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January 20, 2021


Aspirus, Ascension health systems ink deal
Aspirus Health and the Ascension Medical Group announced in a press release Tuesday an agreement has been signed to transfer from Ascension to Aspirus ownership of seven hospitals, 21 physician clinics and air and ground medical transport services in north and central Wisconsin.
Friday, January 15, 2021

Council tables operating agreement after OCHS objects to changes
The Rhinelander Common Council on Monday tabled a proposed operating agreement with the Oneida County Humane Society (OCHS) after two OCHS board members and the director of the local humane society facility raised concerns.
Friday, January 15, 2021

Davenport Lights
The Christmas season has come to an end but the City of Rhinelander still has that holiday glow, thanks to the impressive light displays that decorate the main business district. Pictured is the scene on Davenport Street on a recent evening.
Friday, January 15, 2021

Finance and Investment Challenge Bowl goes virtual
Area high school students competed Wednesday in the Rhinelander/Northwoods Regional Tournament of the Finance and Investment Challenge Bowl (FICB). The event, usually held in person at Nicolet College, took place via Zoom. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Pending funding, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northwoods will open at Central School this summer
Oneida County youth will soon have an opportunity to participate in after-school and summer programs, mentorship opportunities and more. To facilitate this effort, the Boys & Girls Club of Langlade County has partnered with the newly-formed Boys & Girls Club of Oneida County, rebranding as the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northwoods. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Water expert explains results of PFAS testing at legacy landfill
UW-Madison engineering professor Dr. James Tinjum was the featured speaker at the Jan. 5 virtual meeting of Water Action Team Rhinelander (WATR), a citizen group assembled by Rhinelander mayor Chris Frederickson after per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were discovered in two city wells back in 2019.

Tinjum, who is the city's environmental consultant, spearheaded the recent PFAS testing at the old city landfill. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Rhinelander Chamber now holds Hodag trademark
The Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce now holds the trademark for the version of the Hodag that it, the city and school district have been using for years.

In a phone interview Jan. 4, Chamber executive director Lauren Sackett confirmed the Chamber received a federal trademark for its illustration of the iconic monster last summer. (subscriber access)

Friday, January 8, 2021

District administrators exploring ways to keep experienced custodians
The School District of Rhinelander is revisiting a decision made several ago to contract for custodial service as a way to cut its maintenance budget. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 8, 2021

Bright New Year
For the fourth installment of Lights of the Northwoods, organizers added a fireworks show at 7 p.m. Jan. 1, 2021. For those attendees who wanted to maintain social distancing while viewing the fireworks, walking out a short distance on the frozen surface of Boom Lake provided a great vantage point.
Tuesday, January 5, 2021

2 injured in Hwy 8 crash
Just after noon on New Year's Eve, the Oneida County 9-1-1 dispatch center received multiple reports of a two-vehicle accident on U.S.
Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Council debates remote participation in closed session
City attorney Steve Sorenson will draft ordinance language addressing the topic of members of the Common Council potentially participating in closed sessions discussions electronically from remote locations. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, January 5, 2021

TRAVEL grant to cover most COVID costs for RTMC, Chamber
The Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce is awaiting a much-needed infusion of cash.

A grant from the Department of Tourism totaling approximately $91,000 is expected to arrive soon, Chamber director Lauren Sackett advised the Rhinelander Tourism and Marketing Committee (RTMC) late last month. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

City officials hope to complete search for new administrator by the end of February
The Rhinelander Common Council voted unanimously Monday evening to allocate up to $11,526 for McMahon Engineer Architects "to administer the city administrator executive selection proposal." (subscriber access)
Thursday, December 31, 2020

Kneer: Majority of final detail work on Hodag Dome to be completed in January
The final details to be completed before the Hodag Dome project officially wraps up should be finished by the end of January, the Rhinelander school board learned Dec. 21. (subscriber access)
Thursday, December 31, 2020

Sunset selfie
Two women examine their self-portrait, or "selfie" at a Lights of the Northwoods display just before sunset Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020

'Trace amounts' of PFAS detected in landfill testing, city reports
"Trace amounts" of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl) contamination were detected in recent testing of the Rhinelander legacy landfill, according to a press release issued Wednesday by the office of Mayor Chris Frederickson. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, December 29, 2020

RASTA unveils first projects outlined in five-year plan
As outdoor enthusiasts across the Northwoods flock en masse to area trails this winter season, the first projects outlined in RASTA's 2020-2025 five-year plan are underway, with some work even completed ahead of schedule. (subscriber access)
Thursday, December 24, 2020

School board hears status report on district's COVID-19 mitigation
As winter break begins, School District of Rhinelander officials are assessing where the district stands in terms of containing the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

The district has been successful in keeping the spread of the virus to a minimum and the hope is more in-person instruction will be added in early in 2021, district superintendent Eric Burke reported to the school board Monday. (subscriber access)

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Pickleball diehards
Rhinelander pickleball players are continuing to make use of the new courts at Pioneer Park even as winter nears.
Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Delta signs new 3-year contract for flights to Twin Cities
The Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport received some good news last week from the United States Department of Transportation involving Delta Airlines in the form of a new three-year contract for the carrier to continue to provide at least twice-daily, round-trip service between Rhinelander and Minneapolis-St. Paul. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Council resolves taxi service contract controversy
Running Inc. of Viroqua will operate the City of Rhinelander's Shared Ride Taxi service starting in 2021, following City Council action Dec. 14. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Library board reviews expansion options
The Rhinelander District Library Board of Directors is weighing two options for a planned building expansion. Both options would add 3,400 square feet to the building but in very different ways, according to the architect who designed them. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, December 22, 2020

School committee eyes late starts in 2021-22 school year
In the months since the novel coronavirus COVID-19 prompted the School District of Rhinelander to embrace a blending of in-person and virtual instruction, Wednesdays have become a day when district administrators and staff can collaborate and learn about the best approaches to teaching through a pandemic. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Wastewater treatment plant investigation ends with citation, restitution agreement
H&H Septic Service LLC recently paid a total of $5,000, including restitution to the City of Rhinelander in the amount of $4,132, for failing to submit site data to department/fail to keep proper records. The ordinance violation is connected to an investigation launched by the Rhinelander Police Department last fall regarding activity at the city's wastewater treatment plant. (subscriber access)
(3 comments)

Friday, December 18, 2020

Vruwink contract extended; taxi issue resolved
Following a closed session discussion, the Rhinelander Common Council voted Monday to extend the contract of mayoral assistant Zach Vruwink through Feb. 28. The vote was one of a number of actions the council took during its final scheduled meeting before Christmas. (subscriber access)
Friday, December 18, 2020

Santa leads the way
After brief opening remarks Friday, Dec. 11, Santa Claus led a procession through the Lights of the Northwoods holiday display at Rhinelander's Hodag Park. The Lights of the Northwoods will be on display again this weekend, Dec. 18, 19 and 20.
Tuesday, December 15, 2020

'The need is going to be great or greater than it has ever been before'
While COVID-19 has hampered annual holiday festivities across the globe, the sound of bells ringing in front of red kettles signals a tradition that remains at the forefront of our community. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Guild case to continue with DA prosecuting
The misconduct in public office case against former Rhinelander city administrator Daniel Guild will continue, with Oneida County district attorney Mike Schiek prosecuting, however two counts of tampering with public records were dismissed Friday following a motion hearing in Oneida County Circuit Court. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Gaber Electric going out of business after 53 years in Rhinelander
After more than 50 years in business in Rhinelander, brothers Tom and Dave Gaber will close Gaber Electric later this month. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Hodag Country Festival receives entertainment venue grant; lodging grants also announced
Gov. Tony Evers last week announced $15 million in COVID-19 Live Music and Entertainment Venue Grants has been awarded to 96 live venues.
Tuesday, December 15, 2020


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