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April 21, 2021

Country Fest receives county OK
The three area large group gatherings that traditionally draw crowds to Oneida County, including the Hodag Country Festival, had their permits approved Thursday morning by the public safety committee on 4-1 votes. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, April 20, 2021

State Supreme Court lets outdated registrations stay on rolls
Despite a state law requiring names of outdated voter registrations to be removed, the Wisconsin Supreme Court earlier this month determined that tens of thousands of missing voters can stay registered to vote. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Howard Young Medical Center launches local SANE program
Despite its prevalence, sexual violence is often under-reported in our local communities. Sexual violence is defined as forcing or manipulating an individual into unwanted sexual activity without their consent. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in five women experience sexual violence during her lifetime, while one-third of female victims experience sexual violence between the ages of 11 and 17. Even so, it's estimated that less than 40 percent of victims report these crimes to authorities. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 16, 2021

2020 road stream crossing results discussed at virtual meeting
Late last month, the Oneida County Land and Water Conservation Department held a virtual meeting regarding road stream crossings within the county. The grant to do the work was applied for in 2019 and was bought on by the flooding in northwestern counties in 2018. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 16, 2021

Political digest
State Sen. Mary Felzkowski (R-Tomahawk) has joined Rep. Treig Pronschinske (R-Mondovi) in authoring legislation that would make Wisconsin a Second Amendment sanctuary state, which she says would prevent the federal government from infringing on the rights of legal gun owners in Wisconsin.
Friday, April 16, 2021

In Evers decision, justices reaffirm control on the powers of public health
In the most recent state Supreme Court decision, in which the high court - by the thinnest of thin margins, 4-3 - ended Gov. Tony Evers' ability to issue daisy-chain emergency declarations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority revisited an old public debate in the state, namely, the power of public health in an emergency, and sustained and reaffirmed constraints upon it. (subscriber access)
Wednesday, April 14, 2021

New $10,000 cash bond set in Mullen case following bail jumping charge
A 56-year-old Harshaw man charged with five counts of felony child sexual assault in connection with five separate cases is facing a sixth felony charge after he allegedly violated a bond condition. (subscriber access)
Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Sex trafficking increases during COVID-19
With the impacts of COVID-19 still visibly present, the issue of human sex trafficking has grown behind the scenes. (subscriber access)
Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Oneida debates COVID-19 mask mandate enforcement
In the wake of the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling striking down the statewide mask mandate, the Oneida County Labor Relations and Employee Services Committee met Wednesday, April 7 to discuss how to respond. (subscriber access)
Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Voters say no to tax hikes, spending cuts
Voters did not feel the same urgency Tuesday as Oneida County supervisors do when it comes to the need for county road repair, as both a binding referendum to raise taxes and an advisory ballot question to cut spending - both for road construction - failed. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 9, 2021

Newbold voters reject building proposal; Crescent elects new chairman
By a margin of just over 100 votes, Newbold residents on Tuesday rejected a referendum proposal to borrow over $4 million to improve the town hall and upgrade the town shop. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 9, 2021

Total loss in Nokomis
Numerous area fire departments responded to a structure fire late Friday afternoon, April 2, 2021, in the Town of Nokomis on Jenny Lake Road off County Highway K.
Friday, April 9, 2021

Study: COVID-19, pandemic restrictions severely impact individuals with autism
Significant research continued this year into the causes of autism (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and into promising treatments for the disorder, but a cluster of studies in 2020 and early 2021 have taken a different approach, looking into the impacts the pandemic and related restrictions have had on those with ASD and their families. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 9, 2021

Biden laid groundwork for vaccine passports on second day in office
President Joe Biden signed an executive order on the second day of his administration directing federal agencies, including Homeland Security, to study the feasibility of so-called vaccine passports - digital or paper certifications that a person has received a Covid vaccination - and his Department of Health and Human Services is aggressively following through, studying ways to facilitate development of a federal, uniform approach to "vaccine credentialing." (subscriber access)
Friday, April 9, 2021

Oneida County health department offers online scheduling for COVID-19 vaccination appointments
Oneida County Health Department is offering online appointment scheduling following the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announcement that everyone age 16 and older is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Friday, April 9, 2021

Sheriff's office to celebrate National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week
Each year during the second full week in April, telecommunications personnel in the public safety community are honored. This year, April 11-17, is the time to celebrate and thank those who dedicate their lives to serving the public.
Friday, April 9, 2021

Below are the unofficial results of the spring election as posted on Oneida County website's election information page:

County referendum question No. 1

Increase taxes by $500,000 to pay for road and bridge construction?

Yes 3,088

No. 3,535

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Fugle settling in as new county corporation counsel
After 13 years as an assistant county corporation counsel, Mike Fugle didn't hesitate when Oneida County officials asked him if he was interested in taking the top job. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Wisconsin GOP moves forward in election investigation
The Wisconsin State Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections is launching a major probe of last year's elections, following a 58-35 Assembly vote along party lines authorizing the inquiry. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Oneida County set to vote on binding tax increase, advisory spending cuts
Oneida County voters are set to pass judgment on a pair of county referenda questions Tuesday, one to raise taxes by $500,000 a year for a decade to pay for county road and bridge construction and another whether to suggest the county cut $500,000 a year in spending, with the savings also going for road and bridge construction. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 2, 2021

State Supreme Court puts an end to Evers's emergency orders, face mask mandate
In a 4-3 decision, with justice Brian Hagedorn writing the decision for the majority, the Wisconsin Supreme ruled on Wednesday that Gov. Tony Evers's multiple states of emergency and related orders, including a statewide face mask mandate, are unlawful. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 2, 2021

Oneida County highway committee OKs Hwy. D ATV/UTV use
The Oneida County highway committee last month made quick work of what has been, until recently, a fairly contentious issue in the town of Lake Tomahawk with regard to the use of portions of County Highway D by all terrain and utility vehicles. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 2, 2021

Democrats mull overturning Iowa congressional election
It was one of the closest congressional elections in history, and it's still not over, as Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives consider whether to overturn a six-vote GOP victory in Iowa. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Bangstad finance report doesn't balance by more than $18,000
The January continuing campaign finance report filed by 34th District Assembly candidate Kirk Bangstad failed to balance by more than $18,000 - by far the largest discrepancy among a smattering of unbalanced ledgers found by The Lakeland Times in a spot check of Assembly campaign finance reports. (subscriber access)
Friday, March 26, 2021

GOP lawmakers push microschools to expand choice options
A group of Republican lawmakers, led by state Rep. Shae Sortwell (R-Two Rivers), have introduced a bill to allow microschools in Wisconsin - schools that provide in-person instruction to as few as two families in a single location - as an alternative to private or public school. (subscriber access)
Friday, March 26, 2021

Political digest
State Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) and Sen. LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee), along with Rep. Ron Tusler (R-Harrison), have introduced a bipartisan 12-month Contraceptive Care Act.
Friday, March 26, 2021

Oneida board votes to move ahead with jettisoning code of conduct
With just four dissenting votes, the Oneida County board of supervisors voted last week to move forward with eliminating its code of conduct for elected members, with supervisors saying the code was full of vague and entrapping language and the county was involved in too much self-policing. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, March 23, 2021

COVID concerns continue one year later
Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the state of our daily lives on a global scale as the number of COVID cases continued to ebb and flow, spike and then plateau. While the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) reports the number of COVID-19 cases has been on the decline, public health officials continue to urge the public to stay vigilant against the spread of the coronavirus. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Wisconsin undercounted nearly 1,000 Covid deaths in long-term care facilities
In what GOP officials suggested were shades of New York, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services last week acknowledged it had undercounted nearly 1,000 deaths in nursing homes and other group housing settings. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Felzkowski, GOP launch assault on newspaper public notice requirements
On a 22-10 vote with most Republicans supporting it, the state Senate has passed a bill that would allow many local units of government to end publication of their meeting minutes in local official newspapers. (subscriber access)
Friday, March 19, 2021

Lake Tomahawk board, ATV club reach agreement
The Lake Tomahawk Town Board has formally approved an agreement regarding all-terrain and utility vehicles (ATV/UTV) incorporating portions of short stretches of County Highway D. (subscriber access)
Friday, March 19, 2021

2020 a year of ups and downs for open government
Reporting about open government in these dark days is far from a walk in the park, and 2020 was no exception, as freedom of information advocates scored a few wins to go with some potentially big losses in an up-and-down year for transparency in Wisconsin. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Committee approves hiring of new assistant corporation counsel
Newly appointed Oneida County corporation counsel Mike Fugle has requested that his former role as assistant corporation counsel be filled. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Local advocacy groups host webinar to educate public on PFAS issues
On Feb. 25, Wisconsin's Green Fire and Clean Wisconsin hosted "PFAS: Past, Present and Future - Forever Chemicals in Wisconsin," an online webinar that delved into the history of PFAS as well as ways to collectively combat the current crisis. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Vilas denies claims surrounding Ldf woman's death in the county jail
The Vilas County Executive and Legislative Committee went into closed session on Monday, March 8, to discuss the notice of claim they received from Paula Christensen. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Gun control bills expanding background checks pass House
The U.S. House of Representatives passed two separate pieces of gun legislation last week that would expand background checks as well as prevent licensed gun sales to be completed before a required background check is finished. (subscriber


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

St. Germain explores options for downtown ATV connection
The St. Germain Town Board continued a discussion initiated by the St. Germain ATV Club during its regular meeting on March 8. At a special town board meeting on March 2, the club proposed connecting its trails which run both north and south of the downtown area. That connection would be made by allowing all-terrain and utility vehicle (ATV and UTV) use on the existing non-motorized trail which runs parallel to Wisconsin State Highway 70. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Oneida panel approves promoting Fugle to corporation counsel
After 16 years, outgoing corporation counsel Brian Desmond is moving to Sauk County, where he will try to pick up the pieces of a corporation counsel office in disarray, while this week the Oneida County administration committee approved the permanent promotion of assistant corporation counsel Michael Fugle to replace Desmond. (subscriber access)
Friday, March 12, 2021

Congress as usual: Only 42% of COVID relief bill is COVID related
Republicans are decrying the newly passed $1.9-trillion COVID-19 relief bill as a liberal wish list years in the making, while some Democrats say it doesn't go far enough, but one thing's for sure - most of the money has nothing remotely to do with COVID-19. (subscriber access)
Friday, March 12, 2021

Wisconsin, nation move toward normalcy
Signs are growing that Wisconsin and the nation are revving up to get back to normal life this summer, even as some officials are cautioning against opening up too much, too fast. (subscriber access)
Friday, March 12, 2021

New county corporation counsel, highway commissioner selected
The Oneida County board's labor relations and employee services committee approved a pair of resolutions March 4 officially appointing a new corporation counsel and county highway commissioner. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Qualified immunity for law enforcement comes under federal, state attack
Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives passed a sweeping police reform bill this past week that would, among other things, end qualified immunity for police officers, while on the state level Democratic lawmakers have introduced legislation to end the liability protection in Wisconsin. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Hintz gives emergency approval for health department staffing increases
Even with deaths, hospitalizations, and new cases due to Covid-19 broadly declining, government officials around Wisconsin are continuing to assert emergency powers that bypass procedures of normal governance, and Oneida County is no exception. (subscriber access)
Friday, March 5, 2021

Oneida zoning panel asks lawmakers to clarify shoreland zoning statutes
After wrangling with charges that Oneida County's shoreland zoning ordinance is noncompliant with state standards, and being rebuffed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources when it sought clarification, the Oneida County planning and development committee is asking state lawmakers to intervene. (subscriber access)

Friday, March 5, 2021

GOP calls for Evers to prioritize in-person learning
Assembly Republicans penned a letter to Gov. Tony Evers this week urging the governor to allocate more funding to schools that are holding classes in-person.

In the March 1 letter, Assembly speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester), Northwoods state Reps. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) and Calvin Callahan (R-Tomahawk) and other Republicans called on Evers to direct $20.8 million in new federal funding to districts that have been providing full-time, in-person instruction since the beginning of the 2020-21 school year. (subscriber access)

Friday, March 5, 2021

Biden, Democrats begin major push for stricter gun laws
President Joe Biden used the recent three-year anniversary of the Parkland, Fla., mass shooting to unleash a call for stricter gun laws, as Democratic senators and aligned interest groups also began a major effort to overhaul firearms legislation.

On Feb. 15 - the three year anniversary of the Parkland shooting - Biden said his administration was poised to act. (subscriber access)

Friday, March 5, 2021

Hazelhurst group loses rezone case in court of appeals
A state court of appeals has affirmed the judgment of a lower court that upheld Oneida County's rezoning of 10 acres of land in Hazelhurst to make way for a gravel pit. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Bilogan legal team disputes 'excessive delay' argument in civil case, stresses absence of an 'up-or-down' decision on criminal charges
The uncertainty surrounding whether former Oneida County forester John Bilogan will face criminal charges related to the alleged use of county resources to build a road to a property in the Town of Enterprise has compromised his ability to continue his related civil lawsuit against several Oneida County officials and a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) forester, his attorney has argued in response to a defense request for the civil case to be dismissed with prejudice. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Oneida Vilas Transit Commission considers lease options
The Oneida Vilas Transit Commission (OVTC) approved a motion Thursdat for the commission to research prospective new locations following an announcement from Northwoods Transit Connections transit manager Roger Youngren that the NTC's current location, 3611 U.S. Highway 47 in Rhinelander, was going to be sold. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Wisconsin, the nation, the world: Covid-19 cases plunge
The experts are holding their breath, hoping it will last - many mainstream media outlets aren't even reporting it - but the number of new cases of Covid-19 are plummeting around the world, around the United States, and in Wisconsin, prompting one Johns Hopkins scientist to predict an end to the pandemic by as early as April. (subscriber access)
Friday, February 26, 2021

DNR refuses to meet with Oneida zoning panel on shoreland revisions
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has turned down a request by the Oneida County Zoning Committee to meet and discuss a proposed shoreland ordinance rewrite it helped craft with various county staff, lake association members, and one county supervisor who was not a zoning committee member. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, February 23, 2021

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