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home : news : county/state news April 29, 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

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

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

Recount announced in county board race
Voters in Oneida County's 19th district (town of Lynne and Minocqua wards 5 and 6) will learn Wednesday who will represent them on the county board of supervisors.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Body of Rhinelander man, 25, pulled from Boom Lake
The body of a 25-year-old Rhinelander man was recovered in the backwaters of the Wisconsin River Sunday morning, approximately eight hours after he and another man reportedly fell out of the kayaks they were operating, the Oneida County sheriff's office says.

According to Chief Deputy Dan Hess, the county's dispatch center received a call at approximately 3 a.m. Sunday reporting two subjects had fallen out of kayaks and into the water near 3907 Trails End Loop in the town of Pine Lake. (subscriber access)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Rep. Sean Duffy holds town hall meeting in Minocqua
Republican U.S. Congressman Sean Duffy conducted "town hall" meetings in three northern Wisconsin counties Thursday. The first meeting was in Phillips at the Price County courthouse, the second at the Eagle River Inn and the final stop was at The Waters in Minocqua.

At the latter, Duffy spoke to approximately 40 people for over an hour. Before he took audience questions, he opened with some comments regarding the current state of affairs in Washington D.C. and said one of the concerns Congressional Republicans have is the role Congress has played as a co-equal branch of government. (subscriber access)

Monday, April 11, 2016

The youth voted revisited in 2016
A few years back, in 2014, the Reason Foundation and the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation conducted a survey of the millennial generation's political attitudes, and the title of the survey said it all -"Millenials: the politically unclaimed generation."

Two years later, there's no reason to doubt the findings. A look at the voting patterns of America's young people in the 2016 presidential primaries show a truly uncommitted legion within the population, an age group that is neither committed to a political party nor wedded to any particular ideology. (subscriber access)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Body of Rhinelander man, 25, pulled from Boom Lake
The body of a 25-year-old Rhinelander man was found in the backwaters of Boom Lake Sunday morning, approximately eight hours after he and another man reportedly fell out of kayaks and into the water, the Oneida County sheriff's office reports.
Sunday, April 10, 2016

Slippery Friday
This spring's Winter Wonderland has resulted in slippery roads, causing a number of accidents Friday.
Friday, April 8, 2016

Slippery Friday
This spring's Winter Wonderland has resulted in slippery roads, causing a number of accidents Friday.
Friday, April 8, 2016

With a grain of sand: Despite physical and social hurdles, autistic Eagle River man thriving as he prepares for his future
Considering he was born clinically dead, RJ Schmoll faced more adversity in the first 10 minutes of his life than most people ever have to experience.

In the following years the Eagle River resident would unknowingly cast aside a dismal diagnosis as he learned to walk and talk - in fact, he went on to become a gold medalist in the Special Olympics during his teenage years.

And now, with each and every passing day his very existence flies in the face of the doctors who told his mother 20 years ago he wouldn't make it more than a few months. (subscriber access)

Friday, April 8, 2016

Bearskin bridge removal project to start Monday
In a surprise announcement Tuesday the Wisconsin Department of Transportation said it will begin the process of replacing the Bearskin Trail bridge over U.S. Highway 51 in Hazelhurst on Monday.

That's a few weeks sooner than DOT officials told a group of Cassian residents at a public information meeting last month.

Friday, April 8, 2016

De Niro, Trump wade into autism controversy
News analysis

Both presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and iconic movie star Robert De Niro have touched the third rail of the autism epidemic - the role vaccinations might play in causing autism - but only Trump came through the experience without being electrocuted. (subscriber access)

Friday, April 8, 2016

Labor relations committee continues to explore merit pay
The Oneida County labor relations and employee services committee is continuing to investigate how to reward employees who consistently receive extremely positive performance evaluations.

Armed with the results of a survey of merit pay policies in 13 other counties statewide, the committee last week discussed possible ways to reward county employees who have reached the maximum pay rate for their position. (subscriber access)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

PRAT approved; two county supervisors ousted
Oneida County voters cast their ballots in near record numbers Tuesday and ousted several incumbents in local races.

According to the Oneida County Clerk's office, 15,492 ballots were cast out of 24,358 registered voters, a 68.6 percent turnout. The clerk's office said there were no provisional ballots cast. The number of outstanding absentee ballots, which must reach their respective town offices by 4 p.m. Friday, is unknown at this time. (subscriber access)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

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