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home : news : county/state news February 6, 2016

'Audit the Fed' gains support on Right and Left
The battle cry "Audit the Fed" has long been associated with libertarian former Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) and his supporters, and dismissed by many as a sloganeering prop of conspiracy-theory-driven crackpots. (subscriber access)
Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Hodag Sports Club holds annual banquet
Not even the threat of a severe winter storm could keep local outdoors enthusiasts away from the Hodag Sports Club's annual banquet Tuesday night at the Quality Inn in Rhinelander.

The Hodag Sports Club has long been a fixture in the Rhinelander area, promoting shooting sports and competitions for several decades.

The club hosts the banquet annually and uses the proceeds on maintenance projects and to improve its trap range, rifle range and Steve Martin Training Center. Funds generated through the banquet have also been used to purchase additional land. (subscriber access)

Friday, February 5, 2016

Conditional use permit for mine in Cassian approved
The Oneida County Planning and Development Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved a conditional use permit for James Peterson & Sons Inc. of Medford.

Peterson applied for a conditional use permit to operate a non-metallic mine on 78 acres along U.S. Highway 51. The property is just north of Rocky Run Road in the town of Cassian. (subscriber access)

Friday, February 5, 2016

Walker says he won't pay back travel, security costs
After a failed presidential bid that ended in September, Gov. Scott Walker's campaign still owes more than $1 million to consultants, direct mail companies and other promotional material producers.

In addition, a Walker spokesman last week told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the governor is bailing on his promise to pay the state back for travel costs and overtime hours for his security team - meaning the taxpayers will foot the remainder of the bill for Walker's security requirements as he travelled out of state and around the world for campaign events.

In total, Walker raised $7.4 million for his presidential run. (subscriber access)

Friday, February 5, 2016

Gogebic Taconite lease officially expires
Local officials weren't expecting a payment from Gogebic Taconite (G-Tac) to Iron County by Feb. 5, as there had been no communication between the entities since G-Tac swiftly shuttered its Hurley office in late February of last year, and many breathed a sigh of relief as the county's attorney Chris Jaekels circulated an email confirming the absence of the $30,000 lease-renewal payment meant Iron County no longer had any contractual obligation to the embattled mining company. (subscriber access)
Friday, February 5, 2016

Vilas County sheriff hopes to slow down 'revolving door'
The Vilas County Sheriff's Department is having a difficult time keeping employees.

In 2014, Russ Kennedy, who first started working with the sheriff's department in 1981, retired and then went to work for the Lac du Flambeau Tribal Police Department.

Since that time, there have been others who have gone from the sheriff's department to the tribal police department and at a recent meeting of the Vilas County board's law enforcement committee, Vilas County sheriff Joe Fath announced three more resignations, one of them a jailer who took a job in Lincoln County. (subscriber access)

Friday, February 5, 2016

Blizzard of red ink buries United States Postal Service
Delivery of the U.S. mail was halted in some East Coast areas last month after a massive blizzard buried postal vehicles - and much of the eastern seaboard - under record snowfalls, but it's a monster storm of a different type that's threatening to bury the United States Postal Service nationally.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Northwoods rail consortium to try again for TIGER grant in 2017
The effort by the logging industry to obtain a federal grant worth millions of dollars for badly needed railroad cars will be revisited in 2017. (subscriber access)
Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Police searching for suspect in St. Germain burglary
The Vilas County Sheriff's Office is investigating a reported burglary at the Krist Food Mart in St. Germain.

According to a sheriff's office press release, the break-in was reported at approximately 6:01 a.m. Monday.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

WEATHER CLOSINGS AND CANCELLATIONS: School District of Rhinelander to release students one hour early
The School District of Rhinelander will be closing one hour early today, Tuesday, Feb. 2, due to the impending winter storm, according to a notice posted on the school district website.

Buses will run their regular routes one hour early.

All afterschool programs for Tuesday, Feb. 2 have also been canceled due to the forecasted inclement weather.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Winter has been easy on plow budgets
The abnormally low snowfall totals for the winter season thus far have been easy on municipalities' plowing budgets, but the fickle weather may also mean more costs for road repair come spring. (subscriber access)
Monday, February 1, 2016

Newbold officials seek grant for outdoor rec area
The Newbold Town Board on Thursday unanimously approved applying for a grant from the Norma and Stanley DeBoer Quiet Trails Fund. (subscriber access)
Monday, February 1, 2016

Deadline extension issued for neglected structure
The Oneida County Planning and Development Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved allowing a property owner five more months to clean up a dilapidated structure in the town of Cassian. (subscriber access)
Monday, February 1, 2016

Winter season shaping up for area businesses
Employment trends and the cost of living can be gloomy topics in this day and age, especially in a tourism-driven area like the Lakeland region. (subscriber access)
Monday, February 1, 2016

Marenisco fighting predator problem
Police chief Bruce Mahler is responsible for the safety of the residents of the city and township of Marenisco, Mich. When problems such as wolves roaming in town come up, he is the one who answers the call. For a township the size of Marenisco, 336 square miles, that can be challenging. (subscriber access)
Monday, February 1, 2016

Which is more deadly: Northwoods roads or snowmobile trails?
Every year there are tragic accidents on Northwoods roads and snowmobile trails. Sadly, most of these accidents are preventable. Alcohol, speed, and inattentive driving are all contributing factors that can be avoided. A close look at the statistics reveals that there are fewer deaths per year on snowmobiles in Oneida, Forest and Vilas counties than on the roadways, but the numbers are almost even in Iron County. (subscriber access)
Monday, February 1, 2016

Times prevails in records' lawsuit against sheriff's department
A circuit court judge ordered Thursday the Oneida County Sheriff's Department to release certain records The Lakeland Times, sister paper of The Northwoods River News, has sought in an open-records dispute, but the judge withheld the records' release and imposed a gag order on the proceedings until a final resolution of the case. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 29, 2016

Ordinance would cut speeds in work zones
The Oneida County Public Works and Solid Waste Committee on Thursday authorized highway commissioner Freeman Bennett to draft an ordinance for temporarily reducing speed limits in work zones. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 29, 2016

Taxiway project part of 5-year plan for local airport
The recently announced $1.6 million project to extend the main taxiway and repaint airfield pavement markings at the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport is part of a rolling five-year plan. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 29, 2016

Local influenza cases minimal so far
Each year, one of winter's most unwelcome visitors is influenza. Thankfully, despite being a tourist location, the Northwoods has not attracted much in the way of the potentially lethal virus this season.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Corrections veteran speaks for staff at troubled youth center
While much of the media attention has been focused on the alleged abuses by the staff on the youth incarcerated at Lincoln Hills School just outside of Irma, one man who retired after working 33 years with the Department of Corrections says that not enough attention has been paid to the working conditions for staff that might have led to the problems in the first place. (subscriber access)
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Updated enrollment estimates raise new doubts about Obamacare
Expected 2016 enrollment in health insurance exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, will be far lower than previously projected, according to new estimates released this week by the Congressional Budget Office. (subscriber access)
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Panel amends section of code
The Oneida County Labor Relations and Employee Services Committee on Monday unanimously approved amending Chapter 4 of the code. (subscriber access)
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Lawsuit regarding neglected structure pursued
The Oneida County Planning and Development Committee on Wednesday approved giving direction to corporation counsel Brian Desmond regarding a lawsuit against the owner of a dilapidated structure and septic system in the town of Three Lakes. (subscriber access)
Monday, January 25, 2016

'Benefits cliff' affects families, local employers
In the Lakeland Times' ongoing reporting on the local economy, social programs and benefits for the needy are things many people are talking about - though given the sensitivity of the issue, few are willing to go on record.

In general local business owners have reported, in their struggles to find help, an increase in the number of employees who will only work a certain number of hours to maintain housing, health care or food benefits. (subscriber access)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Both sides of GOP say Trump is the voice of anger
South Carolina Republican governor Nikki Haley, a rising star of the GOP establishment, probably thought she was doing the party's elite some good when she denounced angry voices inside the Republican Party during her response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. (subscriber access)
Monday, January 25, 2016

Homeless count to take place this week
In late January the Northern Wisconsin Initiative to Stop Homelessness (N*WISH) Continuum of Care will be joining homeless coalitions (or Continuums) around the state in completing a local "point in time" count of individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
Monday, January 25, 2016

Political Digest
New report shows impact of state budget on women and girls

The Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health has released its latest State Budget Impact on Wisconsin Women & Girls Report, and it finds that the 2015-17 budget contains drastic spending cuts and substantive policy changes to programs and services that help support the health and economic well-being of Wisconsin's women and girls.

Monday, January 25, 2016

$1.6M project planned for Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport
A taxiway will be extended and airfield pavement markings repainted at the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport.
Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sheriff's department records' decision nearing
The Lakeland Times' open-records case against the Oneida County Sheriff's Department is barreling toward a lower-court conclusion, with a hearing and possible - even likely - decision set for Jan. 28. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 22, 2016

Board reduces minimum staffing at jail
The Oneida County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved changing the minimum staffing requirements for inmates in double cells.

The action followed recommendations by the Public Safety Committee and the Sheriff's Office. (subscriber access)

Friday, January 22, 2016

NORDEG receives $52K grant to assist in heroin cases
Oneida County Sheriff Grady Hartman on Thursday brought "a small tidbit of good news" to the Public Safety Committee. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 22, 2016

Minocqua, LdF police working to solve burglaries
Since just after the first of the year, the Minocqua and Lac du Flambeau police departments have been working to solve a string of burglaries at summer homes along the State Highway 70 corridor west of Minocqua. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 22, 2016

Local ties to preservation of a World War II patrol boat
The story begins with a United States Navy patrol torpedo boat, better known as a PT boat, being restored at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Friday, January 22, 2016

Walmart to close three stores in state
Three Walmart stores in Wisconsin are among 154 stores in the U.S. and 269 worldwide that will soon close their doors. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 22, 2016

Ironwood K-Mart set for liquidation
A manager at the K-Mart in Ironwood, who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed last week the store will be closing in the near future, though the manager wouldn't say exactly when. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 22, 2016

Board OKs pay raise for county employees
The Oneida County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted 17-1 to approve a .73 percent wage increase for exempt and non-exempt employees effective Jan. 2. (subscriber access)
Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Walker: Wisconsin comeback is real
It's way too early to know if Gov. Scott Walker can come back from dismal approval ratings in the wake of his failed presidential campaign, but, in his State of the State address this week, he wanted Wisconsin residents to know that the state's rebound is real, if not his own. (subscriber access)
Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Area legislators visit Ministry Saint Mary's Hospital to discuss rural health care, telemedicine
Leaders from Ministry Health Care recently met with two area legislators to update them on the important and expanding role telemedicine plays in providing medical services to rural areas of northern Wisconsin.
Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Bill would allow concealed weapons on school grounds
The loud report of the nation's gun debate is echoing in Madison, as sharp exchanges about guns on school campuses reverberated within the state capitol this past week. (subscriber access)
Monday, January 18, 2016

McNaughton memories: Local prison was originally a tuberculosis camp
As unlikely as it may seem, the buildings at McNaughton Correctional Facility in Lake Tomahawk have been listed in the National Registry of Historic Places for more than 20 years and remain as some of the most resolute historical landmarks in the Northwoods. (subscriber access)
Monday, January 18, 2016

Pay hike of .73% for municipal employees approved
The Oneida County Labor Relations and Employee Services Committee has approved a .73 percent wage increase for general municipal employees effective Jan. 2. (subscriber access)
Monday, January 18, 2016

Obama advisor drops a land-use bombshell
For decades conservatives have warned about the far-reaching - and negative - economic impacts that comprehensive land-use planning could have, all the while being mostly dismissed in the media and by state policymakers as property-rights extremists, but now they are gaining unlikely allies: liberals. (subscriber access)
Monday, January 18, 2016

Garage door for Sheriff's Office ordered
The Oneida County Buildings and Grounds Department has ordered a high-speed garage door and opener for the law enforcement center.

The cost will be about $17,917 from Doorworks Inc. of Wisconsin Rapids.

Facilities director LuAnn Brunette said the contingency fund will finance the purchase. (subscriber access)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Lake Tomahawk board votes for road name change
The Lake Tomahawk town board voted unanimously Wednesday to reconfigure a problem intersection and rename a private road after a family that town chairman George DeMet says is considered pioneering in town history. (subscriber access)
Monday, January 18, 2016

Exotic animal bill proves controversial
A bill introduced in the state Senate in September to ban the possession, sale and propagation of exotic animals in Wisconsin has been met with controversy after the owners of small zoos said the legislation could put them out of business and animal-rights activists claimed a proposed amendment doesn't set high enough standards. (subscriber access)
Monday, January 18, 2016

UPDATE: Two people killed in weekend snowmobile accidents
Two people were killed Saturday in separate snowmobile accidents in the Northwoods.

A 75-year-old Wisconsin resident was killed Saturday morning in a snowmobile accident in Land O'Lakes.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Vilas-Oneida dual county transit commission loses its first director
The Vilas-Oneida Transit Commission has accepted the resignation of the commission's first ever director.
Friday, January 15, 2016

Public records board abandons efforts to expand exemptions
Its members probably didn't text about it afterward, but the state's Public Records Board this week abandoned language it adopted last August that would have allowed records' custodians to immediately destroy many records - especially text messages and other digital documents - they previously had to keep.
Friday, January 15, 2016

Low cost of living one of area's greatest assets
In the ongoing conversation about worker shortages in the area, local business owners frequently question why it is so difficult to attract employees when the cost of living in the Northwoods is so darn cheap. (subscriber access)

Friday, January 15, 2016

McNaughton rollover
The Oneida County Sheriff's Office, Newbold Fire Department and medical personnel responded to a one-vehicle rollover at 5230 State Highway 47 near McNaughton Friday morning.
Friday, January 15, 2016

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