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November 28, 2020

County board plans spring referendum on million-dollar tax hike
On a 19-0 vote, with one supervisor absent and one seat vacant, the Oneida County board expressed support Tuesday for a referendum asking voters to raise their property taxes by a hefty $1 million a year for road construction. (subscriber access)
Friday, November 13, 2020

Holiday finery
Oneida County Clerk Tracy Hartman and Deputy Clerk Deb Neuman decorate the third floor of the Oneida County Courthouse Monday, Nov. 23, 2020.
Friday, November 27, 2020

Stevens Point man bound over in fatal OWI accident
A 36-year-old Stevens Point man facing felony charges in connection with a fatal traffic accident in Minocqua last summer was bound over for further proceedings following a preliminary hearing Nov. 13 in Oneida County Circuit Court. (subscriber access)
Friday, November 27, 2020

Super rich find a home in the party that hates millionaires and billionaires
Over the past several decades, it has become a rallying cry for the Democratic Party: Make the millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share. (subscriber access)
Friday, November 27, 2020

2020 election results underscore nation's ongoing political realignment
With the process of certifying the results of the 2020 election underway, America remains just as divided as it was before election day, with voting patterns continuing to show a fundamental shift in political allegiances that gives neither major party a real advantage going forward. (subscriber access)
Friday, November 27, 2020

WILL sues Dane County, city of Madison over ban on private gatherings
The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) has filed an original action with the Wisconsin Supreme Court, asking the court to halt the recent ban on all private gatherings in homes and on all indoor sports activities by the health departments of Dane County and the city of Madison.
Thursday, November 26, 2020

Judge reschedules hearing in Bilogan lawsuit, denies request for six-week break
A magistrate judge in Madison agreed last week to move a preliminary pretrial conference in former Oneida County forester John Bilogan's federal lawsuit against Oneida County from Nov. 20 to Dec. 2 but stopped short of putting the case on hold until after the new year as plaintiff's counsel requested. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Gallup: Support for stricter gun laws lowest since 2016
A new poll by the Gallup organization has found support for stricter gun control laws has not only fallen to its lowest level since 2016, but plunged seven points in the last year. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Man charged with possession of child pornography
Bail has been set at $50,000 cash for a Woodruff man charged Friday with 10 counts of possession of child pornography. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Caretaker accused of stealing from elderly person
A 28-year-old Arbor Vitae woman has been charged with stealing approximately $400,000 from an elderly person through the unauthorized use of credit cards and withdrawals from banks accounts. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, November 24, 2020

County clerks reflect on unique election
The 2020 presidential election was one for the ages. Voter turnout reached record numbers across the country, including Oneida and Vilas counties. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Trump campaign alleges massive fraud, foreign interference in November election
Lawyers for the campaign of President Donald Trump held a major news conference late last week alleging massive voter fraud and foreign interference that resulted in the election being stolen from the president, but as the dust settled no actual evidence was offered and some conservative supporters of the president began to demand the campaign do so. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, November 24, 2020

County board digs in to preserve nonessential programs
In a way, at least when it comes to the actual tax levy, the 2021 Oneida County budget is a bit ho-hum - virtually no tax increase in the end, while the budget process itself merely replayed past debates. (subscriber access)
Friday, November 20, 2020

The GRID launches new website for entrepreneurs
The Guiding Rural Innovation and Development organization, known as the GRID, has launched its new website that offers a broad range of resources, events, and training for area innovators and business builders.
Friday, November 20, 2020

City announces suspension of in-person services
The sustained rapid rise in active COVID-19 cases in Oneida County has caused the City of Rhinelander to re-evaluate walk-in counter services at city buildings.

Effective Monday, Nov. 16, City Hall and the police, fire and inspection offices will be closed to walk-in customers, according to a press release issued Friday afternoon.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Senate, Assembly committees ready joint hearing on voter fraud
A week after Assembly speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) directed the Assembly committee on campaigns and elections to use its investigatory powers to review how the November elections were conducted, that committee is expected to schedule a joint hearing with its Senate counterpart, and they plan to use their subpoena powers if necessary. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Most election fraud claims lack evidence, but Biden faces issues in three states
The campaign of President Donald Trump has filed lawsuits in five separate states challenging the outcome of the presidential races there, as social media videos and claims of massive voter fraud in many of the nation's biggest cities went viral this past week. (subscriber access)
Friday, November 13, 2020

Zoning recording contradicts Desmond on revisiting sign ordinance
A recording of a zoning committee meeting from 2016 contradicts the Oneida County corporation counsel's recent insistence that he acted as instructed when the zoning committee directed him in June of that year to review sign ordinance provisions that were likely unconstitutional and to bring suggestions for changes back to the committee. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, November 10, 2020

GOP picks up House seats; makes gains in state legislatures
There's a macabre joke about Abraham Lincoln's assassination - not that it's funny - in which a fictitious speaker asks, "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?" (subscriber access)
Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Another close election leaves America still divided
When Americans awoke Wednesday morning, they still did not know for sure who the next president of the United States was going to be or which party would control the U.S. Senate, but one thing was for sure: The Democratic landslide predicted by most pollsters never unfolded, and another nail-biter of an election underscored just how politically divided Americans are. (subscriber access)
Friday, November 6, 2020

Swearingen crushes Bangstad in landslide
Republican Donald Trump saw his fortunes slip in Wisconsin this year, but the president still ran strong in northern Wisconsin Tuesday, fueled by GOP strength across the board, as Northwoods GOP Assembly incumbent Rob Swearingen powered his way to a massive win over Democratic challenger Kirk Bangstad in the 34th Assembly district. (subscriber access)
Friday, November 6, 2020

Highway committee pushing for April referendum
The Oneida County Highway Committee gave preliminary approval Thursday to two resolutions pertaining to funding for county road projects in the near future.

The first resolution outlines the need for increased funding for road and bridge construction while the second resolution, if passed by the county board, would authorize placement of a referendum on the April 6, 2021 ballot. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

USFWS to delist wolves in 2021
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced Thursday it will remove wolves located in the lower 48 states from the endangered species list effective Jan. 4, 2021. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, November 3, 2020

County knew for years about problems with sign ordinance
Oneida County decided not to enforce its ordinance regulating the size of political signs this year after the county's corporation counsel advised that the regulation was unconstitutional, but the county's zoning committee and the corporation counsel knew there were problems with the ordinance as far back as 2016. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Tri-County Council notes '300 percent' rise in local child sexual assault cases as annual vigil is held
For many, home is a sanctuary filled with comfort and love, but for others, it's anything but. Tragically, the Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault reports that the COVID-19 pandemic has exasperated domestic and sexual violence concerns in our area. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Lac du Flambeau woman found dead in the Vilas County jail
Vilas County authorities are investigating the death of a 20-year-old woman in the Vilas County jail on Monday, Oct. 26. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Bus company temporarily cuts 3 routes after staff tests positive for COVID19
The School District of Rhinelander announced Monday afternoon that Bowen's Bus Service has temporarily cut three routes after "some of their staff have tested positive for COVID-19," but maintains no students were exposed to any of the affected staff members.

The notification first went out by robocall, followed by a post on the district's website and Facebook page.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Election profile Tiffany: Country must reopen to restore vitality of the Trump economy
U.S. Rep.Tom Tiffany (R-Minocqua), who is running for re-election in the seventh congressional district, says he and his staff have accomplished a lot in the five short months he has been in office, but he also says he is eager to be re-elected to help restore the economy to its pre-pandemic prosperity, an economy he says was the best in a generation. (subscriber access)
Friday, October 30, 2020

Election profile: Zunker says funding there for Congress to help struggling Americans
Tricia Zunker, the Democratic challenger in Wisconsin's seventh congressional district election, says Congress can and must do more to address the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impacts, from providing free and more accessible Covid testing in rural areas, more aid for small businesses and farmers, hazard pay for essential workers, and extended unemployment. (subscriber access)
Friday, October 30, 2020

Election profile: Swearingen stresses broadband, help for rural schools
Ask state Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) what he is proudest of in his work as a legislator, and he won't rattle off a long list of bills he has introduced. (subscriber access)
Friday, October 30, 2020

Election profile: Mary Felzkowski seeks re-election
First elected to the State Assembly in November 2012, Mary Felzkowski is currently campaigning for the 12th Senate District seat in the Wisconsin legislature. (subscriber access)
Friday, October 30, 2020

Election profile: Candidate Bangstad declines request for election interview
On Oct. 13, 2020, Kirk Bangstad, the Democratic candidate for Wisconsin's 34th Assembly District in the Nov. 3 election, was contacted by this reporter, via email, letting him know of the opportunity to answer election-related questions with those answers to be published in the Oct. 30 edition of The Lakeland Times, along with those of his opponent, Republican Rob Swearingen, the incumbent running for re-election. (subscriber access)
Friday, October 30, 2020

Northwoods Transit Connections manager to reimburse OVTC $3,700
The Oneida Vilas Transit Commission last Friday discussed reimbursement from Northwoods Transit manager Roger Youngren in the amount of $3,700. (subscriber access).
Friday, October 30, 2020

Oneida County zoning won't pursue Bangstad for alleged sign violation
The Oneida County zoning committee voted Monday not to move forward with prosecution of Kirk Bangstad's political sign on the side of the Minocqua Brewing Company, after the county's corporation counsel advised that he considers the county's sign ordinance to be unconstitutional. (subscriber access)
Friday, October 30, 2020

Minocqua Brewing Company removes post that violated newspaper's copyright
As The Lakeland Times had demanded, the Minocqua Brewing Company has quietly removed from its Facebook page a post that republished an entire Times news article from this past spring, which The Times alleged violated its copyright protections. (subscriber access)
Friday, October 30, 2020

Elcho seeks more school funds from voters
On Nov. 3, the Elcho school district, which includes the Oneida County townships of Enterprise and Schoepke, is asking voters to allow it to spend $1 million above and beyond state-imposed revenue limits for each of the next four years to maintain existing educational programs. (subscriber access)
Friday, October 30, 2020

Bilogan lawsuit moves to federal court
Former Oneida County forester John Bilogan's lawsuit alleging certain Oneida County officials and a DNR forester "engaged in a civil conspiracy" to cause him "personal and professional harm" has been moved to federal court. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Rhinelander man, 61, arrested in ICAC operation
A 61-year-old Rhinelander man was charged Wednesday with attempted sexual assault of a child under 16, use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime and solicitation of an intimate representation from a minor following an Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) operation conducted by the Oneida County Sheriff's Department. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Elcho seeks more school funds from voters
On Nov. 3, The Elcho school district, which includes the Oneida County townships of Enterprise and Schoepke, is asking voters to allow it to spend $1 million above and beyond state-imposed revenue limits for each of the next four years to maintain existing educational programs.
Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Supervisors crush bid to consider a new highway department
Oneida County supervisors overwhelming defeated Tuesday an attempt by supervisor Jack Sorensen to put the possibility of a new highway department back on the table, rejecting by a resounding 16-4 vote a resolution to hire an outside consultant to study the costs of building a new facility versus remodeling the current one. (subscriber access)
Friday, October 23, 2020

Controversy erupts over snowmobile trail signs
The president of the Northwoods Passage Snowmobile Club, which maintains snowmobile trails in southern Oneida County and Lincoln County, has an issue with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regarding trail signage.

Tim Calhoun said he recently received a phone call from the DNR about signs on what's known as the Bearskin Connector Trail. (subscriber access)

Friday, October 23, 2020

Oneida County receives over $300,000 in TRAVEL grants from Dept. of Tourism
Oneida County recently received a total of $301,599.74 in Tourism Relief to Accelerate Vitality and Economic Lift (TRAVEL) Stimulus Grants from the Department of Tourism, according to a press release issued Wednesday by the Oneida County Tourism Council.
Friday, October 23, 2020

Facebook, Twitter at the center of election, even in Wisconsin
Charges of censorship by giant tech companies against conservatives have thrust social media giants Facebook and Twitter into the center of the 2020 election, but those associated with the two media companies are making their presence felt in other ways around the country, too, including in Wisconsin, and for some it's not a welcome visit.
Thursday, October 22, 2020

Pelican to shift to virtual instruction for two weeks
The following notice from district superintendent Eric Burke regarding the status of instruction at Pelican Elementary was posted on the School District of Rhinelander website Thursday afternoon:

After much thought and discussion with our district leadership team and Martha Knudtson today, we have made the decision to have Pelican Elementary School go remote temporarily for two weeks. The reason for this decision is the impact of COVID 19 on students and staff with both positive cases and in quarantine for close contacts.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Lake Tomahawk board approves ATV/UTV ordinance
Nearly a year after the Lake Tomahawk ATV Club first approached the town board with a request for a stretch of town road to be opened to all-terrain vehicle and utility vehicle traffic, an ATV/UTV ordinance authorizing the use of the machines on town roads has been approved. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Northwoods National Cemetery open for burials
On Oct. 26, Northwoods National Cemetery in Harshaw will begin providing burials for veterans and eligible family members.
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Court denies injunction to halt Evers's state of emergency
A St. Croix County judge last week blocked an effort to end a public health state of emergency declared by Gov. Tony Evers related to the coronavirus pandemic, a state of emergency he has used to implement a statewide face mask mandate and to limit the size of public gatherings. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Movement to state prisons resumes for inmates at Oneida County jail
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has presented a number of obstacles for county jails and state prisons to navigate, officials at the Oneida County jail report that headway is gradually being made. (subscriber access)
Friday, October 16, 2020

Despite COVID, Oneida County sales tax collections up
When Gov. Tony Evers instituted his Safer at Home order March 25, shuttering many businesses in Oneida County, some elected officials and economic leaders predicted sales tax collections would plummet. (subscriber access)
Friday, October 16, 2020

Oneida County, state COVID-19 picture 'looking more critical'
As of Friday, Oct. 9, the Oneida County Health Department (OCHD) reported a total of 254 active cases of COVID-19 in the county, with 11 of those patients hospitalized. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Officials issue warning about contract tracer scam calls
Oneida County officials are warning local residents to beware of "certain bad actors" who are making fraudulent phone calls pretending to be COVID-19 contact tracers from the county health department. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, October 13, 2020

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