DoT Exploring Changes to Hwy 8/47 Intersection in Rhinelander Published on 12/06/2017 under News
The Department of Transportation is considering a reconstruction of a busy intersection in the Rhinelander area.

That project will focus on the intersection of US Highway 8 and Wisconsin Highway 47. According to the announcement, the project is slated for 2019.

While pavement deterioration and drainage under the intersection are two factors on the decision, safety concerns are another. The DoT says between 2012 and 2016, there were 28 crashes at that intersection leading to 8 injuries and 1 death. They noted that a majority of the crashes were the result of left turning vehicles.

Among the considerations for the project is the possibility of placing a roundabout at the intersection. Another is to simply modify the intersection while keeping traditional traffic lights.

As part of the planning process for the project, the DoT will be holding a public input session coming up next Tuesday in Rhinelander. We'll have that information in our community calendar.

In Other News

Tomahawk Sew and Vac Vying for $10,000 Wisconsin Main Street Makeover Award
Published on 12/14/2017 under News A downtown Tomahawk business has been selected as a finalist for a $10,000 makeover. Yesterday the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation unveiled the finalists for their Main Street Makeover Contest. Among the five nominees was Tomahawk Sew and Vac. According to the news release, Doug Kirby and his staff were selected to create more demonstration spaces for their unique products and free up space for their popular classes. The winner will be announced in January, and spend several months with consultants from Retailworks Inc. The Milwaukee-based design, branding and display firm will work with the owners to develop a makeover plan. That will be followed by a two-day "makeover" event in late spring. The WEDC says that all nominees will receive technical assistance as part of the program as well. There's actually another area business among the finalists in Sam's Pizza in Wausau.
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Remember Safe Winter Driving Skills
Published on 12/14/2017 under News Yesterday's widespread snow lead to a number of vehicles involved in minor accidents or leaving the roadway. It also prompted local officials to remind drivers to remember their winter driving skills. As they do each December, the DoT recently offered up some tips to help drivers reach their winter destinations safely. First, before you leave, make sure snow has been removed from your vehicle including your lights. And make sure to use those lights in limited visibility conditions. When on the road, leave plenty of room for maintenance vehicles and plows to pass. Also leave yourself additional space for braking, including looking out down the road further than you normally do. Finally, don't get overconfident in your 4x4 vehicle. Remember that it may help you get going quicker, but it won't help you stop any faster. The DoT noted that many 4x4 vehicles are heavier than passenger vehicles and actually may take longer to stop. And simply give yourself a little extra time to reach your destination, and drive at appropriate speeds for the conditions.
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BoBoen Snowmobile Club Founder, Snowmobile Hall of Famer Honored
Published on 12/14/2017 under News A Northwoods snowmobile club recently honored one of their founders. Don Schulpius was instrumental in starting the BoBoen snowmobile club in St. Germain. That was back in 1969. Over the years, their membership has grown to nearly 1,000 members. He also worked to create club trail maps, expand the trail system and enhance their grooming operations. Earlier this year, Schulpius was named a member of the 2017 International Snowmobile Hall of Fame for his dedication to the sport. At the club's Christmas dinner on Tuesday, Don and his wife Harriet were recognized as the guests of honor.
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DNR Stocks Record Number of Large Walleye Fingerlings
Published on 12/14/2017 under News Wisconsin anglers continue to benefit from the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative, which again stocked a record number of the fish this year. The DNR announced this week that nearly 882,000 larger fingerling walleye were placed in state waterways. Justine Hasz, fisheries director for the Department of Natural Resources"We're very pleased that the investment made to hatcheries through the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative and the hard work of our fisheries crews and our partners are once again paying off for Wisconsin anglers." The Initiative arrived with the 2013 budget. In the year prior to its implementation the DNR stocked 142,000 larger fingerlings. The funding has also paid to upgrade state, tribal and private hatcheries in Wisconsin. The large fingerlings are just one piece of the walleye population, the DNR says that 1.4 million small fingerlings are stocked each year, in addition to a number of walleye fry. And despite stocking efforts, the DNR says natural reproduction accounts for more than 80 percent of the walleye caught in Wisconsin.
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Nicolet Foundation Awards Record Number of Spring Scholarships
Published on 12/13/2017 under News When Nicolet students return to class next semester, a record number will benefit from scholarships through the College Foundation. This is actually the 4th year the Foundation has awarded scholarships specifically for the spring semester. Executive Director Heather Shallock noted that prior to this year, they had never surpassed 100 scholarships. But this year she announced that they ended up awarding aid to 123 students for the spring semester. Those students will share in about $56,000, each scholarship between $200 and $1,500. When coupled with the fall semester, the Nicolet Foundation has awarded more than 250 scholarships for nearly $200,000 this school year. Shallock closed by noting that, "Every dollar of this came from the generous financial support of individuals who donated to the Nicolet College Foundation."
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Rhinelander FBLA/DECA Brings Back Jeans for Teens Collection
Published on 12/13/2017 under News A popular and creative collection effort returns the Rhinelander community today. Rhinelander High School is once again launching their Jeans for Teens. As the name implies, the effort is focused on collecting jeans which are then donated to Frederick Place Temporary Shelter. The service activity is being organized by members of the Rhinelander High School FBLA/DECA. They noted that it's a perfect home for those jeans in your closet that don't quite fit anymore or a style that didn't quite suit the owner. The students have Christmas themed boxes placed at the various elementary, middle and high school buildings in the district. They are also partnering with several businesses and the public library to host drop-off locations. Last year, the students collected more than 300 pairs of jeans and hope to increase that total this year. The collection effort runs through January 5.
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Safely Heating Homes with Wood Burning Discussion
Published on 12/13/2017 under News As winter grips the region and people select ways to heat their homes, many turn to wood stoves, wood burning furnaces or fireplaces. Folks with Live Sustainable Lincoln County will be holding a discussion on how to do so safely. They noted that fault equipment, improper installation and neglected upkeep can all pose life threatening risks to those utilizing wood heating. Organizers say this evening's discussion will be lead by Merrill Fire Chief Dave Savone. He's expected to address wood stove installation, safe use of the devices, as well as maintenance of stoves, fireplaces, furnaces and chimneys. The talk is for anyone who currently has, is thinking of, or is in the process of adding a wood burning device in their home. It's scheduled for 6pm this evening at the Lincoln County Service Center in Merrill.
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Sacred Heart Foundation Lighting Tree Wednesday
Published on 12/13/2017 under News A local hospital will be celebrating the holiday spirit with a special tree lighting ceremony this evening. For the past month, the Sacred Heart Hospital Foundation has been collecting donations for their special Love Lights Tree. Sponsors were able to reserve a white light in memory of a love one or blue lights in the honor of a relative, family or friend. This evening at 5:30, Board members will light the tree at a dedication event. The tree will then be lit throughout the holiday season.
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Firefighters Respond to Fires in Wausau, Woodruff Tuesday
Published on 12/13/2017 under News It was a busy day for firefighters in the Northwoods as crews responded to several separate fires throughout the day. The calls began at just after midnight yesterday at a duplex down in Wausau. Investigators believe smoking materials reignited causing the fire. A second Marathon County fire broke out yesterday afternoon in the Town of Easton and was likely electrical. And up in Woodruff, crews were called to a house fire at around 4:30. That cause was not immediately determined. Fortunately no injuries were reported in any of these fires and several pets were rescued as well.
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Hatchet Boys Basketball Team Defeats Rib Lake
Published on 12/12/2017 under Sports The Hatchet Boys Basketball Team hosted Rib Lake in non-conference action on Tuesday night, and the Hatchets get their second win of the year, 68-50. The first half saw back and forth action, and after 18 minutes of play, the game was tied at 19. In the second half, Tomahawk used their pressure defense to outscore Rib Lake 49-31 en route to the 68-50 win. The Hatchets had balanced scoring, with Matt Bartz and Kamron Olson hitting for 12 points.  Jackson List had 10, Cole Feest had nine and Easton Phalin and Jared Leverance each added eight points. Tomahawk is 2-2 and will travel to Lakeland on Friday night, with the opening tip at 7:45 pm.  The Big Q will have both games of the girls/boys double header, with the girls pregame show at 5:45 pm, and the boys to follow.
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