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home : news : county/state news April 30, 2017

Sugar Camp dog rescue owner seeks return of animals
Over two months after 39 dogs were seized from a Sugar Camp dog rescue, and with no charging decision made as of yet, the owner and co-founder has petitioned to have the dogs returned to her, despite a Department of Agriculture order last month suspending the organization's license to operate. (subscriber access)
Thursday, April 27, 2017

Bear that approached motorists to return to the wild
The young female black bear who displayed odd behavior and a lack of apprehension toward humans last December, and was taken into a local wildlife rehab facility, will be returned to the wild.
Thursday, April 27, 2017

Area law enforcement trains to be prepared for special needs cases
Over the last few years, there has been increased awareness in the law enforcement community as to what personnel can do when dealing with individuals who may have special needs, such as those on the autism spectrum.

The Lakeland Times talked to representatives from the Oneida and Vilas County sheriff's offices as well as Minocqua police chief Dave Jaeger about some of things law enforcement agencies have done or are doing to train officers for these complicated situations. (subscriber access)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Three Lakes electors approve funding for infrastructure projects
Nearly 100 people attended the Three Lakes annual town meeting April 28. The electors said goodbye to chairperson Stella Westfall and town supervisors Pat Volk and Dr. Bill Martineau, and welcomed new chairman Jeff Bruss and new supervisors Matt Olkowski and Jeff Boehm. (subscriber access)
Thursday, April 27, 2017

NORA well construction discussed at Newbold annual meeting
Newbold held a relatively concise annual meeting Tuesday, April 18, with the primary topic of discussion being the Newbold Outdoor Recreation Area (NORA).

The town recently received word from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources related to a request for a variance for well water at the recreation area. The notification states that the variance granted for the well to be constructed at the property is subject to seven conditions. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Proposal to open two county highways in Pine Lake to ATV/UTVs moves ahead
The Pine Lake town board voted Wednesday to continue the application process to open county highways W and C to ATV and UTV traffic. The proposal to open the roadways to ATV/UTV traffic was made by the Pine Lake ATV/UTV Club. (subscriber access)
Saturday, April 22, 2017

Holewinski updates committee on zoning issue in Sugar Camp
On April 12, Oneida County Planning and Development Committee chairman Scott Holewinski informed his committee that he had scheduled a meeting with State Senator Tom Tiffany and Rep. Rob Swearingen to discuss the zoning situation in Enterprise, Monico and Sugar Camp. (subscriber access)
Saturday, April 22, 2017

Electors grant raises to Pine Lake officials at annual meeting
The town chairman, supervisors and constable of Pine Lake will get a bump in salary following the April 2019 election after a motion to that effect was approved at the annual meeting Tuesday night. (subscriber access)
Saturday, April 22, 2017

Lake Tomahawk continues to operate without debt
The highlight of the annual Lake Tomahawk Town Board meeting Tuesday came from a financial statement indicating all town departments ended 2016 under budget and the town continues to operate without debt. (subscriber access)
Saturday, April 22, 2017

OC board passes resolution to alter zoning, rejects proposed amendments
Despite a relatively light agenda this month, there were a few fireworks Tuesday when the Oneida County Board of Supervisors met at the Oneida County Courthouse. (subscriber access)
Thursday, April 20, 2017

County committee running into walls on boiler project
The Oneida County Buildings and Grounds Committee met Monday morning to discuss bids for a new boiler and kitchen exhaust system project at the Law Enforcement Center. (subscriber access)
Thursday, April 20, 2017

ATV/UTV referendum creates stir in Newbold
A large crowd turned out Thursday for an unusually contentious town board meeting in Newbold. The main topic of the night was the board vote on the ATV/UTV advisory referendum. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Zoning committee making shoreland ordinance changes ahead of public hearing
The Oneida County Planning and Development Committee is nearing the end of the process of making corrections and changes to the Shoreland Protection Ordinance presented to the public last month. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

County panel votes on chip-seal bids
The Oneida County Public Works/Highway and Solid Waste Committee voted Thursday on bids for chip-seal oil and chip aggregate for work to be done later this year on County Highway J. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Pine Lake gathers public input on proposal to open two highways to ATVs
Nearly 50 people gathered in the Pine Lake Community Center Saturday morning to offer input on the question of whether the town should open county highways W and C to ATV/UTVs.

While the majority appeared to be in favor of the change, several attendees expressed concerns about safety. (subscriber access)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Early identification crucial for those with autism
First in a four-part series

Early identification of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can make a world of difference for individuals in regards to their future and independence. (subscriber access)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

March housing sales update: Oneida County sees higher prices, less sales
In Oneida and Vilas counties, the median prices for three real estate categories increased from March of last year to the same month this year. (subscriber access)
Thursday, April 13, 2017

Sheriff's office shares information on how people with medical issues can communicate with law enforcement
In light of a miscommunication Friday that led to an intense law enforcement response at 10 Sanns Street in Rhinelander, the Oneida County sheriff's office is reaching out to the public to explain how people who have medical issues can request medical assistance even if they cannot speak.
Thursday, April 13, 2017

County supervisors still trying to comply with open meetings law
Despite the entire Oneida County Board of Supervisors participating in mandatory open-meetings law training in February following a violation that resulted in fines, some supervisors still can't seem to grasp the concept. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Joint Finance Committee removes public notice language from budget
The Legislature's Joint Finance Committee has removed from the state budget it is considering a controversial item eliminating the obligation of state and local governments to publish various public notices in newspapers.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Proposed ordinance amendment may further delay Marshfield Clinic project
Public hearings, and Marshfield Clinic's proposed hospital addition in Woodruff, dominated the Oneida County Planning and Development Committee meeting Thursday at the Oneida County Courthouse. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Oneida County forestry committee goes against legal counsel in timber stumpage contracts
For the second time in two weeks an Oneida County committee has gone against the advice of its corporation counsel. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

LRES proposes several personnel policy revisions
The Oneida County Labor Relations & Employee Services committee met March 29 to review Chapter 4 of the county code which focuses on personnel policy. (subscriber access)
Thursday, April 6, 2017

Spring election results 2017: Roberts, Frey, Roskoskey win school board seats
Below are unofficial results for local races contested in the spring 2017 election.

Rhinelander School Board

Imcumbents Mike Roberts and Duane Frey have been re-elected to the school board after garnering 1,468 and 1,437 votes respectively in Tuesday's spring election, , according to unofficial results posted on the school district website. They will be joined by newcomer Ben Roskoskey who outpolled incumbent Merlin Van Buren 1,347 votes to 1,194.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Newbold to ease seasonal road weight limit restrictions
As the ground begins to thaw, seasonal road weight limit restrictions have begun to affect communities in the area. Newbold is one of them, and the town board voted March 30 to ease the constraints under certain circumstances. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Three ice fishermen rescued from Thunder Lake
Three ice fishermen had to be rescued from Thunder Lake in Three Lakes Thursday afternoon after they went through the ice over half a mile from shore.
Saturday, April 1, 2017

Jump!Start program leads to life of advocacy for Nicolet student
A chance encounter led a young woman to a Nicolet Area Technical College program that has changed her life and led to a new passion for disability advocacy. (subscriber access)
Saturday, April 1, 2017

Oneida County social services prepares for new state law regarding sex trafficking
In 2015, the state of Wisconsin passed Act 367, which requires child protective services agencies to investigate any case in which a child is alleged to have been a victim of sex trafficking or of sexual exploitation. (subscriber access)
Thursday, March 30, 2017

Transit commission discusses challenges of funding schedule
Members of the Oneida/Vilas Transit Commission expressed frustration with the state and federal government funding disbursement schedule Friday as the panel reviewed the organization's latest financial report. (subscriber access)
Thursday, March 30, 2017

County committee approves purchase of rubber tire roller
Oneida County supervisors were in a buying mood at the March 23 Public Works/Highway and Solid Waste Committee meeting.

The committee voted to approve the purchase of a new rubber tire roller to be used this summer for asphalt paving. (subscriber access)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Sheriff's office investigating alleged armed home invasion
The Oneida County sheriff's office is investigating a report of an armed home invasion in the town of Pelican Monday morning.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Oneida County goes against Desmond's advice o­n Sugar Camp zoning issue
The zoning debate in the towns of Enterprise, Monico and Sugar Camp was the focal point of discussion when the Oneida County Planning and Development Committee met Wednesday in Rhinelander. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Newbold holds public hearing on ATV referendum
The Newbold Town Board held a public hearing Saturday afternoon for town residents to voice their opinions and get more information about the upcoming ATV referendum. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Three Lakes board mulls buoy reward program
While area lakes are not yet open, the Three Lakes town board is already planning for the summer boating season. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Carlin Club LLC water bottling plan suffers another setback
Following a more than three-hour hearing in Vilas County Circuit Court March 17, Florence/Forest County circuit court judge Leon Stenz left a restraining order against the Carlin Club LLC intact. (subscriber access)
Saturday, March 25, 2017

FirstNet opens door for interoperability in public safety
In 2012, the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) was tasked with creating a private communications network for public safety personnel. The network needs to offer nationwide cellular data for emergency services and enhance interoperability among jurisdictions. (subscriber access)
Saturday, March 25, 2017

Oneida County special response team participated in Weston shooting resolution (UPDATED: Victims identified)
Members of the Oneida County Special Response Team were involved in the resolution of a string of shooting incidents that terrorized three suburban Wausau communities Wednesday afternoon and left four people including an Everest Metro police officer dead, according to Oneida County sheriff Grady Hartman.

According to Associated Press reports, the initial shooting at Marathon Savings Bank in Rothschild was reported at midday Wednesday as a domestic dispute. When officers arrived at the bank they found two people had been shot and the suspect had fled. It wasn't clear if those two victims were among the dead, according to the report.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Oneida County board violates open-meetings law... again
The Oneida County Board of Supervisors held its monthly meeting on Tuesday and violated open-meetings laws in the process, just one month to the day after undergoing mandatory open-meetings law compliance training stemming from a violation last year. (subscriber access)
Thursday, March 23, 2017

Records show telecommunication staff rates high on sheriff's disciplinary list
While disciplinary action taken against employees of the Oneida County Sheriff's Office continues to run high within its corrections division - seven of 17 instances within the department between mid 2012 and the end of 2016 were among the jail staff - misconduct is also high within the communications' division. (subscriber access)
Thursday, March 23, 2017

Boulder Junction town contract went to Reuss Construction without board approval
A Lakeland Times open-records investigation

The town of Boulder Junction paid Reuss Construction - of which the town chairman is an owner - more than $7,700 last year for work that was neither publicly advertised as required by law nor formally approved by the town board.

In a contract pertaining to the installation and construction of four kiosks for the town, the town failed to publish a Class I notice prior to entering into the contract with Reuss Construction, owned by town chairman Dennis Reuss and Matt Reuss, nor did the town board vote to approve the contract, both an analysis of records obtained by The Lakeland Times and interviews confirm. (subscriber access)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Snowmobile fatalities tally 16 throughout state
The Vilas County Recreational Trails Safety Committee received the state's snowmobile fatality report last week and found the county at the bottom of the list for number of fatalities. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Let the sun shine in the Northwoods
In honor of Sunshine Week - a celebration and advocacy of open government - The Northwoods River News and The Lakeland Times present the newspapers' 2017 awards and grades for openness in conducting public business.

The following grades are calculated using several measures, including how responsive officials have been this past year to open records' requests, how diligently they have strived to keep the workings of government open, how willing they were to communicate with the media and with the public, as well as their past track record.

The rating scale...

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Oneida County to hold public hearing for Marshfield Clinic April 6
The Oneida County Planning and Development committee reconvened on Wednesday for the first time since its public hearings for the new proposed shoreland protection ordinance. (subscriber access)
Saturday, March 18, 2017

Officials play small ball to kill transparency
No one thing in 2016 quite matched the spectacle of 2015, when Gov. Scott Walker and the GOP legislative majority tried to effectively repeal the state's open-records law. The public blowback was so strong and immediate that lawmakers ran for cover. (subscriber access)
Thursday, March 16, 2017

Chimney fire damages cabin
Crews from the Three Lakes and Sugar Camp fire departments, with an assist from a tanker from the Eagle River Area Fire Department, fought a chimney fire at a cabin on Rustic Lane outside of Sugar Camp midday Tuesday. According to a Three Lakes fireman at the scene, the fire started in the chimney, and possibly had spread into the surrounding walls by the time fire crews arrived. The firemen used a thermal camera to make sure any fire in the walls was out before they left the scene. In addition to the fire departments, the Oneida County Sheriff's Office and an Oneida County ambulance also responded to the fire.
Thursday, March 16, 2017

Oneida County talks meeting procedures at admin meeting
The Oneida County Board of Supervisors received mandatory training in regards to open-meetings laws in February.

Some of the training information by Lori Lubinsky of Axley Brynelson was found to be inaccurate, particularly in relation to quorums. (subscriber access)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Lakeland area housing sales update: February
When looking over the Lakeland area's housing sales figures for the month of February, three data points stand out the most. Lots and land in Oneida, Vilas and Iron County saw a tick in activity, particularly in price. (subscriber access)
Thursday, March 16, 2017

Political Digest
Walker touts tourism success

Gov. Scott Walker spoke to around 900 tourism industry representatives this week in Milwaukee, lauding the success of the state's tourism initiatives.

"Wisconsin's tourism industry plays an important role in moving Wisconsin forward, ultimately impacting job creation, workforce development, and economic growth," Walker said. "Tourism has a more than $19 billion impact on the economy in Wisconsin - that's up 30 percent over five years. More than 190,000 jobs depend on tourism. It's a really big deal."

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Heavy hitters speak against public notice bill
A hearing was held last week on a controversial bill to eliminate required newspaper publication of local government meeting minutes, and a pair of heavy-hitting groups came out swinging against the legislation, including the Wisconsin Newspaper Association and AARP. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Luce opens door for new OCEDC, leadership
Roger Luce, the executive director of the Oneida County Economic Development Corporation (OCEDC) and the Northeast Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (NEWEDC) will step aside next year and enjoy the retired life. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

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