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home : news : county/state news May 3, 2016

Bartelt stepping down from county clerk post; two candidates to seek position this fall
Come January, a new clerk will be in charge of elections in Oneida County.

Ending a long career in local government, late last month Mary Bartelt advised the county board she will not run for re-election this fall. (subscriber access)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Moustakis not running for re-election in November
For the first time in more than 20 years, Vilas County will soon have a new district attorney.
Monday, May 2, 2016

Local Ministry facilities now offer veterans health care services
Northwoods veterans have an alternative to traveling long distances or enduring long waits for health care at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities now that area Ministry Health Care facilities have started taking part in the Veterans Choice Program. (subscriber access)
Monday, May 2, 2016

Ceremony honors workers who died on the job
The weather was more in line with the first day of April than the last, but at least it didn't rain or snow as Northwoods residents gathered for the fifth annual Workers' Memorial Day Observance Saturday at Pioneer Park in Rhinelander.

"If you read Facebook, we had summer; it was last Wednesday," master of ceremonies Paul Knuth said after Jackie Cody, president of the Northern Wisconsin Center for Working People, welcomed the 30 people who braved the wind to attend the observance.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Town of Newbold forms Town Hall Renovation Committee
The Newbold Town Board formed the Town Hall Renovation Committee on Thursday after a previous advisory motion was approved by town electors at the annual meeting.

The committee's first members, town clerk Kim Gauthier and board members Jim Staskiewicz and Ed Hammer, will meet in the near future to elect a chairman and secretary and decide how to solicit citizens for the committee. (subscriber access)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Finding a way back: Nicolet College's veterans club helps transition
The Academy Award-winning film "The Hurt Locker," which takes place in Iraq during 2004, has in the years since it debuted in 2008 largely been dismissed as unrealistic in the Iraq and Afghanistan veteran community.

Near the end of the film, however, there's one scene that hits home for many veterans.

In the scene, the main character, a member of a U.S. Army explosive ordinance disposal team portrayed by Jeremy Renner, has returned home from his deployment to Iraq. (subscriber access)

Monday, May 2, 2016

One injured in motorcycle-pickup truck crash
One person was injured Sunday after a motorcycle struck a pickup truck in the town of Washington.

According to the Vilas County sheriff's office, a call came in at approximately 12:06 p.m. Sunday reporting a motorcyclist hit a pickup truck at the intersection of Rangeline Road and Scattering Rice Road in the township of Washington near Eagle River.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Suspect in Lynne standoff bound over for trial
A 60-year-old Tripoli man accused of holding several law enforcement agencies at bay by threatening to blow up a residence on Clifford Road April 19 was bound over for trial Friday morning. Following a 45-minute preliminary hearing, Branch II Judge Michael Bloom ruled there was probable cause to support the charges of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, a class B felony, attempted first-degree reckless injury, a class D felony, possession of a firearm while intoxicated and misdemeanor battery (domestic abuse) against Kenneth Welsh. Welsh, shown here with his court appointed public defender Mary Roth Burns, is set for an arraignment May 16. See Tuesday's print edition for more details. Jamie Taylor/River News photograph
Friday, April 29, 2016

The incredible journey continues Andruscavage moves from prison camp to orphanage
Second of a three-part series

Editor's Note: In Part 1 of this series, published in the Thursday, April 28 edition of the River News, Lottie Andruscavage described the early days of her confinement in a Russian labor camp. In this installment she describes her liberation and her life ­as an orphan.

Lottie Andruscavage makes her home in the Rhinelander area now, but she traveled many miles before making her way to northern Wisconsin. After her earliest years in her Polish hometown, she was detained in a Russian labor camp from 1940-1942. Her entire family died along the way, leaving her an orphan at the age of 11.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Hartman to run for county clerk
Town of Crescent municipal clerk Tracy Hartman has announced her candidacy for Oneida County Clerk.

Hartman announced her intentions late this week via a press release, just days after incumbent clerk Mary Bartelt advised the county board she will not be seeking another term.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Public hearing for water plant in Presque Isle set for Wednesday
A public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday at the Presque Isle community building for what is, without argument, the hottest issue in the town of Presque Isle - a zoning change request to accommodate a water bottling plant.

Essentially, the plant, with Trig Solberg as one of the partners in the business, would bottle water from a well on private property and sell it.

The concept to get the plant built isn't a new one as it has its roots in another county and another town. (subscriber access)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Latest GAO report highlights 37 new areas of federal waste
Every year, the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee holds a hearing to highlight duplicative, wasteful spending by the federal government, including the passage of legislation that spends money to create new programs, though federal programs to deal with those problems already exist. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 29, 2016

The incredible journey: Faith, indomitable will help local woman survive detention in Russian labor camp
First in a three-part series

To call Lottie Andruscavage a survivor would be an understatement. To describe her life as an incredible journey seems woefully insufficient.

Andruscavage lost her entire immediate family in a Russian labor camp, traveled across the globe as an orphan in search of a permanent home and ultimately found a love who brought her solace and peace. (subscriber access)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Antigo prom shooter was aiming at officer when he was hit
MILWAUKEE (AP) - The 18-year-old gunman who opened fire on students exiting the prom at his former school in northern Wisconsin was aiming a rifle at a police officer when he was fatally shot, preventing what authorities have said could have been a far worse attack.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Multiple studies point to vaccine links to autism
News analysis

When Robert De Niro made waves earlier this month about a potential link between vaccines and autism, the outcry and the reporting was standard: There is no link, a scientific consensus exists that vaccines do not cause autism, a multitude of studies back them up, and, to sum it all up, vaccines are safe. (subscriber access)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Students return to scene of Antigo prom shooting
ANTIGO (AP) - Students returned to class Monday at a northern Wisconsin high school where gunfire disrupted prom night, leaving two students injured and the shooter dead.

Meanwhile, Gov. Scott Walker called for more discussion on how to deal with bullying in schools after several of the gunman's friends said he had been bullied when he attended Antigo High School, where the shooting took place.

Authorities say Jakob E. Wagner, 18, was armed with a high-powered rifle and a large ammunition clip when he showed up outside the school Saturday night and shot the two students as they left the building.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Michael Mann: Man-made climate change is real
The first in a series of interviews about climate change

The famous climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann has a simple, straightforward message for everyone: manmade climate change is real and significant, and the real debate should focus on solutions to problematic global warming, where he says a range of prescriptions should be on the table. (subscriber access)

Monday, April 25, 2016

Libertarian announces candidacy for 7th District
Libertarian Candidate for Governor Robert Burke announced last week he will be running in the fall for the 7th Congressional Seat of Wisconsin against Republican Sean Duffy. Burke, a former financial services executive from Hudson, plans to center his campaign for Congress around ending the wars and healing the nations economy, according to a press release announcing his candidacy.
Monday, April 25, 2016

Political Digest
U.S. Supreme Court

hears arguments in Birchfield v North Dakota

The United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week concerning the legality of state drunk-driving laws in the case of Birchfield v. North Dakota.

The outcome could affect drunk-driving laws in Wisconsin, and 18 states, including Wisconsin, have signed on as amici curiae...(subscriber access)

Monday, April 25, 2016

Officials urge caution as spring wildfire season begins
The spring wildfire season is upon us and the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest encourages visitors and landowners to keep safety in mind.

Some of the most common sources of wildfires are campfires, debris burning, and engine fires. Visitors are reminded to build campfires in designated campfire rings and to properly extinguish the fire when not attended. In Wisconsin, landowners are required to have a proper burn permit from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and to follow the rules of the permit. More information can be found at under "fire."

Monday, April 25, 2016

Police ID teen accused of Antigo prom attack (UPDATED 3:30 p.m. Sunday)
ANTIGO (AP) - An 18-year-old gunman opened fire outside of a high school prom in northern Wisconsin, wounding two students before a police officer who was in the parking lot fatally shot him, authorities said Sunday.

The attack happened late Saturday outside the Antigo High School prom, said Eric Roller, the chief of police.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Three Lakes electors authorize construction of town complex, library expansion
By a vote of 100-10, town of Three Lakes electors on Tuesday authorized the town board to finance and build a new town hall complex and expand the Edward U. Demmer Memorial Library.

The vote followed almost an hour of spirited discussion between the board and the standing-room only crowd assembled in the town of Three Lakes Community Room for the annual town meeting. (subscriber access)

Friday, April 22, 2016

Newbold to explore options for town hall update
A motion brought forward by Jackie Cody, a member of the Newbold Outdoor Recreation Committee, passed unanimously at the annual meeting Tuesday with the town board to discuss creating a new committee at the next town board meeting on April 28. The committee, which would include town clerk Kim Gauthier, would be formed to develop a proposal to update the Newbold Town Hall.
Friday, April 22, 2016

Town board names disc golf course
The Newbold Town Board held a special meeting Thursday and voted unanimously to name the disc golf course at the Newbold Outdoor Recreation Area "Rookery Run," in honor of the large amount of heron activity in the area.

The board also voted to approve the name of an informational kiosk to be placed in the parking lot. (subscriber access)

Friday, April 22, 2016

Third candidate to challenge Duffy
A third person from the Wausau area will run against two-term Republican Sean Duffy for the 7th Congressional District seat in the House of Representatives.

Joel A. Lewis, 34, made his candidacy official Thursday evening with a speech in front of the Oneida County Courthouse. (subscriber access)

Friday, April 22, 2016

Lake Tomahawk town board defers rezone request to county
A rezoning request received a "pass" April 13 from the Lake Tomahawk town board.

At issue are several lots on the west side of State Highway 47 between Tulip Drive and North Bluebird Road.

Most of the lots are zoned residential but the owner of two of the lots, Elizabeth Taylor, had submitted to the town a request to rezone those lots as business. (subscriber access)

Friday, April 22, 2016

Walker declares state of emergency going into fire season
MADISON (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker has declared a state of emergency due to elevated wildfire conditions across the state.

Walker issued an executive order declaring an emergency on Thursday. The order calls on all state agencies to help as they can with wildfire response and recovery efforts and allows Wisconsin National Guard leaders to activate units as necessary to help.

Friday, April 22, 2016

De Niro: 'Let's just find the truth' on autism cause
Legendary actor Robert De Niro has called upon the media to investigate alleged links between autism and childhood vaccinations, and he says he's amazed at the resistance there is to even discussing the safety of vaccines.

"I'm not a scientist, but I know because I've seen so much reaction about just finding out the truth," De Niro told NBC's Savannah Guthrie and Willie Geist on 'The Today Show' April 13. "Let's just find out the truth. I'm not anti-vaccine, but I am pro-safe vaccines." (subscriber access)

Friday, April 22, 2016

UW-Extension and WCA announce training sessions for new county officials
Earlier this month, Wisconsin voters cast ballots not only for the United States presidential primary and Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, but for local county board supervisors. With turnover on county boards averaging about 25 percent each election cycle, board members need opportunities to learn more about their roles and responsibilities.
Friday, April 22, 2016

Man arrested on attempted homicide charge in connection with Lynne shooting
A town of Lynne man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted first-degree intentional homicide in connection with an incident Tuesday morning in the town of Lynne.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Hintz re-elected Oneida board chairman
The Oneida County Board of Supervisors held its bi-annual organizational meeting Tuesday, re-electing Dave Hintz as chairman in an altogether benign affair.

Hintz ran unopposed after Oneida circuit court judge Michael Bloom administered the oath of office to all elected and re-elected supervisors. That included incumbent District 19 supervisor Lisa Zunker, who held her seat by winning a coin toss after she wound up tied with challenger Jeffrey Vollmer, 306-306, in the April 5 election. (subscriber access)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Kirby to lead City Council
The Rhinelander City Council met briefly Tuesday afternoon to reorganize in the wake of the April 5 election that saw three alderpersons re-elected and Dawn Rog defeat Joseph Salzer for the District 5 seat.

Rog, along with George Kirby, Sherrie Belliveau and Steve Sauer, who returned for another term of office, took the oath of office for their new four-year terms. (subscriber access)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Jeff Vollmer honors recount
After a roller coaster recount April 13 that ended in a tie, and ultimately caused the Oneida County Board District 19 race to come down to a coin toss, incumbent Lisa Zunker emerged as the winner.

Challenger Jeff Vollmer had five business days to appeal the recount to the Oneida County Circuit Court, but in a letter to the editor sent to the Northwoods River News and the Lakeland Times, he announced he will not move forward with an appeal.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Resources for families affected by autism available in the Northwoods
For the growing number of people affected by autism, including the families who care for those people, there are often many questions regarding diagnosis, special needs and the help that is available. Several statewide and national agencies, some with offices right here in the Northwoods, are staffed to handle those big questions.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Czaja announces re-election campaign for State Assembly
State Representative Mary Czaja (R-Irma) announced Tuesday she will seek a third term in the Assembly. The Irma Republican represents the 35th Assembly District which includes the cities of Antigo, Merrill, and Tomahawk, covers all of Lincoln County, and portions of Langlade, Marathon, Oneida, and Shawano counties.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

GOP senators press for balanced budget amendment
They've pushed it since at least the 1960s, and Republican senators are pushing it still: the idea of a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

This time around, though, there's something different, a thing called momentum.

The prospect for bipartisan support for such an amendment is growing, and it could be due to two separate factors. One is the exponentially exploding national debt, the portion of which held by the public could grow from $13 trillion now to more than $23.6 trillion by 2026, seriously eroding America's standard of living. (subscriber access)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

UPDATE: Two subjects in custody in connection with reported shooting in Lynne
Two subjects have been taken into custody in connection with a reported shooting Tuesday morning in the town of Lynne.

According to chief deputy Dan Hess, the county's 9-1-1 dispatch center received a call from a male at approximately 11:20 a.m. Tuesday reporting that another male had shot him with a firearm, however the caller threatened to blow up the house if anyone approached it. The caller also claimed the shooter had left the area.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Oshkosh Defense contributes to Camp American Legion
An annual, internal contest conducted by Oshkosh Corporation has resulted in a substantial donation for Camp American Legion near Lake Tomahawk.

Wednesday, the camp's director, Kevin Moshea, accepted on the camp's behalf a check for $27,500 from Oshkosh Defense, a subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation. (subscriber access)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Voter ID law scrutinized following spring election
Following Election Day, state and national media reported long wait times at the polls and even some voters who were turned away by new voter ID laws in some parts of the state. But according to local clerks, things went smoothly in Oneida and Vilas counties. (subscriber access)
Monday, April 18, 2016

Individualized Autism Spectrum Disorder treatments most effective
According to the Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) directly affects one in 68 children, including one in 42 boys. More children will be diagnosed this year with ASD than with AIDs, diabetes and cancer combined. (subscriber access)
Monday, April 18, 2016

Report: Gender wage bias doesn't explain pay gap
Equal Pay Day for women has come and gone for this year - it was April 12 - and so might have the so-called gender pay gap it calls attention to, if two new studies are to be believed. (subscriber access)
Monday, April 18, 2016

Governor signs bill reforming MFL program
Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill Thursday afternoon that one of its authors says will make the Managed Forest Law (MFL) program "more user-friendly and easier to administer."

Surrounded by representatives from the timber industry, Walker signed Senate Bill 434 into law at the Ponsse North America facility in Rhinelander.

The bill was authored by State Senator Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) and Representative Jeff Mursau (R-Crivitz). (subscriber access)

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Zunker wins with 'heads'
A recount of votes cast on Election Day in the town of Lynne and Minocqua districts 5 and 6 for the open Oneida County Board seat in district 19 came down to an unexpected coin toss.

With 306 votes apiece for the candidates, a "heads" flip of the coin allowed incumbent Lisa Zunker to walk away the winner.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Highway commissioner post offered to Stefonek
The Oneida County Labor Relations and Employee Services committee has completed its search for the next county highway commissioner and landfill supervisor.

The panel voted Wednesday to recommend the full county board appoint Bruce Stefonek to replace current highway commissioner/landfill supervisor Freeman Bennett, who is retiring Aug. 9. (subscriber access)

Friday, April 15, 2016

Tiffany announces re-election campaign; Salamone to challenge Duffy
Less than two weeks after the spring election, two northern Wisconsin candidates have announced they'll be on the ballot in November.

Incumbent Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) announced Thursday he will seek to retain the 12th Senate District seat he won in 2012.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Hey infants, ante up: You owe the government $42,537
All things being equal, the nation's debt held by the public will swell from $13.1 trillion at the end of 2015 to $23.7 trillion at the end of 2026, according to updated figures from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, and that's especially bad news for the youngest of Americans.

Expressed per capita, as calculated by the Heritage Foundation using government budget and population figures, an American child entering the world this year is born owing the federal government $42,537. (subscriber access)

Friday, April 15, 2016

County board recount comes to dramatic end
Oneida County Clerk Mary Bartelt, left, and Minocqua Town Clerk Roben Haggart count votes for the Dist. 19 seat on the Oneida County Board of Supervisors while candidate Jeff Vollmer looks on.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Right-to-work decision faces a tough road in higher courts
Last week's ruling by a Madison circuit court judge that the state's new right-to-work law is unconstitutional wasn't entirely unexpected, and many who anticipated it are equally anticipating a different outcome in higher courts. (subscriber access)
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Oneida County Forestry, Land and Recreation committee discusses priorities for public land
The Oneida County Forestry, Land, and Recreation Committee gathered on Wednesday to hear from local logger Dennis Schoeneck on priorities for the future of the county forest, as well as to meet the new Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL), Jonathan Barry, to discuss the possibility of a possible land trade. It also invited Dale Mayo from Vilas County Parks and Recreation Administrator to discuss Vilas County's Trails Ad Hoc Committee, and reviewed the rejection of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship grant by the Joint Finance Committee last month with Vilas County. (subscriber access)
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

On the campaign trail: More than 30 LUHS students attend Trump and Sanders rallies
Wisconsin is shaping up to be a battleground state in the 2016 presidential election, and while not all of them were eligible to vote in last Tuesday's primary election, the unique situation allowed nearly three dozen local high school students to actively participate in the state's one-of-a-kind political process.

Throughout its 167-year history, the state of Wisconsin has built a unique voting legacy. (subscriber access)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Professionals to speak at autism awareness workshops Sunday
Wisconsin Family Ties and Iron County Human Services is sponsoring a Northwoods Family Fun Day and workshops for parents and guardians of children with disabilities, their siblings and professionals at the Waters of Minocqua from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

The workshops are designed for parents, educators, social workers, community members or mental health clinicians helping kids with social, emotional, behavioral and physical challenges.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

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