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home : news : oneida county May 25, 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. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 22, 2016


DOT sets date and time for first Hwy. 51 closure in bridge project
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has scheduled the first overnight closure of U.S. Highway 51 at the site of the old railroad bridge in Hazelhurst, known as the Bearskin Trail Bridge.

The closure is at least two weeks ahead of original estimates.

A press release from the DOT issued Thursday said crews will close Hwy. 51 at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

State inmates coming back to county jail
Come next month, state inmates - and state money - will be headed back to Oneida County, sheriff Grady Hartman said Thursday.

Hartman told the county's Public Safety committee the sheriff's department has signed a contract with the state of Wisconsin to house prisoners in the county jail for a fee of $51.46 per inmate. The county can expect up to 100 inmates at a given time, but Hartman said in the past the number was closer to 60 inmates. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Winter Park Foundation board members see building plans
Members of the Winter Park Foundation met Wednesday afternoon with Minocqua Public Works director Mark Pertile and Melody Hamlin, a project manager with Wausau based Becher Hoppe.

In opening remarks, Pertile said last year, the facilities at Winter Park were assessed. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Minocqua wants to be a state forestry division headquarters
Minocqua officially has its "hat in the ring" as a consideration by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as a new location for its forestry division headquarters.

It was recently announced the Wisconsin legislature ordered the DNR to investigate a new location for its forestry division headquarters.

With that announcement, counties and municipalities in the northern part of the state are starting the process to make the case as to why they should be that location. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

AV-W visits the Times, cranberry bogs, Lake Minocqua
Arbor Vitae-Woodruff School's sixth grade class had a full day of activities last Wednesday. The class spent the whole day in the field, visiting Bartlings' Manitowish Cranberry Company, Paul Bunyan's Cook Shanty, The Lakeland Times and Lake Minocqua near Torpy Park.

AV-W sixth grade teacher Tracey Scharbarth said the trip was a precursor to a future project. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

LUHS National Honor Society students help a veterans memorial effort
National Honor Society students from Lakeland Union High School stuffed envelopes on Tuesday, May 10 as part of their service projects program.

The envelope-stuffing project helped the Wilderness Veterans Memorial Flame Foundation (WVMFF) with a mailing to Presque Isle homeowners.

The letters will be sent at the end of this month.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

MACC acquires JEM grant for No Frills Marathon
The Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce has acquired a Joint Effort Marketing grant for the 2016 No Frills Marathon held on the Bearskin Trail. The grant comes from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism (WDT) and has been approved for up to $8,000. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Woodruff plans annual parade to honor fallen heroes
Woodruff is hosting their 5th annual American Heroes Parade on Saturday, May 28. The Dr. Kate Memorial Craft Fair and 5th annual Woodruff Memorial Car Show will begin in the morning of the same day.

Woodruff town clerk Kim Albano has been in charge of planning the event for the past five years. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Hwy 51 update
The roadwork on Highway 51 south of Hazelhurst continues, and will continue through the summer months. Marsh excavation and backfill is underway and will continue this week as well grading work from Rocky Run Road to Little Bearskin Road and from Warbonnet Lane to Clearview Court. Last week crews began placing gravel along the west side of the highway from Rocky Run Road to Jackson Heights Road. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Grass fire
A Minocqua firefighter works to put out a grass fire at 7022 Cameron Road on Wednesday. The fire initially was thought to be fast spreading and a threat to nearby structures but that threat quickly subsided as firefighters arrived. In addition to Minocqua fire personnel, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources also had a brush truck with firefighters on the scene. A bulldozer from the Lake Tomahawk DNR station was also near the fire scene on a trailer and on standby if needed.
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Minocqua Town Board OKs $180,000 engineering contract
The years-long process to get a new building for the town of Minocqua's fire department cleared another hurdle Tuesday as the contract to develop the building's plans was approved by the Minocqua Town Board.

The architectural and engineering services contract, totalling $180,000, is with MSA Professional Services. (subscriber access)

Friday, May 20, 2016

Minocqua, Woodruff police departments receive ATVs
The Minocqua and Woodruff police departments have received, thanks to the Bombardier Recreational Program, one all-terrain vehicle each.

Minocqua police chief Dave Jaeger said his department has been using a utility vehicle, or UTV.

"We have been using those for our bigger events, like Fourth of July and Beef-A-Rama," he said. (subscriber access)

Friday, May 20, 2016

Lee Lech accused of violent sexual assault
In records released by the Oneida County Sheriff's Office, former deputy Lee Lech was accused by a co-worker in 2014 of violent sexual assault, an allegation leading to his ban from the department and ultimate resignation.

Lech is now a deputy in Clark County. (subscriber access)

Friday, May 20, 2016

Fried, Hallstrom, Pederson, Wentland vie for vacant LUHS board seat
Four people have declared their candidacy for a seat on the Lakeland Union High School Board of Education.

Minocqua town supervisor and former Minocqua, Hazelhurst, Lake Tomahawk school board member Billy Fried, MHLT teacher Wade Wentland, Emily Hallstrom and Leonard Pederson have all applied for the seat vacated by Joe Fahrenbach last month. (subscriber access)

Friday, May 20, 2016

County board passes resolution for State Forestry Department relocation
The Oneida County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday joined the chorus of local officials lobbying to bring the State Division of Forestry office to Oneida County.

The Rhinelander City Council passed a resolution last week asking the state to consider Rhinelander for the soon-to-be relocated office and Tuesday the county board passed a similar resolution. (subscriber access)

Friday, May 20, 2016

Preliminary investigation into house explosion reveals the cause
The explosion that destroyed an unoccupied seasonal home in the early morning hours of May 13 in the town of Sugar Camp was caused, according to preliminary investigation results, by gas vapor.

That's the explanation from the Division of Criminal Investigations-Office of the State Fire Marshall through an Oneida County Sheriff's Department press release earlier this week. (subscriber access)

Friday, May 20, 2016

Feingold visits Rhinelander as part of 72 county campaign tour
U.S. Senator Ron Johnson's opponent in the 2016 election, former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, was in Rhinelander Saturday.

He served in the senate from 1993 to 2011, when he was defeated by Johnson in a re-election bid.

In early 2015, Feingold announced he was running again for the Senate seat and will face off against Johnson this November.

While in Rhinelander, Feingold toured the downtown area, which is undergoing a massive street reconstruction project. (subscriber access)

Friday, May 20, 2016

Former Oneida County ADA takes over as tribal court prosecutor
A veteran assistant district attorney for Oneida County recently took over as the tribal court prosecutor in Lac du Flambeau, a job that also includes additional duties as tribal attorney.

Jodi Bednar-Clemens started the new position March 29. A former Iron County district attorney, she has also worked in Oneida, Vilas and Forest counties as either a special prosecutor or assistant district attorney. (subscriber access)

Friday, May 20, 2016

Michalsen announces candidacy
Matt Michalsen, a teacher and coach at Lakeland Union High School as well as a Lake Tomahawk town supervisor, is the most recent Democrat to announce his candidacy to oppose incumbent Republican Rob Swearingen in this November's election for state assembly. Michalsen was given the floor briefly at the start of Tuesday's Minocqua Town Board meeting. Earlier this week, Eagle River Democrat Lawrence Dale also announced his candidacy for the 34th District seat.


Friday, May 20, 2016

Authorities investigating cause of Sugar Camp explosion
No one was injured early Friday in an explosion that destroyed a seasonal home in the town of Sugar Camp.

A press release from the Oneida County Sheriff's Office said the dispatch center received a 911 call at approximately 4:46 a.m. from a person reporting an explosion.

The caller stated he had broken windows in his house. The press release goes on to say that upon arrival of emergency personnel, it was found the house at 5078 Sand Lake Road in the town of Sugar Camp was totally destroyed and there was a small fire in the basement. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


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