Northwest Wisconsin News Center

The latest reports from the award winning Northwest Wisconsin News Center

Coop Merger

posted by Ryan Quinn

Three Wisconsin cooperatives have announced they will combine to form a new company. 

Cedar Country Cooperative, Elk Mound, Lakeland Cooperative, Ridgeland and United Ag Cooperative, Almena will consolidate effective October 1st with projected annual sales of $180 million. Membership from each of the three cooperatives voted to support the merger. 

Superior customer service has been a key to past success and will continue to be the focal point of the future. 

Equity from each company will transfer dollar for dollar into the new company. 

Members will be eligible to have their equity paid out at age 68 wherever it was earned. 

Economies of scale and the ability to purchase product at more competitive pricing was an important factor in the decision. 

The new entity will stretch approximately 200 miles from Ashland to south of Eau Claire and Menomonie. 

Customers will also be serviced in Minnesota and upper Michigan.

Wisconsin Timber Industry Welcomes Trumps Timber Tariffs

posted by Ryan Quinn   [ updated ]

Timber industry officials in Wisconsin are welcoming the Trump administration's announcement that it plans to impose tariffs averaging 20 percent on softwood lumber entering the United States from Canada. 

The industry has been struggling in Wisconsin since the housing market crash in 2008 cut demand for softwood lumber used to build homes, including the products affected by the administration's move. 

Timber industry groups in Wisconsin see Monday's announcement as good news for communities with sawmills, and for loggers who supply them.

GoFundMe Account for Sawyer County Families

posted by Ryan Quinn

A GoFundMe page has been started to raise $3,000 for the families of three people who investigators believe died from carbon monoxide poisoning in Sawyer County last week.  

The three victims were Darrell Isham, Sierra Miller, and David Quaderer, all in their 20s. 

The three were found dead last Thursday in a home located on the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation.

One Dead After One Vehicle Crash

posted Apr 26, 2017, 5:01 AM by Ryan Quinn

A rural Milltown man is dead following a one-vehicle crash in Polk County.  

Police say the driver, 27-year old Aaron Thompson, was heading north on Polk County Highway Z just before 9am Monday, when he lost control of his 2002 Chevy Trailblazer, left the roadway and went airborne taking down power lines when he hit a utility pole, then rolled over and came to a rest in cornfield. 

The driver, who was alone in the SUV, was pronounced dead at the scene. This crash is the third fatal crash in Polk County in 2017.

Legalizing Homemade Baked Goods

posted Apr 26, 2017, 5:00 AM by Ryan Quinn

The sale of homemade baked goods in Wisconsin would be allowed under a bill being circulated in the state Senate.

Wisconsin and New Jersey are the only states that prohibit the for-profit sale of baked goods made in a home kitchen. 

Similar bills have passed the state Senate with bipartisan support the past two sessions but died in the Assembly. 

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos opposes the bill, saying it creates an unequal playing field. 

The latest proposal from Sen. Sheila Harsdorf and Rep. Jim Ott, both Republicans, would allow up to $7,500 of home-based good sales each year. 

The seller would have to register with the state and meet requirements about labeling, training and documenting sales.

Expect Low Flying Aircraft

posted Apr 26, 2017, 4:58 AM by Ryan Quinn

Residents of 20 western and central Wisconsin counties can expect to see and hear loud, low-flying planes as early as sunrise starting in early May. 

Small, yellow planes will be treating for invasive gypsy moth caterpillars. 

These non-native pests defoliate trees during their caterpillar stage, causing stress and potentially tree death. 

The DNR and DATCP are leading the treatment efforts against the gypsy moth, and will be treating the several counties in Northwest Wisconsin including Chippewa, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Polk, Rusk, Sauk, Sawyer, St. Croix and Washburn County.  

The Fab Lab Grant

posted Apr 26, 2017, 4:56 AM by Ryan Quinn

Governor Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) have announced 21 school districts throughout the state have been awarded a total of nearly $500,000 in grants to establish or expand a local fabrication laboratory, also called fab labs.  

Local schools receiving Fab Lab grants include Ladysmith for $15,000, and Turtle Lake, receiving just over $18,000. A fab lab is a high-technology workshop equipped with computer-controlled manufacturing components such as 3D printers, laser engravers, computer numerical control routers, and plasma cutters.  

This is the second round of funding for the Fab Lab Grants and brings the total number of districts receiving grants to 34. 

Walker Dairy Loan

posted Apr 26, 2017, 4:54 AM by Ryan Quinn

Governor Scott Walker has announced that the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) will provide amended loan guarantees to dairy farmers and processors with more favorable terms. 

The loan guarantees will help Wisconsin dairy producers and processors access much-needed capital to address current market conditions. 

The changes will provide more favorable repayment and collateral terms to farmers and increased guarantees for producers at lower fees. 

Qualified dairy processors will have access to an 80% loan guarantee up to $750,000.  

WHEDA’s expanded loan guarantees will be available to dairy farmers and processors through August 1, 2017. 

Shoreline Clean Up

posted Apr 24, 2017, 5:32 AM by Ryan Quinn

As spring weather sets in, some shoreland property owners in Northern Wisconsin are discovering Mother Nature has changed the look of their waterfront due to shifting ice over the winter months.  

In some areas, partial thaws and high winds in February created ice heaves that deposited debris, damaged vegetation or reshaped shorelines in unexpected ways. 

On undeveloped lots, the problem may go unnoticed and the area will typically heal itself and regain vegetation over time. 

However, on developed lots where summer activity is more frequent, property owners may want to seek relief from a newly discovered pile of earth.  

There are some cleanup efforts you can do without a permit, but lakeshore property  owners are encouraged to contact the DNR or their county water management specialist, before they begin the cleanup. 

Investigation Into Weekend Motorcycle Crash

posted Apr 24, 2017, 5:30 AM by Ryan Quinn

The investigation continues into a weekend crash that seriously injured two Minnesota people.  

Saturday night at 1030pm, a motorcycle with two people was westbound on Highway 8 in Polk county, when the driver lost control at the roundabout at Highway 46 and crashed.  

The passenger was airlifted to regions hospital in St. Paul, and the driver was cited for driving under the influence.  

The State Patrol says neither the driver or passenger were wearing helmets. 

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