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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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July 28, 2021

UPDATE: Search for homicide suspect continues; both vehicles located (24-year-old Rhinelander man arrested)
The Oneida County sheriff's office is seeking help from the public in locating a suspect in the death of a local woman whose body was found in a ditch in the Town of Pelican Wednesday morning.

According to Oneida County sheriff Grady Hartman, the deceased is Hannah R. Miller, 26, of the Rhinelander area.

Miller's body was found adjacent to River Bend Road near U.S. Highway 8 at approximately 11 a.m. June 30, Hartman said in a Thursday press briefing from the Oneida County Law Enforcement Center.

Police responded to the scene after receiving a 911 call reporting a female lying on the side of the road, he added.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Court: Law allowing blood draws from unconscious drivers unconstitutional
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that a statutory provision permitting law enforcement to take blood samples from incapacitated drivers suspected of intoxication is unconstitutional. (subscriber access)
Friday, June 25, 2021

CDC postpones emergency vaccine meeting to celebrate new holiday
Concerned about the rising number of reported cases of heart inflammation after receiving a Covid vaccination, particularly in young men, the Centers for Disease Control had scheduled an emergency meeting of its vaccine panel for last Friday, but then abruptly canceled it after President Joe Biden declared the day a federal holiday. (subscriber access)
Friday, June 25, 2021

Lake Tomahawk board to look at traffic speed
The Lake Tomahawk town board will take a closer look at what can be done about excessive traffic speed on the portion of State Highway 47 that runs through the downtown. (subscriber access)
Friday, June 18, 2021

Rhinelander man draws prison time in ICAC case
A 62-year-old Rhinelander man was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison and three years extended supervision after pleading no contest to one of three felony charges he faced as a part of an Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) operation conducted by the Oneida County Sheriff's Department. (subscriber access)
Friday, June 18, 2021

Michigan man enters plea to ICAC charges in Oneida County
A 30-year-old Crystal Falls, Mich. man entered pleas June 9 that resolved a case from June 2019 charging him with attempting to use a computer to facilitate a child sex crime and attempted sexual assault of a child under the age of 16. (subscriber access)
Friday, June 18, 2021

Board of Adjustment grants variance for AirPro addition
Following a successful appeal to the Oneida County Board of Adjustment (BOA), Rhinelander-based industrial fan manufacturer AirPro Fan & Blower Co. has been granted a variance to construct a shop addition on State Highway 17. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Jury finds Augusta man guilty in ICAC case
An Oneida County jury took 25 minutes Tuesday afternoon to reach a pair of guilty verdicts in the case of a 36-year-old Augusta man who was arrested in March after he traveled to Rhinelander to meet a person he believed to be a 15-year-old female for sex.
Friday, June 11, 2021

Judge denies motion for summary judgment in excessive force lawsuit
A federal judge has denied a motion filed by attorneys for Oneida County seeking dismissal of a lawsuit alleging a pair of county officers used excessive force in taking a non-verbal Rhinelander man into custody in the spring of 2017, violating his Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Oneida County patrol sergeant dies in ATV crash
A patrol sergeant with the Oneida County Sheriff's Office was killed last weekend in an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) accident in Iron  County. (subscriber access)

Friday, June 4, 2021

OVTC to re-establish two bus routes effective July 2
The Oneida Vilas Transit Commission will re-establish two of the Northwoods Transit Connections bus routes, the Bear Paw and Whitetail routes, that were temporarily discontinued on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. (subscriber access)

Friday, June 4, 2021

Doctors, parents sue HHS over vaccine authorizations for children
As concerns about heart muscle inflammation, or myocarditis, in younger individuals after Covid vaccination continue to rise, a group of parents and doctors have gone to court to try and stop federal vaccine authorizations for children under the age of 16. (subscriber access)

Friday, June 4, 2021

Woodruff Town Board approves Lake Tomahawk Storage, LLC CUP
Following extensive discussion, the Woodruff Town Board voted 4-1 May 25 to approve a revised conditional use permit (CUP) for Lake Tomahawk Storage, LLC for the development of a commercial storage facility consisting of eight buildings and a boat/recreational vehicle shrink wrap business with outdoor storage on property on Landing Bay Plat. (subscriber access)

Friday, June 4, 2021

Pine Lake resident convinces DOT to add paved deceleration taper off 17 North
A Town of Pine Lake man who has spent more than two months trying to convince the state to add a turn lane off of State Highway 17 North just outside of Rhinelander learned Friday morning the state Department of Transportation (DOT) has agreed to make changes to the intersection. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Walker, newspaper companies sue Bangstad for defamation, libel
Lakeland Times publisher Gregg Walker, Walker Communications, and Lakeland Printing Company have filed a libel, defamation, and trade defamation lawsuit against Kirk Bangstad and Minocqua Brewing Company, Walker said this week. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Supreme Court shoots down Biden administration on warrantless searches
In a high profile case, the U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously overturned lower federal court decisions that police could enter a Rhode Island home without a warrant and seize the owner's handguns, though no crime had been committed and no immediate emergency existed. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

$10,000 cash bond set for Laona man accused of attempted child sexual assault
A 45-year-old Laona man is being held in the Oneida County jail on three felony charges including using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Bond reduced in witness intimidation case
A Painesdale, Mich. woman accused of threatening a witness expected to testify in her upcoming drug trafficking trial had her bond modified May 24 after entering not guilty pleas to two charges. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Rapids, Park Falls mills have become a political football
It should be easy but it isn't - a state loan to local cooperatives to buy closed paper mills in Wisconsin Rapids and Park Falls to ensure their continued existence. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Walker: State forestry headquarters moving to Rhinelander
Rhinelander has been chosen as the new location for the State Division of Forestry headquarters, Governor Scott Walker announced Wednesday in a visit to the city.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Magistrate narrows scope of plaintiff's claims
A federal lawsuit filed by a former Oneida County corrections officer alleging sexual harassment and gender discrimination by her supervisor is set for trial next month in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, but the scope of the case has been narrowed considerably following a pretrial ruling. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Oneida County adjusting to rental policy change
With supervisors Billy Fried and Dave Hintz absent, the Oneida County Planning and Development Committee had zoning director Karl Jennrich present options to the group during their Oct. 18 meeting which could lessen issues arising from short-term rentals in the area. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Building the Oneida County budget
In meetings on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of last week, the Oneida County Administration Committee went through the 2018 budget and deliberated on what to remove and what to approve and send onward to the county board in November. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

ATV ordinance to be discussed at Oct. 26 Newbold meeting
The Newbold town board held a relatively light meeting on Oct. 13. Discussion and action at the meeting included approval of an aquatic invasive species (AIS) prevention grant for Two Sisters Lake and approval of the purchase of a new voting machine. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Short-term rentals now legal throughout Wisconsin
Homeowners who have been prevented by their municipalities from renting their homes on a short-term basis can now do so under certain conditions, under a late amendment to the state budget bill that Gov. Scott Walker did not veto. (subscriber access)
Saturday, October 14, 2017

ATV/UTV ordinance discussion at Cassian board meeting becomes heated
Monday's Cassian town board meeting featured a brief, heated exchange over ATV/UTV usage on town roads. (Subscriber Access)
Saturday, October 14, 2017

Oneida County sergeant seeks sheriff's post
The voters won't go to the polls for over a year, but signs are pointing toward a lively race for Oneida County sheriff in 2018. (subscriber access)
Thursday, October 12, 2017

Mining moratorium bill moves forward
State Sen. Tom Tiffany's bill to repeal Wisconsin's mining moratorium took a major step forward late last week, with the Senate Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining, and Forestry voting 3-2 to move the bill to the full Senate for action. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

In sexual assault case, truth is a hard-won thing
These days, former Oneida County detective sergeant Sara Welcenbach is fighting battles on multiple, though connected, fronts - she continues to try to clear her name for what she says are trumped up charges of misconduct against her, and she is pursuing justice in the criminal prosecution of the man she says raped her in 2011, former Oneida County deputy Lee Lech. (subscriber access)
Thursday, October 5, 2017

Neuman says he won't compromise confidential info
When it comes to internal probes at the Oneida County sheriff's department, sheriff Grady Hartman has turned increasingly to jail administrator Mark Neuman and captain Terri Hook to lead the investigations of their fellow officers. (subscriber access)

Thursday, October 5, 2017

County highway facility maintenance pushed to 2019
The Oneida County Public Works Committee voted Wednesday to make highway commissioner Bruce Stefonek wait a little longer for key upgrades to his Kemp Street facility in Rhinelander. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Vilas County supervisors compromise on compensation
The compensation of county board supervisors is a hot topic this fall.

The Oneida County administration committee is looking to revamp pay and compensation for board supervisors in that county and Vilas County supervisors last week approved a compromise on a resolution regarding supervisor pay. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Oneida-Vilas transit commission to get funds
In an effort to cut costs, the Oneida and Vilas Transit Commission, the board of directors which oversees Northwoods Transit Connections (NTC), last week approved changes in how NTC will operate. (subscriber access)
Saturday, September 30, 2017

Oneida County closer to electronic voting for officials
In separate meetings on Sept. 20, the Oneida County capital improvement and administration committees discussed a proposal which would cause members of the county board to cast their votes electronically in the future. (subscriber access)
Thursday, September 28, 2017

Northwoods Transit Connections adjusts 'on call' procedure
Growing pains.

That's the way Jim Altenburg, the director og Northwoods Transit Connections, describes the current situation with the organization, put together under the umbrella of the Oneida and Vilas Transit Commission. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Former Oneida sheriff's deputy charged with sexual assault
A former Oneida County sheriff's deputy has been charged in Dane County Circuit Court with sexually assaulting a coworker while the two were in Madison for a training session in October 2011. (subscriber access)
Saturday, September 23, 2017

Audit says Oneida County running in strong position
Oneida County auditors have once again wrapped up their annual tasks, and once again they report the county to be in strong financial position as a new budget year approaches. (subscriber access)
Thursday, September 21, 2017

fall ride
Participants from this past weekend's 36th Annual Tomahawk Fall Ride for MDA head south on U.S. Highway 51 Sunday morning. The weekend drew tens of thousands of visitors to several sites in Tomahawk and Oneida County. The annual event is a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

County committee hears fair report
Despite some occasional rain showers, approximately 15,000 people attended the 2017 Oneida County Fair, the Oneida County Conservation and UW-Extension committee learned Sept. 11. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Trump to consider reductions in J1 visa program
The Trump administration is considering implementing a reduction or elimination of visas for United States cultural work and exchange programs, specifically for five of the employment-based cultural exchange visas in the J1 visa program, the Wall Street Journal has reported. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Welcenbach seeks to amend federal lawsuit
Following the announcement Monday that the Oneida County Law Enforcement Grievance Committee had heeded the wishes of sheriff Grady Hartman and fired Sara Welcenbach for conduct unbecoming an officer and general ineffiency, the former Oneida County detective sergeant quickly filed a motion to amend her federal lawsuit against both Hartman and the county. (subscriber access)
Saturday, September 16, 2017

Lake Tomahawk town supervisor selected
Lake Tomahawk's next town supervisor has been chosen.
Saturday, September 16, 2017

Oneida County fires Welcenbach
Though it made no finding on the most serious charge against Sara Welcenbach, the Oneida County Law Enforcement Grievance Committee found enough grief last week to heed the wishes of sheriff Grady Hartman and fire the detective sergeant formerly known as Sara Gardner. (subscriber access)
Thursday, September 14, 2017

Retired detective contradicts testimony of Hook
The Oneida County law enforcement grievance committee hearing against former detective sergeant Sara Welcenbach (see related story at top) had its dramatic high points last week, but none more so than when a retired detective sergeant contradicted the sworn testimony of one of the county sheriff's top officers. (subscriber access)
Thursday, September 14, 2017

Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport has low delay, cancellation rates
When Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport commission chairman Robert Heck heard that some people are choosing to fly out of other airports because of an impression that Rhinelander has a lot of delays and cancellations he decided to take a close look at the numbers. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Stefonek seeks fuel tank upgrades
When safety risks at a government facility are so commonplace every worker knows about them, it's time to spend money on upgrades.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Timber up in Oneida County
While speaking to the Oneida County Forestry Committee last Wednesday, county assistant forest director Paul Fiene briefed members on good news he didn't quite understand. (subscriber access)
Saturday, September 9, 2017

Highway shop priorities discussed
The Oneida County board's public works, highway and solid waste committee last week approved an assessment of the highway department's shop facility on Kemp Street in Rhinelander. (subscriber access)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Hartman wants mechanic for sheriff's department
A proposal from Oneida County Sheriff Grady Hartman to add a mechanic to his department generated considerable discussion Tuesday at a meeting of the county's highway, public works and solid waste committee. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Speed limit in front of Camp American Legion to be reduced
Don Grundy, the new director of Camp American Legion in Lake Tomahawk, is one step closer to accomplishing his goal of having the speed limit on County Highway D reduced. (subscriber access)

Saturday, September 2, 2017

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