Unique Vietnam Memorial Exhibit with Photos Stopping in Tomahawk
Published on 07/21/2017 under News The Vietnam Memorial in Washington carries the names 1,161 Wisconsinites. Now a unique traveling display is putting faces to those names. It's all part of the Wisconsin Remembers: A Face for Every Name exhibit organized by Wisconsin Public Television, Wisconsin Public Radio and the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. The display consists of 17 portable display banners. While the memorial in Washington features the names of the fallen, this display also features pictures of those individuals. It was a multi-year project that included students, teachers, media and many volunteers who reached out to friends and family to secure the photos. Wisconsin became the 5th state to find a picture of each individual. Eventually they will be part of a permanent education center being built in Washington. Throughout the month of July, the traveling exhibit has been passing through the Northwoods, already making stops in Rhinelander, Wabeno, and Antigo. It's scheduled to be in Tomahawk at the American Legion Lounge on Main Street. The display is scheduled to open at 9am.
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Local Water Ski Teams Compete in State Championships
Published on 07/21/2017 under News Most of the top water ski teams in the state are converging in Wisconsin Rapids this weekend. Lake Wazeecha and the Aquaskiers are once again hosting the Wisconsin State Water Ski Show Championships. The competition is now in its 51st year. The skiing actually got underway last evening with the individual competition in adagio doubles, swivel, and freestyle and team jumping. The team competitions are scheduled to begin today and will continue through Sunday morning with 24 teams competing in 3 divisions. Of course, there are several local teams participating including our hometown Kwahamots. They are set to ski early this evening in Division 2. Also skiing today will be the Aqua Devils from Three Lakes and the Plum Ski-ters of Sayner. Among the teams hitting the water tomorrow are the Chain Skimmers from the Eagle River area. The teams get an hour to present their shows with a group of judges scoring the performance by awarding points in numerous categories including originality, presentation and execution. And this event will lead into the National Competition early next month. For the second time in recent years, the Kwahamots will host right here in Tomahawk.
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Oneida County Man in Custody after Several Hour Search
Published on 07/21/2017 under News A several hour law enforcement search in Oneida County resulted with one person in custody. At around 6:30 last evening, the 911 center received a call from an individual reporting that his friend drove his vehicle into the woods and started the vehicle on fire. This occurred off Highway 45 near Elcho. The caller went on to say he believed he heard gunshots. Upon arrival the Sheriff's Office says the fire was extinguished and the subject no longer at the scene. A several hour search ensued which included local responders and the Oneida County SWAT. Approximately 3 hours later, the Sheriff's Office indicated the man was taken into custody. Neither his name, nor potential charges were released. There were no indications of injuries.
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Tomahawk Police Report
Published on 07/21/2017 under News Police assisted probation and parole in conducting an alcohol check Tuesday. The 60 year old, who had a no drink order, tested positive with a breathalyzer. A hold was placed and the man was cleared at the hospital and then brought to the Lincoln County Jail. An officer conducted a traffic stop Wednesday evening after observing a vehicle leaving its lane. A standard field sobriety test resulted in the 48 year old being arrested on 2nd offense OWI. The man was also cited for failure to install an ignition interlock device, possession of THC and operating while revoked.
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Merrill Schools Announce $250k Contribution to Scholarship Program
Published on 07/21/2017 under News The Merrill School District yesterday announced two former residents have made a quarter of a million dollar contribution to their scholarship program. Administrator John Sample says the $250,000 gift comes from Gerald and Charmaine Whitburn. He says this will provide a $10,000 scholarship to a graduating Merrill High senior heading to one of the University of Wisconsin's four-year campuses in each of the next 25 years. Whitburn, a Merrill native and retired CEO and Chairman of Church Mutual Insurance Company serves on the the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents. He said, "Nothing is more important than education in today's world. Merrill has been very good to us, and we are pleased to have this opportunity to assist a local student who has financial need each year going forward to attain their academic dreams and goals." Sample closed by saying, "We are so appreciative of this generous opportunity the Whitburns have provided our students. They are truly paying it forward and allowing recipients of the Whitburn Scholarship access to lifelong success."
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Lincoln County Board Approves Highway Commissioner
Published on 07/20/2017 under News After a several month long search, Lincoln County has found a new Highway Commissioner. At their meeting on Tuesday evening the County Board of Supervisors approved John Hanz for the position. He'll be coming from Pepin County in Western Wisconsin where he has been serving a similar role. During a visit to our morning forum following the meeting, county board chair Bob Lee praised Hanz's loyalty, saying that he intends to wrap up the budget work for 2018 before leaving Pepin County. This new offer comes a few months after the Lincoln County Board approved another candidate. That man ultimately declined the position instead choosing to remain at his current job. The Lincoln County Highway Department had been operating under Jason Lemmer serving in an interim role since earlier this year. Speaking of the filling county vacancies, Lee also noted that the District 4 supervisor seat in Merrill remains vacant, and they are still seeking a candidate to fill the remainder of that term.
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Healthy People, Lincoln County Receives $5,000 Donation
Published on 07/20/2017 under News Lincoln County continues to benefit from the generosity of its residents and businesses, the latest beneficiary, a program aimed at citizen health. At the Lincoln County Board meeting Tuesday, the supervisors approved a resolution accepting and expressing gratitude to Good Samaritan Health Center in Merrill and Ascension Health. That's because the provider contributed $5,000 to the Healthy People, Lincoln County program. According to the resolution, the money is earmarked for the implementation of a Community Health Improvement Plan. Chairman Bob Lee, during his Wednesday forum visit, noted that this program is necessary in the county and that it benefits Lincoln County residents from young people up to seniors. He went on to praise the generosity of the Northwoods in general, noting that it's "people taking care of people." Just last month the board accepted a donation from the Bierman Family Foundation going to the Sheriff's Office.
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Merrill Man Charged in Father's Death
Published on 07/20/2017 under News A year and a half after the death of a Merrill man, his son has now been charged in connection. According to Lincoln County Court records, 21 year old Tyler Monroe has been charged with 7 felonies including first degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse. Back in January of 2016, 55 year old Kevin Monroe was found dead in his Merrill apartment. In the criminal complaint, it shows he had been stabbed 26 times. His son, Tyler, had been a person of interest, but was not immediately charged. Monroe, however, had been facing charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Earlier this year, that case continued after competency hearings. According to the court calendar, Monroe will be back in court on the newer charges on July 26 for a preliminary hearing.
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Rhinelander Food Pantry Surpasses 5 Million Pounds of Food
Published on 07/20/2017 under News The Rhinelander Area Food Pantry, after 12 years of operation, recently reached a milestone level by surpassing distribution of over 5 million pounds of food. Rhinelander Area Food Pantry was established in 2005, they reached the milestone earlier this month. Guy Hansen, RAFP Executive Director, said reaching this mark is a bitter sweet accomplishment. On the one hand it demonstrates the generosity of the community to donate the food and money necessary to allow the reaching of this level. However, on the other hand it is sad to think that, just in this community alone, such a tremendous need still exists. Over the past few years, Hanson says they have been averaging approximately 600,000 pounds of food each year. The organization is planning on recognizing the accomplishment at their annual volunteer appreciation lunch being held later today.
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DNR, Wild Turkey Federation Enter Partnership for R3 Coordinator
Published on 07/20/2017 under News The DNR is again partnering with a wildlife organization to introduce novices and bring back former hunters and anglers. Earlier this month, the agency signed an agreement with the National Wild Turkey Federation to co-fund and co-manage a Recruitment, Reactivation, and Retention or R3 coordinator. DNR Deputy Secretary Kurt Thiede said. "Wisconsin is home to veteran anglers and hunters, and a new generation who will learn how to harvest and to catch their own food. This new position will help bring this exciting world to new participants and remind our lapsed hunters and anglers what they are missing." At the signing, the federation's Dave Mahlke explained the partnership saying , "increasing hunter population is important to the future of conservation." This position will plan, coordinate, and collaborate with various partner organizations, training, implementing, monitoring and performing outreach related to hunting and fishing R3 programming. Earlier this summer the DNR made a similar agreement with the Pheasants Forever organization.
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Tomahawk Council Passes Mid-Block, Left Turn Ordinance
Published on 07/19/2017 under News After being brought up several times over the years, the Tomahawk City Council has taken action on mid block, left hand turns into angled parking stalls. After a lengthy public hearing and discussion, the council ultimately passed an ordinance amendment making these types of turns illegal on Main Street. The changes do not apply to left hand turns into driveways or alleyways. The latest push came from Michelle Kahle of Cruisers Driving School, who provided anecdotal accounts of near misses and brought up the potential for accidents. Prior to last night's action, these types of turns fell into a gray area on whether an illegal u-turn is completed when the driver turns into a opposite direction angled parking stall. At one point ,the discussion shifted to how angled parking causes unsafe backing conditions in general. While no one outright opposed the change, some questioned the necessity and how it would be enforced. Ultimately the ordinance was approved with a 3-1 vote with one abstention.
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Tomahawk City Meeting Recap
Published on 07/19/2017 under News It was a rather lengthy night of meetings for the City of Tomahawk last evening. -Those meetings began with the Board of Public Works. Director John Cole gave brief updates on a rather busy month. He says the storm water study is ongoing, as they are compiling data and hope to have some preliminary information by next month. Chip and Crack sealing is anticipated next month, as the wet weather has pushed these projects back across the region. Pitlik and Wick provided an additional offer due to the delay. Cole says that they are continuing to plan the Bradley Farm Road/ Kings Road project which aims to alleviate drainage issues in that area. They are awaiting some permits and hope to put the project up for bid next week. They would like to get the ~7-10 day project underway before the school year. Other upcoming projects include: the biennial seal coat on the bridge, replacing the Louisiana Pacific Railroad spur, and Frontier laying fiber optic cable south of town. After a discussion, but no action last month, the board sent an ordinance to council regarding people dumping their garbage in other people's receptacles. -Health and Safety approved operator, liquor, and tobacco licenses without discussion. They discussed three special events related to the Fall Ride. For the most part, the Chamber Brat Fry and Bon Fire and the Downtown events will be largely unchanged, with only minor tweaks. The committee laid over the MDA portion of the event until the August meeting to square up payments from last year, and provide the organization an opportunity to attend the meeting and participate in the discussion. A pair of items were on the agenda regarding residents in violation of the city's ordinance limiting the number of animals. In the first case, the police chief will communicate with the attorney on avenues to pursue. The second party was on hand at the meeting and explained that they are actively trying to come into compliance. As a result, the committee allowed them to continue doing so. Both the police and fire chiefs had little to add to their written monthly reports noting that it has been a busy summer, but relatively quiet, as far as incidents. Police Chief Al Elvins noted that new officer Michael Krich continues his training which is expected to take 6 months. -In a bit of good news, the Finance Committee heard an update from the Standard and Poors rating for the city which has changed from a negative outlook to a stable outlook. The committee had no new updates on several city properties which have remained on the agenda for years now. The Committee heard, briefly discussed and forwarded the Tomahawk Public Library budget. While there was no discussion, during the general financial report, the committee noted they may, again, bring up a premier resort area tax at future meetings. -A few other odds and ends from last night's City Council meeting. The council revisited the abandonment of an undeveloped, 't-shaped' alley between Bradley Farm and School Road. The Council previously approved the abandonment several years ago, but due to an oversight needed additional action. One of the adjacent property owners objected to the abandonment and after a lengthy discussion and various solutions, the resolution as presented was voted down. As we previously mentioned, the council approved an ordinance making left-hand, mid-block turns into parking stalls illegal and approved the 2018 library budget. They also approved the items forwarded from Health and Safety. With minimal discussion, the Council approved a pair of connected resolutions, described as 'boiler plate' regarding funding from the Wisconsin Environmental Improvement Fund and well house renovations.
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Tomahawk City Council Approves 2018 Library Budget
Published on 07/19/2017 under News The first piece of the local budget puzzle was passed last night as the Tomahawk City Council approved the public library budget for 2018. It was retiring director Mary Dunn's final budget, as she wraps up her job duties this week. In a bit of good news during these tight budget times, the library board sent a budget request to the city that is actually down from last year. The overall budget is $400,000, with $177,000 coming from the city. That's a decrease of about $2,400 compared to last year. Other funding sources include Lincoln County, Oneida County and Price County. With minimal discussion, and mostly praise for Dunn's work over the years, the council approved the budget unanimously. They also briefly mentioned Rejeana Ebert was elected library board president and that the board continues their search for a new director after a previous hire fell through. Speaking of Dunn, the library is hosting an open house this afternoon to celebrate her retirement. That runs from 1-3 at the library. As I mentioned, Dunn's done on Friday.
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Jerry Schmitt Band Playing Music on the River
Published on 07/19/2017 under News It's a summer Wednesday in Tomahawk and that means its time for another Music on the River concert this evening. Tonight the community will welcome the Jerry Schmitt Band. The Stratford based country artists have played across much of the Midwest and brought their mix of modern and classic country to Nashville, the country music capital of the world. But tonight, they'll play right here in Tomahawk. It's the 5th of 7 planned concerts this season for Music on the River. Tomahawk Community Bank is providing apple crisp, while supplies last. The concert begins at 6pm in Memorial Park.
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Local Credit Union Hosts Groundbreaking for New Merrill Headquarters
Published on 07/19/2017 under News Earlier this morning, Park City Credit Union was expected to break ground on their planned new headquarters in Merrill. As we told you when the project was announced earlier this spring, the plans include a 26,000 square-foot building at Highway 64 and Pine Ridge Avenue. The facility will serve as a regular branch with other financial services. It will also provide a new headquarters and data center, offer event space and plans for a small bistro. Park City currently operates 8 branches here in the northwoods. They are planning on opening their new headquarters by next summer, in time for the credit union's 80th anniversary. Today's groundbreaking will include a small ceremony at 9:30 this morning.
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