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December 9, 2019

Evers whips out executive pen, signs several bills
Until very nearly the end, it was one of the slowest years in decades for new bills being enacted into law, but in the past several weeks Gov. Tony Evers has let the ink flow, signing scores of bills. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Mayor releases DHS letter supporting closure of Well 8
Rhinelander mayor Chris Frederickson has released a letter from the state Department of Health Services supporting his late November decision to take municipal well 8 out of service due to per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination.
Monday, December 9, 2019

Former Arbor Vitae man convicted of child sexual assault
An Oneida County jury deliberated for approximately 2 1/2 hours Wednesday afternoon before convicting Brandon A. Darnick, 27, formally of Arbor Vitae, of first degree child sexual assault (sexual contact with a person under age 13) in connection with an incident involving a 2-year-old child nearly six years ago. (subscriber access)
Saturday, December 7, 2019

New veterans program coming to Oneida, Vilas counties
Oneida County Veterans Service Officer Tammy Javenkoski is happy to have an additional service she can offer the people she likes to refer to as "my veterans."

Last week, at the most recent meeting of the Oneida County board's social services committee, Debbie Meye, a representative for a federal program called Supportive Services for Veteran Families, made a presentation and expressed her intent to add Oneida County to the 10 northern Wisconsin counties she serves with the SSVF. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Project SEARCH continues to provide unique employment opportunities
Project SEARCH offers unique opportunity for individuals with developmental disabilities or, as program instructor Jennifer Varsik likes to say, individuals with "varied abilities." (subscriber access)
Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Jensen keeps talk of a new highway shop alive
The Oneida County Public Works Committee continues to grapple with facility issues. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Evers' office denies request for a single day's emails
News analysis

Resistance to open government can run deep in both major political parties - both are committed to transparency except when they aren't - and the latest brawl is over on the Democratic side, with Gov. Tony Evers' office denying routine requests for the governor's emails. (subscriber access)

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Guild a 'person of interest' in felony investigation
Officers from three law enforcement agencies executed search warrants Thursday at Rhinelander City Hall as part of an ongoing investigation involving alleged misconduct in public office and tampering with public records. According to Oneida County chief deputy Dan Hess, officers from Oneida, Vilas and Marathon counties executed two warrants beginning at 9:25 a.m.

The search ended at approximately 3:25 p.m., Hess said.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Florence County votes to become Second Amendment sanctuary
The Florence County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously last week to become a Second Amendment sanctuary county, becoming the first county in Wisconsin to join a movement that in the past year has begun to grow rapidly across the country. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Oneida Vilas Transit Commission to consider new route for 2020
The Oneida Vilas Transit Commission last week discussed the two new proposed routes for 2020. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Vilas County Board of Adjustment stays the course in Carlin water case
It took nearly five and a half hours - including a two-and-a- half hour closed session - but the Vilas County Board of Adjustment last week voted 4-0 to uphold the interpretation of portions of the county zoning ordinance as it pertains to plans for hauling water from the Carlin Club well in Presque Isle. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Snowmobile trail to be rerouted around closed trestle
Portions of Goodnow Road and Lakewood Road in Harshaw will be used as a reroute for the Bearskin State Trail snowmobile route while the route over the Pinewood Trestle is closed, according to town officials. (subscriber access)
Saturday, November 16, 2019

Budget drama: Oneida supervisors nix borrowing for capital improvements
In a day-long meeting full of dramatic twists and turns, the Oneida County Board of Supervisors adopted a 2020 budget Tuesday that drops the tax rate for county residents and only minimally raises total property tax collections. (subscriber access)
Thursday, November 14, 2019

Lt. Gov., state VA official speak at courthouse Veterans Day ceremony
As is tradition, a crowd assembled at the Oneida County Courthouse on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month to observe Veterans Day. (subscriber access)
Thursday, November 14, 2019

OC Democratic Party to host open house, debate watch party
The Oneida County Democratic Party will host an open house at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, starting at the party headquarters at 1415 Eagle Street in Rhinelander. (subscriber access)
Thursday, November 14, 2019

Solemn remembrance
Rhinelander attorney Brian Bennett, at podium, was the last of four guest speakers at the Oneida County Veterans Day Ceremony Monday morning inside the Oneida County Courthouse.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

OC public works panel approves road plan, discusses culvert issue
The Oneida County public works committee on Thursday approved a five-year road plan compiled by highway commissioner Bruce Stefonek. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

DNR to close Pinewood Trestle for winter season
Concerns regarding the structural safety of the Pinewood Trestle on the Bearskin State Trail in Cassian have resulted in the Department of Natural Resources closing the trestle to snowmobile and groomer traffic for the winter season. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

GOP gavels in, gavels out special sessions on guns
In a week of tense political standoffs, each of the state's major political parties scored wins as the GOP-majority Legislature convened and quickly adjourned special sessions without considering Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' gun-control legislation. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Obama-era Waters of the U.S. rule finally repealed
The Trump administration has finally followed through on its promise to repeal the Obama administration's controversial Waters of the U.S. rule, which dramatically expanded federal regulation of the nation's waters, but the fight is a long way from over as lawsuits are now being filed from the Left and the Right. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Habitat for Humanity Northwoods presents 21st home
Following a short ceremony late Monday afternoon, Habitat for Humanity Northwoods presented its 21st finished home to the family who will be living in it. (subscriber access)
Thursday, November 7, 2019

Guns and money: Team Evers uses special session on guns to fundraise
In a recent radio address, Gov. Tony Evers told Wisconsinites that his special session called ostensibly to curb gun violence was all about public safety, but Team Evers, his campaign arm, saw it as something else: an opportunity to raise money from the Democratic base. (subscribe access)
Thursday, November 7, 2019

LRES committee adopts CBD oil advisory for county employees
The Oneida County Labor Relations and Employee Services committee on Thursday approved an advisory for county employees regarding the use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil, a chemical compound derived from marijuana plants that is not psychoactive. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Oneida County gets a glimpse of its budget future
Going into this year's budget process, Oneida County faced a huge deficit of almost a million dollars, but supervisors had a plan to deal with that - some creative budgeting, some would say risky budgeting, that uses potentially non-recurring revenues to balance the budget. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Democrats renew push for marijuana decriminalization
Though Republican legislative leaders have already signaled it won't go anywhere, Democrats in the state Legislature relaunched last week their ongoing effort to decriminalize marijuana possession, likely as a way to push the issue to the forefront in next year's elections. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Schiek refuses to prosecute supervisors over open meetings complaint
Oneida County district attorney Michael Schiek has declined to prosecute two Oneida County supervisors over a Lakeland Times complaint that they illegally discussed and advocated for a new highway facility at an August capital improvements meeting, the agenda for which did not include any such discussion. (subscriber access)
Saturday, November 2, 2019

DNR reports chronic garbage dumping on state forest
The Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest (NHAL) is 232,000 acres of pristine northern Wisconsin wilderness. (subscriber access)
Saturday, November 2, 2019

65-year-old man struck and killed in Schoepke accident
A 65-year-old man is dead following a traffic accident Tuesday morning in the town of Schoepke. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Oneida Vilas Transit Commission to pursue new facility
Northwoods Transit Connections could find itself in a new location come December after the Oneida Vilas Transit Commission voted Friday to pursue a property in Eagle River to house the transit service. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Panel: Oneida County in need of written bridge aid policy
The Oneida County public works and highway committees approved a motion Thursday to bring a financial resolution before the county board at its Nov. 12 meeting. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, October 29, 2019

New poll shows just how close presidential race is in Wisconsin
News analysis

It's no secret Wisconsin is one of a handful of battleground states likely to decide the 2020 presidential election, and a new Marquette Law School poll underscores just how close the race in the state is expected to be, just as it was in 2016 when President Donald Trump notched a razor-thin 22,748-vote win. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

A couple months ago I visited the Northwoods Wildlife Center (NWC), a wildlife rehabilitation facility in Minocqua, to see an eagle that had been grounded due to injuries. (subscriber access)
Saturday, October 26, 2019

Legislators respond to Evers' call for special session focused on curbing gun violence
Gov. Tony Evers this week signed an executive order calling the state Legislature to meet in a special session on Nov. 7 to address gun violence in Wisconsin. (subscriber access)
Saturday, October 26, 2019

Proposed Oneida County budget would cut tax rate but borrow millions
News analysis

Here's the good news: The proposed Oneida County budget that is headed to the county board on Nov. 12 would reduce the property tax rate and only marginally increase the absolute amount of tax dollars flowing into county coffers. (subscriber access)

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Recreational vehicles present new issues in Oneida County
For years the placement of recreational vehicles on parcels of land, especially in single-family zoning districts, was a contentious issue in Oneida County before advocates for such use won the battle years ago, but in 2019 the issue is back, and this time it is growing exponentially. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, October 22, 2019

WPS customers expected to see lower heating bills this winter
As the temperatures drop and furnaces kick on across Wisconsin, Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) has some good news for its customers: Their heating bills are expected to be lower this winter. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, October 22, 2019

St. Germain approves $25K for purchase of ambulance power-lift cot
On a 4-1 vote, the St. Germain Town Board last week approved a $25,000 contribution toward the purchase of a power-lift cot for the town's ambulance service, which has been operating for a little more than a year. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, October 22, 2019

State tourism secretary designee Sara Meaney visits the Northwoods
The Sunrise Lodge is a hidden gem. It's a quaint and cozy resort nestled on the shores of Lac Vieux Desert near Land O' Lakes and its 24 cabins are spread throughout a charming parcel of forest near the source of the Wisconsin River. (subscriber access)
Saturday, October 19, 2019

UW Extension survives round 1 of budget process
The Oneida County administration committee trimmed the proposed budget of the UW-Extension only slightly last week, asking the Extension to cut $1,756 from its 2020 request and at least delaying a move to Nicolet College that a majority of supervisors viewed as an additional cost next year. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Federal budget deficit continues to mushroom
During his three years in office, President Donald Trump has moved aggressively to cut taxes and government regulations, but so far he has been unable or unwilling to rein in the federal budget deficit, which was $984 billion in fiscal year 2019, according to a new report by the Congressional Budget Office. (subscriber access)
Saturday, October 12, 2019

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

Neuman says he won't compromise confidential info
When it comes to internal probes at the Oneida County sheriff's department, sheriff Grady Hartman has turned increasingly to jail administrator Mark Neuman and captain Terri Hook to lead the investigations of their fellow officers. (subscriber access)

Thursday, October 5, 2017

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Reader Poll

Do you agree with the School District of Rhinelanderís decision to dismiss football coach Chris Ferge?

Please select one:
I have no opinion.

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Which of the following best describes your reaction to the Republicans move to curtail the power of Governor-elect Tony Evers and Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul?

Please select one:
I have no issue with it. Itís a normal part of todayís politics.
Itís unconscionable, but Iím confidant the courts will overturn the bills.
Iím OK with it as long as both parties are allowed to do it.
I have no opinion on this question.

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Which City of Rhinelander elected officials should be recalled?

Please select one:
All of them. The mayor and the entire Common Council.
I would recall the council but keep the mayor.
I would recall the mayor but keep the council.
Everyone but alderman Emmer, as he was just appointed.
Frederickson, Sauer, Holt, Rossing and Larson.
Rog, Kirby and Kelly.

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Do you support so-called red flag bills which would allow judges to seize people's firearms for up to a year if they pose a threat to themselves or others?

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I donít know enough about red flag bills to offer an opinion.
I have no opinion on this question.

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Which of the following best describes your holiday shopping strategy this year?

Please select one:
I'm ordering all my presents online.
I'm purchasing all of my presents from brick and mortar stores.
I'm purchasing some gifts online and some from brick and mortar stores.
I'm making homemade gifts or giving gift cards.

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