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January 21, 2018

Transit commission forges foundation for future
Evan J. Pretzer/Lakeland Times

Earlier this month, the transit commission moved to finalize its contract for two individuals from Oneida County to come in on a weekly basis to look over the organization’s books.
Evan J. Pretzer/Lakeland Times

Earlier this month, the transit commission moved to finalize its contract for two individuals from Oneida County to come in on a weekly basis to look over the organization’s books.
After many months of issues, the government body which oversees operations at Northwoods Transit Connections took major steps at its Jan. 11 meeting to position itself on stronger fiscal and reputational ground in the years to come. (Subscriber Access)
Saturday, January 20, 2018

County board passes latest version of shoreland ordinance
It's been a long journey - about two decades - and it still isn't over, but the Oneida County Board of Supervisors reached a milestone Tuesday when it ratified a state-compliant overhaul of the county's shoreland zoning ordinance.

The vote was 12-6, with three supervisors absent. (Subscriber Access)

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Doctors Foster & Smith transitioning 'most front office functions' to San Diego
At some point in the first half of 2018, 55 jobs at Doctors Foster & Smith in Rhinelander will be transferred to the San Diego headquarters of the pet supply company's corporate parent Petco, according to an internal memo obtained by the River News Tuesday. (Subscriber Access)
Thursday, January 18, 2018

Fire destroys airplane hangar at Dolhun Field
Wisconsin fire marshals were on scene at Dolhun Field in Woodruff Tuesday investigating a fire which destroyed a privately owned airplane hangar dating back to the 1940s. (Subscriber Access)
Thursday, January 18, 2018

BREAKING: Doctors Foster and Smith transitioning 'most front office functions' to San Diego
Some time in the first half of 2018, 55 jobs at Doctors Foster and Smith in Rhinelander will be transferred to the San Diego headquarters of the pet supply company's corporate parent Petco, according to an internal memo obtained by the River News Tuesday.
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Local author looks to write the future of the fair
Following the resignation of longtime coordinator Nancy Gehrig last fall, there were major question marks as to who would plan and lead the 2018 Oneida County Fair. (Subscriber Access)
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Vilas County backs away from opioid lawsuit for now
The effort by some in Vilas County to have the county board take a larger role in helping to combat the opioid and opiate abuse epidemic suffered a bit of a setback last week when the county board's executive and legislative committee voted 5-1 Jan. 8 not to join a class action lawsuit against large pharmaceutical companies which manufacture drugs such as oxycodone. (Subscriber Access)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Highway 8 accident
Crescent Fire Department, Crescent first reponders, Med. 1 and Oneida County Sheriff's Office responded to a one-vehicle accident Thursday afternoon at 6644 US Hwy. 8.
Saturday, January 13, 2018

Newbold board discusses zoning, ATV routes
The town of Newbold held its first meeting of the New Year Thursday, Jan. 11, touching on a variety of topics during the 80-minute session. (subscriber access)
Saturday, January 13, 2018

Highway 8 closed due to accident (UPDATE)
U.S. Highway 8 West in the area of Crescent Road was closed for about 4 hours Friday afternoon following a two-vehicle accident involving a semi-trailer truck and a full-size passenger truck.
Saturday, January 13, 2018

Highway 8 accident
Crescent Fire Department, Crescent first reponders, Med. 1 and Oneida County Sheriff's Office responded to a one-vehicle accident Thursday afternoon at 6644 US Hwy. 8. No injuries were reported. (Kayla Breese/River News)
Thursday, January 11, 2018

Oneida County sets record for 2017 timber stumpage
Oneida County forestry director John Bilogan and assistant forest director Paul Fiene brought good news on timber sales in the area to the Oneida County Forestry, Land and Recreation Committee during its meeting on Jan. 3. (subscriber access)
Thursday, January 11, 2018

Area chambers report 'good' holiday tourism season
The 2017 holiday season provided a much-needed shot in the arm to the local economy, both in terms of retail sales and tourism-related activities, area chambers of commerce report. (Subscriber Access)
Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Crescent power outage
Monday, January 8, 2018

Forest County deputy fatally shoots motorist wanted on felony sexual assault warrants
The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is investigating a fatal officer-involved shooting that took place Thursday morning in Forest County.
Saturday, January 6, 2018

Northwoods Transit Connections to sell advertising in future
The public transportation service for individuals in Oneida and Vilas County, Northwoods Transit Connections, made a new move Thursday meant to bring in additional revenue. (subscriber access)
Saturday, January 6, 2018

(UPDATE) DOJ: Body of missing LDF man was found in Iron County
The body of a Lac du Flambeau man missing since Dec. 22 was located in Iron County, the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) announced late Thursday.

According to a DCI press release, the body of Wayne Valliere Jr., 25, was recovered in Iron County on Jan. 1.

"Law enforcement has identified and apprehended five suspects in connection with Mr. Valliere's death," the release states. "The Iron County District Attorney is handling the prosecution of this case with the assistance of an assistant attorney general from the DOJ Criminal Litigation Unit."

The five suspects have not been identified and it's unclear as of Thursday afternoon if any of them have been formally charged with any crime.

The Department of Justice has been investigating Valliere's disappearance since Dec. 29.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Minocqua Plan Commission follows new parameters for short-term rentals
The town of Minocqua is taking its first steps into the new world of short-term vacation rentals. (subscriber access)
Thursday, January 4, 2018

Transit commission talks appointing fiscal manager
The Oneida and Vilas County Transit Commission took a step toward steadier fiscal ground during its meeting Wednesday when it discussed the creation of a new position to manage the finances of the group. (Subscriber Access)
Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Oneida highway department talks plow safety in snowstorms
Towards the end of its Dec. 27 meeting, the Oneida County Public Works Committee discussed poorly behaved drivers and efforts to prevent these kinds of individuals from getting into accidents with county snowplows when they're out clearing the areas roads. (Subscriber Access)
Tuesday, January 2, 2018

How short-term rentals work in the Northwoods
Earlier this year while crafting the annual budget for 2018, state legislators included an amendment which legalized short-term rentals of less than 30 days in single-family residential districts across the state. (subscriber access)
Saturday, December 30, 2017

Martini urges county general zoning for wetlands
As Wisconsin considers changes to wetland laws, one former Oneida County supervisor wants the county to step up its own wetlands protections to replace what he believes is eroding state and federal standards. (subscriber access)
Thursday, December 28, 2017

Fending off the flu: How Northwoods counties fight the annual winter occurrence
Every year as the temperatures get colder, the vacationers take off and the holiday decorations come out to adorn street lights in town, residents in the Northwoods once again face an ugly challenge prevalent in chilly times. (subscriber access)
Thursday, December 28, 2017

Oneida zoning stats show economy picking up steam
A county's zoning statistics nearly always provide an accurate snapshot of the local economy - permits tend to lag when construction and growth slow; they motor ahead when the economy gets rolling - so this year's statistics in Oneida County, showing a healthy uptick in permits and activity, should bode well for the economy. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Oneida County officials in violation of own code
On paper, Oneida County and the officials which make up its government are supposed to be efficient at documenting its decisions for the citizenry. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Lake Tomahawk town board could address mining bill
At the request of a Lake Tomahawk resident, the town board is expected to discuss the recently signed "Mining For America" bill in the very near future.

Governor Scott Walker signed the bill into law Dec. 11 during a ceremony at the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport. (subscriber access)

Thursday, December 21, 2017

BREAKING: RHS principal resigns
Rhinelander High School principal David Ditzler has resigned his position effective Dec. 31.

The School District of Rhinelander Board of Education accepted Ditzler's resignation Monday evening following an extended closed session discussion. The move comes after Ditzler asked for and received an approximately 30-day leave of absence in November.

In a letter to district superintendent Kelli Jacobi dated Dec. 7, Ditzler writes "my recent time off, for which I am truly grateful, has shown me that I need to step away from Rhinelander High School and consider a different future for myself and my family."

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Oneida officials talk plans for county road maintenance
The Oneida County Public Works Committee implemented a plan of action proposed by highway commissioner Bruce Stefonek during its meeting Dec. 14 which will see county roads A, B and D partially widened in 2018, along with reconstruction to part of County Road Y. (Subscriber Access)
Tuesday, December 19, 2017

County officials question transit panel
Members of the Vilas-Oneida Transit Commission (VOTC), which oversees Northwoods Transit Connections (NTC), met Monday with the Oneida County board's administration and labor relations committees. (subscriber access)
Saturday, December 16, 2017

Zoning committee approves substantial fee hikes
The economy has been picking up steam, and more zoning regulations have come down the pike in recent years, and in Oneida County those intersecting trends mean two things are almost as certain as death and taxes. (Subscriber Access)
Thursday, December 14, 2017

Walker signs mining bill into law
With the bill's co-authors in attendance, Gov. Scott Walker signed the "Mining for America" bill into law Monday at the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport. (Subscriber Access)

Thursday, December 14, 2017

County board will consider land deal at Dec. 19 meeting
Oneida County's bid to purchase 231 acres of land in the town of Enterprise for the county forest has moved a step closer with the property owners' acceptance of an offer to buy the land at its appraised value. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Transit commission approves 2018 budget
The Vilas-Oneida Transit Commission, which oversees the Rhinelander-based Northwoods Transit Connections, approved a proposed 2018 budget Thursday. The financial plan will be sent to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for approval. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Oneida County adopts policy on bullying
In recent years, the cliched schoolyard experience of bullying has garnered serious attention from academics, the White House and various figures in our popular media. (subscriber access)
Saturday, December 9, 2017

Stefonek gives update on roadway overhaul project
During a Nov. 29, meeting of the Oneida County Public Works Committee, highway commissioner Bruce Stefonek revealed residents and visitors who come to Rhinelander can look forward to navigating a less dangerous road near the highway department's offices in the future. (Subscriber Access)
Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Sex offender to be released in Oneida County
A convicted sex offender will be released from prison Dec. 5 and is expected to make his home in the Rhinelander area, the Oneida County sheriff's office announced Thursday.
Thursday, November 30, 2017

Northwoods Transit Connections expands under cloud of controversy
On Nov. 17, The Lakeland Times reported on a proposed pilot transportation route for residents of the Minocqua and Woodruff areas which would see individuals transported to Minocqua Winter Park in order to ski and use the facilities at the wooded site. (subscriber access)
Thursday, November 30, 2017

Missing Hazelhurst woman found dead (Update: No foul play suspected)
The body of a missing Hazelhurst woman has been recovered.

According to Oneida County sheriff's captain Terri Hook, searchers found the body of Margie Hurula, 62, Tuesday afternoon, roughly two days after she went missing near her home on County Highway Y in Hazelhurst.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

New law curbs counties' ability to deny conditional use permits
When the state Assembly passed the new Homeowners Bill of Rights two weeks ago and sent the measure to the governor for his signature, most of the attention was on restoring the ability of homeowners to develop substandard lots if they were legal when they were bought. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Political Digest
Members of the Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety voted along party lines last week to approve a bill to set statewide standards for the use of body cameras.
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Woodruff woman found dead in UP
A 65-year-old Woodruff woman has been found dead in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Gogebic County officials report.

According to a press release issued by under sheriff Ross C. Solberg, Gogebic officials received a call at approximately 7:26 a.m. Wednesday requesting their help in locating a 65-year-old female from Woodruff.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

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

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