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home : news May 4, 2016

Bearskin bridge removal project to start Monday
Dean Hall/Lakeland TimesThe Bearskin bridge over Hwy. 51 Tuesday. A contractor will begin the project that will eventually result in the bridge’s removal and replacement Monday.
Dean Hall/Lakeland Times


The Bearskin bridge over Hwy. 51 Tuesday. A contractor will begin the project that will eventually result in the bridge’s removal and replacement Monday.
In a surprise announcement Tuesday the Wisconsin Department of Transportation said it will begin the process of replacing the Bearskin Trail bridge over U.S. Highway 51 in Hazelhurst on Monday.
Tuesday, April 5, 2016


LUHS faces $513,000 budget deficit
Lakeland Union High School is considering staff restructuring and reductions to remedy the half-million dollar deficit the school district faces this coming year.

As of April, the projected 2016-17 budget deficit for the high school sits at $513,729. That figure is derived from the 2015-16 fiscal year projection. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, May 3, 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Skydiving proposal for Lakeland Airport withdrawn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

Boulder Junction still considering public safety officer position
For more than a year, Boulder Junction has been without a police officer - despite the fact electors voted to fill the position at the annual town meeting shortly after it was vacated.

And according to officials, the town isn't not much closer to filling the position now than they were this time last year. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Michael Mann says Paris climate summit remarkably successful
This story is the second in a series of interviews about climate change, intended to present both sides of the ongoing debate.

Since 1998, when Dr. Michael Mann published his famous hockey stick graph of global temperatures, the scientist has been at the center of the world's climate-change wars - a fierce debate between those who believe in human-caused climate change and those who either deny its existence or downplay its significance. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Suspect in Lynne standoff bound over for trial
A 60-year-old Tripoli man accused of holding several law enforcement agencies at bay by threatening to blow up a residence on Clifford Road on April 19 in the town of Lynne was bound over for trial Friday morning.

After a 45-minute preliminary hearing in which only a detective from the Oneida County Sheriff's Department testified, Branch II judge Michael Bloom ruled there was probable cause to support the charges against Kenneth S. Welsh. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Northwoods Marine Corps League detachment continues to grow
Like other veterans groups, members of the Leathernecks of the North help veterans and their families whenever and wherever possible.

The LON is officially detachment 353 of the Marine Corps League and its commandant, Lawrence Haling, works for the Vilas County Highway department.

Haling said while the group's focus is Marines and Marine veterans in need, and ultimately, veterans of service in every U.S. military branch. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Finding a way back: Nicolet College's veterans club helps transition
The Academy Award-winning film "The Hurt Locker," which takes place in Iraq during 2004, has in the years since it debuted in 2008 largely been dismissed as unrealistic in the Iraq and Afghanistan veteran community.

Near the end of the film, however, there's one scene that hits home for many veterans. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Hillestad Pharmaceuticals in Arbor Vitae to expand
The Arbor Vitae Plan Commission at its April 14 meeting approved plans for an expansion at Hillestad Pharmaceuticals.

Over the course of the past several months, the company purchased the building that formerly housed The Northern Way. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Latest GAO report highlights 37 new areas of federal waste
Every year, the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee holds a hearing to highlight duplicative, wasteful spending by the federal government, including the passage of legislation that spends money to create new programs, though federal programs to deal with those problems already exist. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Hwy. 51 update
This week, crews working on the U.S. Highway 51 construction project south of Hazelhurst will be continuing the marsh excavation and backfill operations along the west side of the roadway from Oak Ridge Road to Little Bearskin Road. Marsh excavation is also beginning on the east side of the highway. Motorists can expect flagging operations just north of Little Bearskin Road in the coming week. Crews will continue to install cross drains in the completed marsh excavation areas and will complete the construction of the outfall structure at the cross drain pipes north of Cottage Inn Drive.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

SBA.gov provides free assistance to small businesses
The decision to start a business is often a mixed bag of excitement and nerves. The idea of creating a successful, self-made business can be appealing but sometimes just as overwhelming.

Many decisions have to be made, research has to be done and endless hoops have to be jumped.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has a large variety of free tools available to anyone interested in starting or expanding a small business.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Prepare for upcoming tourist season
Small business ownership is an amazing achievement. Getting a business off the ground in a small community is a challenge in itself; maintaining the traffic and newness of your business is an altogether different challenge.

Some of the adversities a small business owner sees can be fixed through better business practices, while others are heavily dependent on our labor pool. The adversities can also be dependent on the weather that regulates our tourism surges, and considering many of the businesses in our local communities, these are the challenges that most face throughout the winter.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Lakeland Travel & Cruises inducted into Mark Travel Corporation 500 Club
Lakeland Travel & Cruises in Minocqua has been inducted into the Mark Travel Corporation 500 Club. Membership in the 500 Club is based on brand knowledge, sales and service achievements in the past year. The program recognizes travel agencies who are top supporters of Mark Travel Corporation's top five brands - Funjet Vacations, TNT Vacations, Blue Sky Tours, Southwest Vacations and United Vacations. Colleen Krolczyk, left, and Abbie Simmons celebrate the local agency's accomplishment during a recognition trip to Cancun, Mexico.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Town of Newbold forms Town Hall Renovation Committee
The Newbold Town Board formed the Town Hall Renovation Committee on Thursday after a previous advisory motion that passed a vote by the electors at the annual town meeting.

The committee's first members, town clerk Kim Gauthier and board members Jim Staskiewicz and Ed Hammer, will meet in the near future to elect a chairman and secretary and decide how to solicit citizens for the committee. The new Town Hall Renovation Committee will report at the next Newbold Town Board meeting on May 12 or the following meeting on May 26. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Bartelt to step down from OC clerk post; two seeking position
Come January, a new clerk will be in charge of elections in Oneida County.

After a long career in local government, late last month Mary Bartelt advised the county board she will not run for re-election this fall.

Prior to being elected clerk in 2012, Bartlet spent 16 years in the county clerk's office. (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

Vilas County Drug Take Back Day is April 30
The Vilas County Sheriff's Office, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will coordinate a Prescription Drug Take-Back initiative on Saturday, April 30 at 330 Court Street, Eagle River.
Friday, April 29, 2016

Boulder Junction board adopts wildfire protection plan
The Boulder Junction Town Board met Tuesday and held a short meeting that clocked in at under 30 minutes, with supervisor Dennis Duke attending only for the new and unfinished business portion of the agenda by phone.

The board voted to adopt the state Department of Natural Resources' Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) that has been in the works for over a year, with hopes to identify and reduce the risk of wildfires for the residents of Boulder Junction. (subscriber access)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Mercer School Board has first meeting since election
On Monday the Mercer School Board had its first meeting since a spirited election season ended April 5, swearing in its newest member Christa Reinert. After Reinert took her oath, the board got right down to business, voting to move ahead with the purchase of a new van for the district and to extend the school day starting with the 2016 to 2017 school year. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 29, 2016

Plan commission discusses locations for new playground
During the course of a brief meeting Tuesday, the Minocqua Plan Commission determined it would meet at some point in the next month or so at the Minocqua Park Complex to get a good look as a group at some possible locations for playground equipment there. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 29, 2016

Multiple studies point to vaccine links to autism
News analysis

When Robert De Niro made waves earlier this month about a potential link between vaccines and autism, the outcry and the reporting was standard: There is no link, a scientific consensus exists that vaccines do not cause autism, a multitude of studies back them up, and, to sum it all up, vaccines are safe. (subscriber access)

Friday, April 29, 2016

MHLT board authorizes resolution for construction
The way has been cleared for some major construction this summer at the Minocqua Hazelhurst Lake Tomahawk School District.

MHLT's board of education on Monday approved a resolution authorizing the district to levy $429,290 toward the cost of the $1.79 million project.

That translates to a 4.3 percent increase in the district's tax levy. (subscriber access)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Iconic 'T-Bird Country' bridge could come to LUHS
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced earlier this year the iconic "T-Bird Country" bridge over Highway 51 in Hazelhurst will come down in August, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will stay down.

Bob Metropulos Jr., local artist and owner of Parkside Gallery, announced Monday at the Lakeland Union High School Board of Education meeting that he has been in talks with Pfeifer Brothers, the construction firm removing the bridge, about future plans for the local landmark. (subscriber access)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Public hearing for water plant in Presque Isle set for Wednesday
A public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday at the Presque Isle community building for what is, without argument, the hottest issue in the town of Presque Isle - a zoning change request to accommodate a water bottling plant.

Essentially, the plant, with Trig Solberg as one of the partners in the business, would bottle water from a well on private property and sell it. (subscriber access)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Welcoming the Walleye Wagon
Last week, the Headwaters Basin chapter of Walleyes for Tomorrow spent two days on Mercer Lake in the town of Mercer with their Walleye Wagon. The Walleye Wagon is a mobile fish hatchery that allows the group to expand stocking efforts to various lakes throughout the region. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 29, 2016

Controversial fire truck issue continues in Woodruff
The question of whether or not the town of Woodruff should purchase a new fire truck has been ongoing for about a year, and it was clear at Tuesday's town board meeting, it will continue for some time.

The hour-long discussion included the possibility of consolidating Lakeland area fire departments into a fire district. (subscriber access)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Lewis is starting second term on Marathon County Board
A third person from the Wausau area will run against two-term Republican Sean Duffy for the 7th Congressional District.

Joel A. Lewis, 34, made his candidacy official Thursday evening with a speech in front of the Oneida County Courthouse.

A lifelong Wisconsin resident and graduate of Wausau West High School and Northcentral Technical College, Lewis holds a double bachelor's degree in psychology and social work and has spent much of his time working with community members. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Vilas County board makes standing rules changes
Every two years, during the first post-spring election of the Vilas County board, a resolution dealing with the board's standing rules is discussed and adopted.

This is done after the supervisors are sworn in, but before the board elects a chairman.

County clerk Dave Alleman runs the meeting through the chairman election and he had plenty to do at the April 19 meeting as board members introduced, discussed and adopted 11 amendments to the standing rules, a process that lasted over an hour. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Pier Repairs
A truck used by a Wisconsin Public Service crew attempting to change light bulbs over the public fishing pier in Minocqua next to the bridge on U.S. Highway 51 on Monday caused some damage to the pier. ­Town clerk Roben Haggart said WPS will pay for the damage. Public works director Mark Pertile said Thursday he's working on finding contractors who can do the repair work, including replacement of at least one of the pier's girders, which broke under the weight of the Ford F-450.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sale of Sayner Street discussed at Plum Lake annual meeting
The town of Plum Lake held their annual meeting on April 15, 2016, with 11 people in attendance, followed by a regular town board meeting.

Sayner Street

One of several issues taken up at the meeting was the possible sale of Sayner Street, which leads to the post office. Ed McCarthy, owner of the property on which the post office sits since inheriting it from his father, said he would pay the fair market price for the land that is Sayner Street, as the street also serves as the post office parking lot. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Newbold names disc golf course
The Newbold Town Board held a special meeting on Thursday and voted unanimously to name the disc golf course "Rookery Run," in honor of the large amount of heron activity in the area.

The board also voted to approve the name of an informational kiosk to be placed in the parking lot. The kiosk, which will be named, "Wayne Wagler Forest Products Incorporated," will include information about the course, a list of the sponsors who helped with fundraising, and some information about the herons in the area.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Hwy. 51 update
Crews began marsh excavation and backfill work along the west side of the work area from Cottage Inn Drive to north of Oak Ridge Road. They also continue to grade the west side of Hwy. 51 from Rocky Run Road to Little Bearskin Road. Motorists should be aware the northbound passing lane from Rocky Run Road to Oak Ridge Road is now also closed. There remains only one lane open to traffic in both the northbound and southbound directions in this area extending from Rocky Run Road to South Blue Lake Road.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Four charges filed against Tripoli man in standoff case
Kenneth Welsh, the 60-year-old Tripoli man accused of holding several law enforcement agencies at bay by threatening to blow up a residence on Clifford Road on April 19, has been formally charged with two felonies and two misdemeanors, including attempted first-degree intentional homicide.

The criminal complaint in the case also accused Welsh of attempted first-degree reckless injury, a class D felony, possession of a firearm while intoxicated and misdemeanor battery (domestic abuse), both class A misdemeanors. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Vilas County septic system maintenance pump/inspection cards to be sent out
It's that time of year again, time for the Vilas County Zoning Office to send out pump card notices to have septic tanks inspected or pumped. Remember you are on a three (3) year cycle. There are over 21,368 private on site waste water treatment systems (POWTS) sanitary systems in Vilas County. Each year the office sends out approximately 7,122 notices.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Three Lakes electors authorize construction of town complex, library expansion
By a vote of 100-10, town of Three Lakes electors on April 19 authorized the town board to finance and build a new town hall complex and expand the Edward U. Demmer Memorial Library.

The vote followed almost an hour of spirited discussion on the subject from the standing-room only crowd assembled in the town of Three Lakes Community Room for the annual town meeting. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Minocqua town supervisors to get a raise
Minocqua town supervisors will get a $2,000 per year raise as the result of a vote at the town's annual meeting Thursday.

The annual meeting is one of two times a year where town residents may make motions from the floor.

Toward the end of the 30-minute meeting, Jerry Mader, one of nine Minocqua residents in attendance, made a motion to increase the salary of town supervisors from $6,000 per year to $8,000. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Woodruff electors table truck purchase
At the Woodruff annual town meeting held April 19, elector Ed Bruner put forth a motion to table further discussion on the purchase of a fire truck until further research is done regarding grants and mutual financial assistance from other towns, and until Mid Lake Road issues are addressed. The motion was seconded by Gavy Ovans and passed by a 16-11 vote, with two members abstaining. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Eliason defense teams seeks to prevent deposition of former lawyer
Lawyers continue to trade paperwork - and accusations - in the Eliason securities fraud case.

In a new development, the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) wants to depose a lawyer who provided advice to the accused businessmen, Brian and David Eliason, but the defense is seeking to stop the question-and-answer session from taking place. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Mann: Man-made climate change is real
The first in a series of interviews about climate change

The famous climate scientist Michael Mann has a simple, straightforward message for everyone: manmade climate change is real and significant, and the real debate should focus on solutions to problematic global warming, where he says a range of prescriptions should be on the table.

That said, Mann is not an alarmist. He doesn't fall in line with those who proclaim the sky to be falling tomorrow - the doom-and-gloom crowd - but he does believe steps should be taken and policies fashioned to get a handle on long-term greenhouse gas concentrations. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Missing 78-year-old woman found
On April 22, 2016 at approximately 10:34 a.m., the Oneida County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call in reference to a missing 78-year-old missing female with dementia in the area of East Big Lakes Loop Road in the town of Three Lakes in Oneida County.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016


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