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June 7, 2023

UPDATE: Persons found deceased in county forest confirmed to be missing Lincoln County teens
The deceased persons found Monday evening in the Oneida County Forest are Dakota Brown, 16, and Aiden Grefe, 17, Oneida County sheriff's captain Terri Hook confirmed Tuesday.

Hook made the grim announcement during a brief press conference Tuesday afternoon at the Oneida County Law Enforcement Center.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Heightened law enforcement presence at JWMS today
The School District of Rhinelander sent a robocall to James Williams Middle School parents Tuesday morning advising there would be an increased police presence on school grounds today.

Below is a transcript of the message:

On April 17, 2023, staff from the School District of Rhinelander and Oneida County Sheriff's Office received information that a student had threatened to act out violence at James Williams Middle School. The threat was investigated by Oneida County deputies in partnership with Oneida County Department of Social Services. Law enforcement continues to cooperate with the school district to increase security and awareness in this matter.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

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

HOPE Consortium tackles opioid epidemic
About 140 people gathered at the Lake of the Torches Casino in Lac du Flambeau Aug. 24 and 25 for a HOPE (Heroin, Opioid, Prevention and Education) Consortium meeting. (Subscriber access)
Saturday, September 2, 2017

Rape allegation went unreported to sheriff for three years
At least two Oneida County sheriff's department officers failed to report a sexual assault allegation against former deputy Lee Lech to the county sheriff for almost three years after learning of it in 2011, despite civil service requirements that officers report other officers engaged in crime and despite the sheriff's own assertion that it is important to investigate such allegations immediately, recent testimony in the Sara Welcenbach hearing asserts. (subscriber access)
Thursday, August 31, 2017

Stepp resigns to take EPA position
DNR secretary Cathy Stepp has resigned from the agency to take a deputy administrator position with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Stepp announced this week. (subscriber access)
Thursday, August 31, 2017

Stenz rules in favor of Carlin Lake Association
Forest County circuit court judge Leon Stenz ruled Friday Carlin Club Properties LLC violated a temporary injunction he issued against the company in March. (subscriber access)
Thursday, August 31, 2017

Pine Lake board discusses roadwork, voting machines
The Pine Lake Town Board took a recommendation from its highway department last week and accepted a per unit bid from Pitlik and Wick for work to be done on Shepard Lake Road. (subscriber access)
Saturday, August 26, 2017

Massive fire destroys spa
A spa and retreat center in the town of Crescent was destroyed by fire early Thursday morning. (subscriber access)
Friday, August 25, 2017

Tiffany pushes end to state's mining moratorium
State Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) and Rep. Rob Hutton (R-Brookfield) have introduced a bill to repeal the state's moratorium on nonferrous metallic mining, a ban that came about because of the Crandon mine struggles of the 1990s and before. (subscriber access)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

UW-Extension committee grapples with budget
As fall moves ever closer, and budget time approaches, the Oneida County Land and Water Conservation and UW-Extension committee must make some hard decisions about future UW-Extension system programming. (subscriber access)
Thursday, August 24, 2017

Oneida committee approves deputy medical examiner
Superman once famously sang that "it isn't easy being me" and on some days the Oneida County medical examiner says he can relate.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Woodboro board discusses ATV/UTV trail in wildlife area
As ATV use increases across the Northwoods, more and more Oneida County towns have had to make difficult decisions about where to allow the vehicles. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Oneida board votes to integrate ADRC, Department on Aging
The Oneida County Board of Supervisors followed in Vilas County's footsteps and pulled a trigger Tuesday, authorizing the Oneida County Department on Aging to give the state notice that it intends to submit an application to operate an integrated Aging and Disability Resource Center. (subscriber access)
Thursday, August 17, 2017

Cassian board discusses liability issues related to bike route signage
One of the items on the agenda for the Cassian town board's monthly meeting Monday was whether to allow bike trail signage on a portion of Ole Lake Road.
Thursday, August 17, 2017

Construction of Newbold disc golf course on final lap
Since gaining town board approval in April of 2015, the Newbold Outdoor Recreation's disc golf course, known as "Rookery Run," has been under construction with organizers hoping to open the course to players in September 2017. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, August 15, 2017

DOT: July was the deadliest month on Wisconsin roads this year
July was the deadliest month on Wisconsin roads this year, prompting transportation safety officials to issue a "call to action" urging all motorists to be safe/responsible.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Crescent board resolves ATV trail, speed limit issues
The Crescent town board met Wednesday night to make a final decision on where to allow ATV/UTV traffic and to address what some feel is an unsafe speed limit. (subscriber access)
Saturday, August 12, 2017

Sorensen pushing county to consider 200-foot minimum width lots
An Oneida County supervisor wants the county to consider requiring larger minimum frontages in the shoreland zone, but to get his way means that minimum-width requirements would have to be imposed on every new subdivision in the same zoning district, off water as well as on water. (subscriber access)
Thursday, August 10, 2017

Conservation and UW-Extension Education committee calls special meeting
The Oneida County Conservation and UW-Extension Education committee is getting down to brass tacks as it prepares for the upcoming reorganization of the UW-Extension system. (subscriber access)
Thursday, August 10, 2017

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