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May 12, 2021

Oneida County fires Wegner
Oneida County has fired assistant zoning director Peter Wegner after a stormy period during which the county placed Wegner on paid leave in February after Wegner picked up a fourth criminal misdemeanor charge related to his alleged harassment and battery of a snow plow driver and subsequent charges of violating a restraining order and bond conditions. (subscriber access)
Friday, May 7, 2021

Joint Finance Committee follows through, guts Evers's budget
The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee followed through with its threat to demolish Gov. Tony Evers's budget proposal late last week, voting to jettison nearly 400 items and more than $3 billion in tax hikes and spending proposals. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Northern region health officials urge public to continue following COVID-19 recommendations
The directors of 14 northern Wisconsin health departments, including the health officers in Oneida, Vilas, and Forest counties, have released a joint statement urging the public to continue to follow recommendations aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 and its variants.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Life Link III operational
Life Link III air ambulance operations out of its new base at the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport began March 15, 2021, according to Katie Burkhart, director of marketing and communications.
Friday, May 7, 2021

Labor shortage reaches crisis proportions locally, nationally
A labor shortage is crippling businesses locally and nationally and growing worse by the month, and, while a host of factors are part of the equation, government benefits that are too generous and that last too long are a big part of the problem.

At least that's the assessment of a range of labor experts and businesspeople as the numbers take hold. And it's not just threatening businesses but the delivery of consumer goods and services that are critical to the quality of daily life. (subscriber access)

Friday, May 7, 2021

WILL sues Biden administration in suit alleging racial discrimination
The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) has sued the Biden administration on behalf of five farmers, challenging what they say is unconstitutional race discrimination in the American Rescue Plan's federal farmer loan forgiveness program. (subscriber access)
Friday, May 7, 2021

Republicans set to remove nearly 300 provisions from Evers' budget proposal
Republican lawmakers planned to remove this week nearly 300 provisions from Gov. Tony Evers' state budget proposal, items ranging from tax increases to policy proposals that Republicans say need to pass in separate legislation on their own merits. (subscriber access)
Friday, May 7, 2021

DCI rules Christiansen death in Vilas County Jail a suicide
The Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation (DCI) has determined the death of a 21-year-old Lac du Flambeau woman in the Vilas County Jail was a suicide. (subscriber access)
Friday, May 7, 2021

St. Germain pursues grant for ATV/UTV trail, loan for broadband, unpaid taxes from rental property
At a town board meeting in late April, St. Germain supervisors voted to pursue funding for two of the town's pending infrastructure projects and to seek legal counsel on a room-tax case which has been in dispute since 2019. (subscriber access)
Friday, May 7, 2021

Evers keeps door open for vaccine mandates
Gov. Tony Evers has vetoed a pair of bills which would have prohibited mandatory COVID-19 vaccines in Wisconsin and would bar local health officials from closing churches during a pandemic. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Friends of Town Line Lake Park wish to keep park
In recent months, the Oneida County Forestry, Land and Recreation Committee (FLRC) has been talking more about readying the large portion of park area at Townline Lake for sale. The move to sell the property has met with some opposition, including the formation of a group called Friends of Town Line Lake Park. The group will be making a presentation at the May Forestry, Recreation and Land committee meeting as well as the May Oneida County Board meeting, according to a recent press release. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, May 4, 2021

COVID-19 vaccine deaths, adverse event reports take huge jump
Reports of death and serious injury following a COVID-19 vaccine have jumped significantly in recent weeks and continue to climb to historic highs compared to other vaccines, especially the flu vaccine, as the U.S. approved the return of the controversial Johnson & Johnson vaccine to public distribution late last month. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Oneida County board puts proposed Crescent Lake district on hold
A proposal to form a lake district for Crescent Lake has been put on hold by the Oneida County Board of Supervisors after a county supervisor questioned whether proponents of the district followed state statutes in gathering signatures in support of the proposal. (subscriber access)

Friday, April 30, 2021

Ready, set, run
State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski spent about an hour Friday, April 23 listening to the concerns of 16 people at Pioneer Park.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Evers vetoes GOP bills allocating federal COVID relief dollars
Gov. Tony Evers vetoed earlier this month a host of Republican bills designed to comprehensively allocate federal COVID relief funds throughout the state, including for broadband and roads, preserving his own authority to spend the money as he sees fit. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 30, 2021

State government comes to Hodag Dome
An estimated 140-150 people from all over the state lined up to give the Wisconsin State Legislature's Joint Committee on Finance their input on what items should be included in Wisconsin's 2021-23 biennial budget at a listening session April 21 at the Hodag Dome. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Oneida County hires new finance director
After a fast-moving recruitment process, the Oneida County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously last Tuesday to hire Tina Smigielski as the county's new finance director. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, April 27, 2021

In new deal, Foxconn project all but withers away
Republican legislators once touted it as a $10-billion economic Goliath that would become the eighth wonder of the world, but, with Foxconn's latest deal with the state, the southern Wisconsin development project is now destined to be a less-than-a-billion-dollar economic runt. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Oneida county board of supervisors can supervisors' code of conduct
On a 12-7 vote Tuesday, the Oneida County Board of Supervisors repealed its code of conduct for elected members, with supervisors saying the language wasn't needed for them to create and sustain an atmosphere of respect and civility. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 23, 2021

Waiting their turn
Representatives from several organizations from around the Northwoods and state wait their turn to address the Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee Wednesday at the Hodag Dome.
Friday, April 23, 2021

Social media campaigns promoting Rhinelander area proving to be popular
The Rhinelander Tourism and Marketing Committee (RTMC) received positive news last week regarding marketing campaigns on various social media sites. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 23, 2021

Oneida County drug take back day to take place Saturday
Law enforcement agencies in Oneida County will be participating in a drug take back program from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 24.
Friday, April 23, 2021

Possible walking quorum issue for Minocqua town board
In recent weeks, questions have arisen as to whether certain Minocqua Town Board members pre-arranged the town board's approval of the purchase of the Campanile Center for the Performing Arts parking lot prior to a Feb. 10 town board meeting which resulted in the town's offer to buy the property. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 23, 2021

Country Fest receives county OK
The three area large group gatherings that traditionally draw crowds to Oneida County, including the Hodag Country Festival, had their permits approved Thursday morning by the public safety committee on 4-1 votes. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, April 20, 2021

State Supreme Court lets outdated registrations stay on rolls
Despite a state law requiring names of outdated voter registrations to be removed, the Wisconsin Supreme Court earlier this month determined that tens of thousands of missing voters can stay registered to vote. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Howard Young Medical Center launches local SANE program
Despite its prevalence, sexual violence is often under-reported in our local communities. Sexual violence is defined as forcing or manipulating an individual into unwanted sexual activity without their consent. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in five women experience sexual violence during her lifetime, while one-third of female victims experience sexual violence between the ages of 11 and 17. Even so, it's estimated that less than 40 percent of victims report these crimes to authorities. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 16, 2021

2020 road stream crossing results discussed at virtual meeting
Late last month, the Oneida County Land and Water Conservation Department held a virtual meeting regarding road stream crossings within the county. The grant to do the work was applied for in 2019 and was bought on by the flooding in northwestern counties in 2018. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 16, 2021

Political digest
State Sen. Mary Felzkowski (R-Tomahawk) has joined Rep. Treig Pronschinske (R-Mondovi) in authoring legislation that would make Wisconsin a Second Amendment sanctuary state, which she says would prevent the federal government from infringing on the rights of legal gun owners in Wisconsin.
Friday, April 16, 2021

In Evers decision, justices reaffirm control on the powers of public health
In the most recent state Supreme Court decision, in which the high court - by the thinnest of thin margins, 4-3 - ended Gov. Tony Evers' ability to issue daisy-chain emergency declarations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority revisited an old public debate in the state, namely, the power of public health in an emergency, and sustained and reaffirmed constraints upon it. (subscriber access)
Wednesday, April 14, 2021

New $10,000 cash bond set in Mullen case following bail jumping charge
A 56-year-old Harshaw man charged with five counts of felony child sexual assault in connection with five separate cases is facing a sixth felony charge after he allegedly violated a bond condition. (subscriber access)
Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Sex trafficking increases during COVID-19
With the impacts of COVID-19 still visibly present, the issue of human sex trafficking has grown behind the scenes. (subscriber access)
Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Oneida debates COVID-19 mask mandate enforcement
In the wake of the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling striking down the statewide mask mandate, the Oneida County Labor Relations and Employee Services Committee met Wednesday, April 7 to discuss how to respond. (subscriber access)
Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Voters say no to tax hikes, spending cuts
Voters did not feel the same urgency Tuesday as Oneida County supervisors do when it comes to the need for county road repair, as both a binding referendum to raise taxes and an advisory ballot question to cut spending - both for road construction - failed. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 9, 2021

Newbold voters reject building proposal; Crescent elects new chairman
By a margin of just over 100 votes, Newbold residents on Tuesday rejected a referendum proposal to borrow over $4 million to improve the town hall and upgrade the town shop. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 9, 2021

Total loss in Nokomis
Numerous area fire departments responded to a structure fire late Friday afternoon, April 2, 2021, in the Town of Nokomis on Jenny Lake Road off County Highway K.
Friday, April 9, 2021

Study: COVID-19, pandemic restrictions severely impact individuals with autism
Significant research continued this year into the causes of autism (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and into promising treatments for the disorder, but a cluster of studies in 2020 and early 2021 have taken a different approach, looking into the impacts the pandemic and related restrictions have had on those with ASD and their families. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 9, 2021

Biden laid groundwork for vaccine passports on second day in office
President Joe Biden signed an executive order on the second day of his administration directing federal agencies, including Homeland Security, to study the feasibility of so-called vaccine passports - digital or paper certifications that a person has received a Covid vaccination - and his Department of Health and Human Services is aggressively following through, studying ways to facilitate development of a federal, uniform approach to "vaccine credentialing." (subscriber access)
Friday, April 9, 2021

Oneida County health department offers online scheduling for COVID-19 vaccination appointments
Oneida County Health Department is offering online appointment scheduling following the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announcement that everyone age 16 and older is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Friday, April 9, 2021

Sheriff's office to celebrate National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week
Each year during the second full week in April, telecommunications personnel in the public safety community are honored. This year, April 11-17, is the time to celebrate and thank those who dedicate their lives to serving the public.
Friday, April 9, 2021

Below are the unofficial results of the spring election as posted on Oneida County website's election information page:

County referendum question No. 1

Increase taxes by $500,000 to pay for road and bridge construction?

Yes 3,088

No. 3,535

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Fugle settling in as new county corporation counsel
After 13 years as an assistant county corporation counsel, Mike Fugle didn't hesitate when Oneida County officials asked him if he was interested in taking the top job. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Wisconsin GOP moves forward in election investigation
The Wisconsin State Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections is launching a major probe of last year's elections, following a 58-35 Assembly vote along party lines authorizing the inquiry. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Oneida County set to vote on binding tax increase, advisory spending cuts
Oneida County voters are set to pass judgment on a pair of county referenda questions Tuesday, one to raise taxes by $500,000 a year for a decade to pay for county road and bridge construction and another whether to suggest the county cut $500,000 a year in spending, with the savings also going for road and bridge construction. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 2, 2021

State Supreme Court puts an end to Evers's emergency orders, face mask mandate
In a 4-3 decision, with justice Brian Hagedorn writing the decision for the majority, the Wisconsin Supreme ruled on Wednesday that Gov. Tony Evers's multiple states of emergency and related orders, including a statewide face mask mandate, are unlawful. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 2, 2021

Oneida County highway committee OKs Hwy. D ATV/UTV use
The Oneida County highway committee last month made quick work of what has been, until recently, a fairly contentious issue in the town of Lake Tomahawk with regard to the use of portions of County Highway D by all terrain and utility vehicles. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 2, 2021

Democrats mull overturning Iowa congressional election
It was one of the closest congressional elections in history, and it's still not over, as Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives consider whether to overturn a six-vote GOP victory in Iowa. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Bangstad finance report doesn't balance by more than $18,000
The January continuing campaign finance report filed by 34th District Assembly candidate Kirk Bangstad failed to balance by more than $18,000 - by far the largest discrepancy among a smattering of unbalanced ledgers found by The Lakeland Times in a spot check of Assembly campaign finance reports. (subscriber access)
Friday, March 26, 2021

GOP lawmakers push microschools to expand choice options
A group of Republican lawmakers, led by state Rep. Shae Sortwell (R-Two Rivers), have introduced a bill to allow microschools in Wisconsin - schools that provide in-person instruction to as few as two families in a single location - as an alternative to private or public school. (subscriber access)
Friday, March 26, 2021

Political digest
State Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) and Sen. LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee), along with Rep. Ron Tusler (R-Harrison), have introduced a bipartisan 12-month Contraceptive Care Act.
Friday, March 26, 2021

Oneida board votes to move ahead with jettisoning code of conduct
With just four dissenting votes, the Oneida County board of supervisors voted last week to move forward with eliminating its code of conduct for elected members, with supervisors saying the code was full of vague and entrapping language and the county was involved in too much self-policing. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, March 23, 2021

COVID concerns continue one year later
Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the state of our daily lives on a global scale as the number of COVID cases continued to ebb and flow, spike and then plateau. While the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) reports the number of COVID-19 cases has been on the decline, public health officials continue to urge the public to stay vigilant against the spread of the coronavirus. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, March 23, 2021

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