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November 19, 2019

Tiffany calls for Convention of the States
State Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Minocqua) and a Republican colleague from Germantown are calling for a Convention of the States, saying states must act to rein in entrenched politicians in the D.C. swamp, but the liberal-leaning Wisconsin Democracy Campaign says it's the idea of a convention of the states that is really reckless. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, October 8, 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)
(1 comments)

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)
(1 comments)

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

NATURAL REACTION
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

Oneida Vilas Transit Commission discusses 'conflict of interest' policy'
With its audit completed and reviewed, the Oneida Vilas Transit Commission has turned its attention to the task of implementing various recommendations made by the auditor. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Transit Commission violated federal rule
The Northwoods Transit Commission violated a federal transit rule that governs the commission's provision of charter services when it provided shuttle transportation for the Country Rocks Autism concert in September, the state Department of Transportation has confirmed to The Lakeland Times. (subscriber access)
Saturday, October 5, 2019

Oneida County board approves solid waste loan for demolition landfill
At its most recent meeting, the Oneida County Board of Supervisors approved a loan of $175,000 to the county's solid waste department for the construction of a Demolition IV landfill site, and also approved withdrawing approximately 10 acres from the county forest law program to establish the construction material landfill. (subscriber access)
Saturday, October 5, 2019

Sorensen acknowledges straying off agenda
Oneida County supervisor Jack Sorensen has acknowledged to the county's district attorney that he believes he crossed the line and discussed a topic not on a meeting agenda, an action which prompted an open meetings complaint by this newspaper. (subscriber access)
Thursday, October 3, 2019

Vilas County hosts presentation on drug endangered children
Representatives from the Human Service Center and Vilas County Youth Coalition gave a presentation on drug endangered children during the Sept. 24 Vilas County Board of Supervisors meeting and afterward board members and the public were invited to view a related documentary as well as explore an interactive exhibit. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Fiscal bureau - Taxes cut by $13.1 billion since 2011
An analysis of tax law changes since 2011 shows taxes in the state were cut by more than $13 billion over the 10-year period, according to a memo released late last week by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Sheriff's department says supervisors 'clearly' discussed topics not on agenda
A sheriff's department investigation of a Lakeland Times complaint alleging an open-meetings violation by two Oneida County supervisors has found the two did indeed discuss topics not on the meeting's agenda. (subscriber access)
Saturday, September 28, 2019

Peoples State Bank donates $1,000 to Oneida County Sheriff's Department
Peoples State Bank has announced a $1,000 donation to each of the Rhinelander Police, Rhinelander Fire, and Oneida County Sheriff Department. (subscriber access)
Saturday, September 28, 2019

Speaker asks governor to move congressional special election
MADISON (AP) - Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on Friday "respectfully demanded" that Gov. Tony Evers reschedule a congressional special election because the primary would fall during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. (subscriber access)
Saturday, September 28, 2019

Hartman says sheriff's department won't participate in gun confiscation
He attended a news conference to help roll out so-called red-flag legislation, but, responding to a question, Gov. Tony Evers last week also said he was open to supporting mandatory gun buy-back programs called for by Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Slip lane smoothers
Workers from Chippewa Concrete Services work on the concrete portion of the slip lane that will take motorists traveling eastbound on Highway 8 to bypass the new roundabout last week. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Environmental activists gather for climate change rally in Minocqua
Environmental activists across the world protested for climate change Friday, Sept. 20, and the rally was brought to local level as Northwoods environmental groups gathered at Torpy Park in Minocqua to support the effort. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, September 24, 2019

State legislators introduce Missing and Murdered Tribal Women and Girls bill
State legislators, allies, and community members gathered in Lac du Flambeau Wednesday morning to introduce a bill regarding missing and murdered tribal women and girls. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Consultant reaps taxpayer-funded windfalls evaluating government wages
News analysis

A Madison consultant has become big business since 2011 by scoring lucrative government contracts to assess local government wages, and in many cases taxpayers are paying twice: Once to pay the consulting firm tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to evaluate the wages, and then to pay the higher wages the evaluation often finds is needed. (subscriber access)
(1 comments)

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Evers backs red flag bill; open to mandatory gun buyback programs
He attended a news conference to help roll out so-called red-flag legislation, but, responding to a question, Gov. Tony Evers this week also said he was open to supporting mandatory gun buy-back programs called for by Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke. (subscriber access)
Saturday, September 21, 2019

County facilities committee discusses potential relocation of UW-Extension
As the budget hearing process begins, the future of the University of Wisconsin- Extension services in Oneida County continues to be a hot topic of discussion. (subscriber access)
Saturday, September 21, 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.
(2 comments)

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


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Reader Poll

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

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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?

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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?

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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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In light of the city's recent update on well testing, which of the following best describes your thoughts regarding use/consumption of city water?

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I feel completely confident in allowing my family to consume the water.
The latest results are somewhat reassuring but I still have concerns.
I remain very concerned about the safety of the city's water.
I'm still not sure what to think about the water.
I have no opinion on this question.

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