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NEWS STORIES

Iron mine could help rail service push in NorthwoodsSubmitted: 11/22/2013

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RHINELANDER - A group representing more than a dozen northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan counties would love to see increased rail service in their areas.

The Northwoods Rail Transit Commission believes an iron ore mine in the Penokee Hills would dramatically help their efforts.

The Commission formed last year to push for better freight rail service in the North.

Service by rail companies has slowed or stopped in many areas of the Northwoods.

Rail companies often say there's not enough freight to make service profitable for them.

An operating iron ore mine would increase freight traffic heavily.

"You can see what happened with frac sand mining in the Chippewa (Falls) area. If that mine becomes operational and starts shipping ore, a lot of that could come east toward the port in Escanaba. That will help give reason and volume to reopen that Highway 8 line that we're talking about," says Northwoods Rail Transit Commission Chair Wendy Gehlhoff at a meeting of the Commission Friday in Rhinelander.

Most of the rail line that hugs Highway 8 from Ladysmith to Pembine currently sits unused.

The Canadian National railway shut down service, saying it wasn't profitable.

The director of Michigan Tech University's Rail Transportation Program addressed the Commission Friday.

He stressed that for a rail company to operate, it needs to see a way to make money on carrying freight in a certain area.

"If we have high volumes, low value, long distance - if you don't look at rail or intermodal, you're absolutely nuts. It has to be in the equation, or you're not going to be able to compete with the other regions of this nation or other nations," said Dr. Pasi Lautala.

The Commission's next task is to get better information from companies on how they would use rail service, if it was available.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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Langlade County fish farm highlights Wisconsin aquacultureSubmitted: 07/25/2014

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ELTON - An afternoon of fishing might be your way of relaxing on a hot summer day.

But for brothers Terry and Tim Winkle, it's business, and their entire world revolves around fish.

Three generations of Winkel family have worked the ponds at Silver Moon Springs.

Brothers Tim and Terry took over the property in 1977.

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UPDATED: Names released in deadly Arbor Vitae crashSubmitted: 07/25/2014

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ARBOR VITAE - We know the name of the Minocqua woman who died in a car crash in Arbor Vitae Thursday morning.

Barbara Hilleque, 67, died when her car was rear ended on Highway 51, and pushed into the path of a small tour bus heading the other way.

Dorothy Pacetti, 49, of Woodruff was driving the second car.

Jay Carpenter, 57, of Beloit was at the wheel of the bus.

Both of the surviving drivers were hurt.

12 other people were also taken to the hospital.

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Burke releases rural jobs plan, focuses on schools, health & growthSubmitted: 07/25/2014

ACROSS WISCONSIN - A new job plan from Democratic candidate for Governor Mary Burke focuses on her economic objectives with rural Wisconsin.

Many parts of Wisconsin's rural areas, like the Northwoods, lags behind the rest of the state economically; for example, five of the ten Wisconsin counties with the worst unemployment rate in the state are in the rural portions of the Northwoods, according to June unemployment numbers from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Her focus is on growing the rural economy, boosting healthcare and improving schools.

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Garden tour Saturday to raise money for hospiceSubmitted: 07/25/2014

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RHINELANDER - You can learn how to improve your garden while also supporting a Northwoods hospice provider.

The Master Gardeners of the North and Ministry Hospice will host a garden tour Saturday, July 26th. People will get to tour six gardens in Rhinelander's historic courthouse neighborhood.

Organizers hope the event will raise at least $2,000. That money will go to patients who are unable to pay for their services.

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Burke releases rural jobs plan, focuses on schools, health & growthSubmitted: 07/25/2014

ACROSS WISCONSIN - A new job plan from Democratic candidate for Governor Mary Burke focuses on her economic objectives with rural Wisconsin.

Many parts of Wisconsin's rural areas, like the Northwoods, lags behind the rest of the state economically; for example, five of the ten Wisconsin counties with the worst unemployment rate in the state are in the rural portions of the Northwoods, according to June unemployment numbers from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Her focus is on growing the rural economy, boosting healthcare and improving schools.

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Wisconsin named #1 in cranberry production; Northwoods farm contributes to keeping title Submitted: 07/25/2014

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WISCONSIN/THREE LAKES - Wisconsin continues to be the best state nationwide when it comes to producing cranberries. One Northwoods farm is preparing to make this year even better.

James Lake Farms in Three Lakes harvested close to 8,000 barrels last year. They hope to meet those expectations this year.

Right now they are in the growing season. The assistant manager believes Wisconsin is a natural environment for growing cranberries.

"It's fairly consistent as compared to somewhere out on the coast where most of the other cranberries are grown. I think a lot of those things combined help make it a good place to grow," said James Lake Farms Assistant Manager Benjamin Riker.

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Wounded Warriors softball team comes to townSubmitted: 07/25/2014

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - People in Lake Tomahawk could watch a special game of snowshoe baseball Friday.

The Wounded Warrior softball team was in town to compete against the Snowhawks. Lake Tomahawk raised more than $40,000 to bring the team to town.

Fans came from all over to cheer on both teams. They say it's quite the experience.

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