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home : news : vilas county May 26, 2016

Vilas County supervisors take the oath of office
Brian Jopek/Lakeland TimesDennis Neilsen takes his oath of office at Tuesday’s meeting of the Vilas County board. Neilsen, who served previously on the board, was defeated in a re-election bid by Vern Wiggenhauser in 2014. Wiggenhauser has had health problems that led to his resignation from the board earlier this year. Neilsen filed to run and ended up unopposed.
Brian Jopek/Lakeland Times


Dennis Neilsen takes his oath of office at Tuesday’s meeting of the Vilas County board. Neilsen, who served previously on the board, was defeated in a re-election bid by Vern Wiggenhauser in 2014. Wiggenhauser has had health problems that led to his resignation from the board earlier this year. Neilsen filed to run and ended up unopposed.

The Vilas County board made some changes Tuesday as it passed a resolution pertaining to its standing rules and committee duties. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 22, 2016


Arbor Vitae: Town board approves ATV route and ordinance
In April, the town of Arbor Vitae had a referendum question on the ballot during the spring election.

"Should ATVs be allowed with limited use on Arbor Vitae town roads?"

That issue passed, 785 yes votes to 705 no votes. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Supreme Court: Moustakis can't sue to stop disclosure
Elected officials in Wisconsin don't have so-called Woznicki rights, or the right to sue to stop the release of public records about them, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Friday.

The Woznicki notice requires a custodian to notify certain record subjects that it intends to release certain records - among them the results of disciplinary investigations and records obtained by search warrant or subpoena - and that that person has the right to sue to halt their release and to have the release decision reviewed by a court. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Vilas County's highway commissioner improves bridge aid
Vilas County highway commissioner Nick Scholtes, in his third month on the job, is working to stay ahead of the game.

One thing he's looked at in order to do that is making changes in the county's bridge aid program.

"With the bridge aid program right now, the towns come to the committee to let you know they have a culvert that fails," he said. (subscriber access)

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

Three injured in two-vehicle accident in Eagle River
Three people were injured Thursday evening in a two-vehicle crash in Eagle River.

According to a press release issued by Vilas County chief deputy Patrick Schmidt, a call came at approximately 5:45 p.m. Thursday reporting a two-vehicle accident with multiple injuries. The location of the traffic crash was State Highway 70, directly in front of Parson's Chevrolet of Eagle River.

It was determined that a 2007 Chevrolet pickup operated by 52-year-old Jay Duening of Sugar Camp had collided head-on with a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta operated by Jeralyn Lorenz, 48, of Eagle River, the release said. Duening and a male passenger in the Jetta, Scott Steffens, were flown to Ministry Saint Joseph Hospital in Marshfield for treatment of injuries. Lorenz was treated at Eagle River Memorial Hospital in Eagle River.

Highway 70 was temporarily shut down so the scene could be reconstructed.

Eagle River Fire Department, Eagle River Ambulance, Medevac Air from Ministry Saint Joseph Hospital in Marshfield, Eagle River Police Department, and the Wisconsin State Patrol assisted at the scene.

Tuesday, May 24, 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

Authorities investigating death of Phelps woman
Authorities are investigating the death of a Phelps woman who's body was found Tuesday.

According to a press release from the Vilas County Sheriff's Department, the department's dispatch center received a wireless 911 call before 1 p.m. Tuesday. The caller said she was walking on a trail behind some apartments in Phelps and found a dead body off the trail. (subscriber access)

Friday, May 20, 2016

Eliason attorneys move to dismiss criminal charges
Attorneys for two St. Germain businessmen charged with 10 counts of securities fraud filed a joint motion in Vilas County Circuit Court Monday asking the court to dismiss all charges against their clients.

In their motion, defense attorneys Stephen Kravit and Dean Strang argue the criminal securities fraud statute is void because it is unconstitutionally vague. (subscriber access)

Friday, May 20, 2016

Judge: Eliason legal advisor appears to be target of DFI probe
A hearing scheduled for May 13 on a motion to quash a subpoena issued to the lawyer who provided legal advice to two St. Germain businessmen accused of securities fraud was canceled when Dane County Circuit Judge Julie Genovese recused herself from the case, according to court records. (subscriber access)
Friday, May 20, 2016

Former Northern Way gets use as a training site for firefighters
Hillestad Pharmaceuticals in Arbor Vitae last year purchased the building across from the Perkins restaurant that last housed the Northern Way.

Years ago, it was known to several locals as Lola's.

Later this summer, construction of a new, 4,480 square foot addition to the rear of the current Hillestad building is scheduled to begin. (subscriber access)

Friday, May 20, 2016

Woodruff Town Board gets fire truck committee clarification
The question of what to do in the town of Woodruff with regard to whether or not the town should buy a new, $730,000 ladder truck for its fire department continues and has now, for the time being, gone beyond just the one piece of equipment.

At the board's April 26 meeting, supervisor Barry Seidel said he didn't believe there had been enough done to explore the idea of participation by other towns in the area. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Single-car crash in Woodruff Saturday kills one person
A 31-year-old Lac du Flambeau man died Saturday as the result of a one vehicle crash Saturday afternoon on Brunswick Road south of Woodland Drive in Woodruff.

A press release from the Woodruff Police Department said Adam J. Lisner was transported to Howard Young Medical Center where he was pronounced dead from injuries sustained in the crash. The Woodruff police department is investigating the cause of the crash.
(1 comments)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Manitowish Waters: Town board misses boat on funding for Rest Lake landing
After months of discussion the Manitowish Waters Town Board voted again on Tuesday to continue researching improvements for the Rest Lake boat landing. However, those efforts may all be for naught since the board's collective dragging of feet cost them the funding that made the project possible in the first place.

The board also rejected a maintenance agreement for the pavillion in Rest Lake Park that would have secured private funding for all operations instead of turning to taxpayers.(subscriber access)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

DA lowers boom on Woodruff man accused of stealing from Cassian couple
A 50-year-old Woodruff man accused of stealing over $570,000 from an elderly town of Cassian couple between May 2013 and July 2014 is now facing 108 separate charges after Oneida County district attorney Mike Schiek amended the state's complaint.

Brian B. Smith has been facing criminal charges related to the alleged theft since August 2014. He was originally charged with one count of forgery, one count of identity theft for financial gain and theft of movable property over $10,000. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Vets honored
Four members of the Lakeland post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars were recognized May 12 for 65 years of membership in the organization. Pictured, from left, are World War II veterans Ferdinand Gehrke and Rich McPherson and Korean War veteran Harold Else. Not shown is Korean War veteran Lyle Gehrke.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Fire risk remains elevated in Northwoods
Some scattered showers throughout the week may have momentarily quelled the threat of wildfire in the area, but experts say until more rain falls and vegetation greens up the Northland must stay vigilant to prevent unintended ignitions.

Earlier in the week the Department of Natural Resources issued red flag warnings for Douglas, Burnett and Washburn counties. The Michigan DNR issued similar warnings for much of the Upper Peninsula. (subscriber access)

Friday, May 13, 2016

Other Eliason investors seek justice
When St. Germain businessmen Brian E. and David J. Eliason's financial enterprise imploded in June 2010 with the closure of Eliason Inc., a number of investors in the company - nearly 600 stakeholders according to a Lakeland Times article published at the time - lost money.

Of those investors, only 19 were involved in the deals that would eventually lead the state to charge each brother with 10 counts of securities fraud related to conduct prosecutors say took place in the fall of 2009. (subscriber access)

Friday, May 13, 2016

Skydiving proposal for Lakeland Airport withdrawn
A proposal for a skydiving operation at the Lakeland Airport in Arbor Vitae was on the agenda for Thursday's meeting of the airport commission, but was pulled after concerns from both its author and the commission.

Nick Kant, director of operations for Skydive Evolution who has ties to the Park Falls area, made the initial presentation last month. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Moustakis not running for re-election in November
Vilas County will have a new district attorney in November.

According to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board's website, Al Moustakis, who's been the county's district attorney since 1994, has filed a notification of non-candidacy in the November 8 election.

Vilas County clerk Dave Alleman said the Vilas County board's corporation counsel, Martha Milanowski, is a declared candidate.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


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