Northland Pines school district start classes prior to Sept 1 as contained in current state law is expected to be discussed by the full school board with the possibility of a petition to the Dept. of Public Instruction (DPI) requesting an earlier start. 

Election Update: Late Decisions Announced

Nov 9, 2016

There were some races and questions that were left open late on election day as results came in late.

In Langlade county, incumbent treasurer Tammy Wilhelm was reelected over Doug Nonnemacher. Wilhelm had 5711 votes, Nonnemacher 4095.