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September 26, 2020

Four months later, Oneida County still has not released Conlon emails
As Oneida County officials continue to argue about the required scope of records requests and that all their correspondence with county attorneys is privileged, the county passed a milestone this past week, with four months passing by without any release of the county's public health officer's emails.
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Evers declares new health emergency, extends mask mandate
Citing multiple campus outbreaks of coronavirus infection, Gov. Tony Evers this week declared his third state of emergency related to the pandemic and extended his statewide face mask mandate until Nov. 21. Republican lawmakers immediately denounced the move as an illegal act - state statutes require legislative approval for the extension of any 60-day emergency health declaration - but it was unclear whether GOP leaders would act to overturn the order, which the Legislature can do by joint resolution. (subscriber access)
Friday, September 25, 2020

Valentine jury trial first in local judicial district since March
Last Friday's one-day jury trial, which ended with Alexander L. Valentine being found guilty of attempted sexual assault of a child under 16 and using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, was the first 12-person jury trial in the 9th Judicial District since the Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended all jury trials on March 22 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (subscriber access)
Friday, September 25, 2020

NTC director reprimanded
The Oneida Vilas Transit Commission (OVTC) voted Friday to reprimand Roger Youngren, director of Northwoods Transit Connections.
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

St. Germain town board considering hiring constable
At its regular meeting Sept. 14, the St. Germain Town Board heard from residents living near a short-term rental property in a single-family, low-density neighborhood. Based on that input, town supervisors are now considering hiring a constable to enforce state laws and local ordinances.
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Northwoods man loses license to practice law subhead
Citing "a clear pattern of misconduct" the Wisconsin Supreme Court last week revoked the license of a Northwoods attorney. (subscriber access)
Friday, September 18, 2020

Oneida County board quashes closed session on open records
By an 11-10 vote, the Oneida County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday nixed a closed session to discuss recent records requests by The Lakeland Times, handing county board chairman Dave Hintz, who had called for the closed door conference, a significant defeat. (subscriber access)
Friday, September 18, 2020

Bond reduced for Harshaw man facing child sexual assault charges
An Oneida County judge last week modified the bond in two of the three first-degree sexual assault of a child cases filed against a 55-year-old Harshaw man to allow for a surety bond with very strict conditions. (subscriber access)
Friday, September 18, 2020

Hintz took months to release records; Vilas, Minocqua chairs took hours, days
Responding to an open records request for months of their emails, both the Vilas County board of supervisors chairman and the town chairman of Minocqua released last week thousands of unredacted emails, all within days of their being requested. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Tomahawk marks 19th anniversary of 9-11
The skies over Tomahawk dawned deep blue Friday morning, reminiscent of the skies over New York City 19 years go just before two hijacked airliners slammed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the first of four crashes of hijacked airliners that September day. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Hearing explores pros and cons of ADRC-Social Services merger
A public hearing was held last week on a proposed merger - or grand alliance, if you will - between Oneida County's social services department (DSS) and the county's Aging Disability Resource Center (ADRC), though no decision was reached and little independent public input was received. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, September 15, 2020

OC health department reports second COVID-19 death
The Oneida County Health Department on Friday confirmed the second death in Oneida County associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The individual was in their 70s and had underlying health conditions, according to a health department press release.
Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Minocqua man sentenced to 10 years in prison for possessing child porn
A Minocqua man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 15 years extended supervision after pleading guilty to a federal child pornography charge. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Tiffany introduces bill to restore gray wolf authority to states
True to his word, U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Wisconsin), along with Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minnesota), has introduced legislation to permanently remove the gray wolf from the list of federal endangered species and restore authority to control the gray wolf population back to state lawmakers and state wildlife officials. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Complaint: Bilogan alleges 'civil conspiracy,' requests over a million dollars in damages
Former Oneida County forester John Bilogan has filed a lawsuit in Oneida County Circuit Court alleging certain county officials "engaged in a civil conspiracy" to cause him "personal and professional harm." He is seeking over $1.1 million in damages in the case. (subscriber access)
Friday, September 11, 2020

Sorensen pushes for consultant to assess highway facility
Oneida County supervisor Jack Sorensen revved up the county's seemingly endless debate over a new highway department this past week, pushing in two separate meetings for the county to hire an outside consultant to assess the cost of upgrading the existing facility - an upgrade that has been ongoing since 2015 - versus building an entirely new complex. (subscriber access)
Friday, September 11, 2020

Wausau man sentenced to 40 years for 2017 Tomahawk slaying
A 35-year-old Wausau man who pled guilty to the 2017 shotgun slaying of a Tomahawk man will serve 40 years in the state prison system before he will be eligible for parole consideration. (subscriber access)
Friday, September 11, 2020

Arbor Vitae man reaches plea agreement in case involving assault of nursing home patients
Pursuant to a plea agreement, a 19-year-old Arbor Vitae man accused of sexually assaulting elderly persons while caring for them at a Minocqua residential facility pled guilty Tuesday to one count of second-degree sexual assault of a mentally ill person. (subscriber access)
Friday, September 11, 2020

Oneida panel sends $2.3 million in projects to administration committee
The Oneida County Capital Improvement Program subcommittee has prioritized and sent 14 proposed projects to the county's administration committee for 2021 consideration, projects ranging from video cameras for sheriff's department squad cars to computer IT hardware infrastructure upgrades to a massive new investment in county highway road reconstruction. (subscriber access)
Wednesday, September 9, 2020

County ponders single point of entry for courthouse
Oneida County is considering improvements that would both bring the main entrance to the courthouse into Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance and transform the entire building into a single point-of-entry facility. (subscriber access)
Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Civil case filed in connection with fatal hit-and-run
The mother of a 23-year-old St. Germain man killed in a hit-and-run accident in August 2019 will have to wait for the driver of the other vehicle and his insurance company to resolve their legal dispute over coverage before she can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. (subscriber access)
Wednesday, September 9, 2020

First COVID-19 Death in Oneida County reported
The Oneida County Health Department has confirmed the first death in Oneida County associated with COVID-19. The individual was in their 80s and had an underlying health condition, according to a health department press release.

"We are saddened by the loss of one of our community members," said Linda Conlon, Oneida County Health Department Director and Health Officer. "We extend our sympathies to their loved ones and all impacted."

Friday, September 4, 2020

Evers tells the president to stay away from Kenosha
Gov. Tony Evers urged President Donald Trump to scratch a planned visit to Kenosha this past Tuesday, saying it would be disruptive, but Trump came anyway, calling for law and order in the riot-torn city and announcing millions of dollars in aid to support law enforcement, public safety, and small businesses. (subscriber access)
Friday, September 4, 2020

And it's back to the Supreme Court over emergency powers
The conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) has sued Gov. Tony Evers over the governor's second declared public health emergency, saying the executive order is a power grab that violates state law. (subscriber access)
Friday, September 4, 2020

Recent wolf sighting results in Sugar Camp pet depredation
On Friday, Aug. 21, USDA-Wildlife Services confirmed the depredation of a pet dog in the Town of Sugar Camp on Monday, Aug. 17. The full depredation report for that incident was not available as of press time, but it is known that the pet was a Nova Scotia retriever, according to Laurie Groskopf of Wisconsin Wolf Facts, and it was confirmed as killed by a wolf or wolves. (subscriber access)
Friday, September 4, 2020

Oneida County asserts complete secrecy for attorney communications
Oneida County has responded to records requests for several supervisors' emails, as well as for the county board chairman's emails, by handing over a series of completely redacted emails between county officials and the county's attorneys, asserting privilege for all such records. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Schreier complies with records request after threat of police complaint
After more than a month of complete silence, Oneida County supervisor Steven Schreier has responded to a Lakeland Times open records request after the newspaper threatened to file a complaint with the Oneida County sheriff's department. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Howard Young Medical Center cancels contract with Marshfield Clinic
Ascension Wisconsin's Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff has notified the Marshfield Clinic Health System it's ending the hospitalist program agreement the two entities have had in place for years. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, September 1, 2020

St. Germain Town Board OKs MSA contract
The St. Germain Town Board, meeting once again in special session on Thursday, Aug. 20, approved a contract with MSA Professional Services for engineering and design work on Peterson Road. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Fire chief, health official debunk COVID-related rumor
A story has been circulating in the community that members of the Pine Lake Fire Department received letters advising them that they had tested positive for COVID-19 despite never having been tested for the novel coronavirus.
Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Maldonado waives preliminary hearing in OWI 8, hit-and-run case
The case against a 46-year-old Arbor Vitae man facing an eighth charge of operating while intoxicated and hit-and-run causing injury in connection with a four-vehicle crash at the intersection of U.S. Highway 51 and State Highway 47 on Aug. 6 will proceed. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Manitowish Waters man charged with contractor fraud subhead
A 43-year-old Manitowish Water man has been charged with theft of movable property greater than $10,000, but not more than $100,000, for allegedly taking $33,500 from a Minocqua couple in exchange for building a pole barn and failing to complete the work. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Law enforcement condemns 'inflammatory' remarks by Evers, Barnes
Leaders of four of Wisconsin's major law enforcement organizations took Wisconsin's governor and lieutenant governor to task last week, saying their statements in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting and subsequent riots were hasty and inciting. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, September 1, 2020

'A kind of community service'
The American Legion Family Cabin, under construction at Camp American Legion in Lake Tomahawk, now includes a new piece of furniture. (subscriber access)
Friday, August 28, 2020

Riots, looting, shootings engulf Kenosha following police shooting
Following the shooting of a 29-year-old black man last Sunday by police in Kenosha - apparently in the back - riots and looting erupted on consecutive nights in Kenosha, with two people shot to death in confrontations Tuesday night. (subscriber access)
Friday, August 28, 2020

Oneida County to allow per diems for attending meetings electronically
With just two dissenting votes, Oneida County has reversed a long-standing policy and will allow supervisors and citizen members to collect per diem payments for attending eligible meetings electronically or by phone. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Gallup-Franklin Templeton survey: Americans dramatically overestimate COVID-19 risks
A six-month comprehensive survey of Americans - combined with data - has yielded its first results, and Franklin Templeton analysts say they are powerful and surprising: There is a "gross misperception" in the country about the risks of dying from COVID-19. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Wisconsin conservatives, liberals clash over education CARES funding
Wisconsin is in the thick of a high-profile legal battle over federal funds to support the safe reopening of schools, with conservatives supporting an administration rule they say would fairly allocate relief to both private and public schools and liberal attorneys general challenging the rule in court, maintaining that the majority of the funding should be directed to public schools. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Three Lakes woman indicted
A town of Three Lakes woman has been charged in federal court with making false and fraudulent statements in connection with health care benefits involving the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs.
Tuesday, August 25, 2020

First COVID-19 related death in Vilas County reported
The Vilas County Public Health Department has confirmed the county's first death associated with COVID-19. The individual was in their 60s and had severe underlying health conditions, according to a press release issued Aug. 18.
Friday, August 21, 2020

Woman killed in ATV accident in Pine Lake
A 19-year-old Illinois woman was killed Monday evening in an ATV accident in the Town of Pine Lake. (subscriber access)
Friday, August 21, 2020

Judge cites defendant's criminal record, gravity of offense in Moren sentencing decision
When Isaiah A.V. Moren, 23, appeared before Oneida County Circuit Court Judge Patrick O'Melia for sentencing on Friday Aug. 14, on charges of second-degree sexual assault and second-degree reckless injury in connection with a physical and sexual assault of a 76-year-old woman, he had already seen the inside of a courtroom quite a few times since becoming an adult. (subscriber access)
Friday, August 21, 2020

Oneida County UW-Extension committee hears updates on move to Nicolet
Earlier this month, Myles Alexander, community, natural resources, and economic development educator with UW-Extension, provided the Oneida County UW-Extension committee with an update on the happenings at Extension. The move to the Northwoods Building at Nicolet College, which was originally planned for earlier this year, is moving along, he said, with the majority of the move complete. Space for storage, however, is still an issue with which Extension is struggling, Alexander reported during the panel's Aug. 10 meeting. (subscriber access)
Friday, August 21, 2020

Voter turnout low to fair in August primaries
In a rare election in which there were no contested elections in Oneida or Vilas counties, voter turnout was somewhat middling, with Democrats and Republicans voting in about equal numbers in Oneida County and Republicans showing stronger turnout numbers than Democrats in their primaries. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, August 18, 2020

OC administration committee shoots down countywide referenda
A bid to have Oneida County place two non-binding referenda questions about redistricting and campaign finance on the November ballot failed to move forward last week, both on 3-2 committee votes. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Oneida County begins to target short-term rentals for emergency revenue
With a push by an Oneida County supervisor, the Oneida County Zoning Department is preparing a game plan to seek out and secure permits for unlicensed, non-permitted short-term vacation rentals as a way to collect emergency revenues to offset losses due to COVID-19. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Citing ongoing criticism, Mott resigns from Oneida Vilas Transit Commission
Controversy continues to beset the Oneida Vilas Transit Commission, as the Oneida County board chairman signaled this week that there are new but unnamed issues the county could potentially have to deal with concerning the transit operation, and supervisor Bob Mott submitted his letter of resignation from the commission. (subscriber access)
Friday, August 14, 2020

Tourism official predicts industry won't recover until 2023
During the Aug. 3 meeting of the Oneida County Tourism Council, a member of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism reported that while some aspects of the industry are doing better than others in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, full industry recovery may be as many as three years away. (subscriber access)
Friday, August 14, 2020

Council on Forestry looks at the future of wood products industry, logging in Wisconsin
Colin Buntrock, forest products team leader with the Department of Natural Resources forestry program, recently spoke to Council on Forestry regarding the Verso Mill closure in Wisconsin Rapids and how it will effect the wood products and logging industry within the state. (subscriber access)
Friday, August 14, 2020

New York AG sues NRA in bid to dissolve it; NRA countersues
New York attorney Letitia James filed a lawsuit late last week seeking to dissolve the National Rifle Association (NRA), accusing the group of diverting millions of dollars away from the charitable mission of the organization for personal use by senior leadership, as well as violating New York's laws governing its charitable status. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Virtual county fair garners positive feedback
The annual Oneida County Fair was originally scheduled to be held at Pioneer Park during the first weekend in August. But as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to inch its way into our neck of the woods, it became clear that a physical fair would not be possible this year. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, August 11, 2020

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