Deputies Investigating Hit and Run after Vehicle Struck Power Pole Near Tomahawk Wednesday
Published on 01/17/2022 under News The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office is seeking information involving a hit-and-run crash south of Tomahawk last week. According to the Sheriff's Report, deputies responded to a power outage along Crass Road near Beaver Lake Road Wednesday. They found a power pole had been damage after apparently being struck by a vehicle. The vehicle left the scene prior to the arrival of the deputies. The incident remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office or Crimestoppers of Lincoln County.
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Tomahawk Artist Welcomes Visitors to Rainbow Igloo, Collects Donations for HAVEN
Published on 01/17/2022 under News Earlier this month, we told you about a Tomahawk artist who undertook a project to create a rainbow igloo. This past weekend, Michelle Arnott invited visitors to check out the now-completed ice shelter in her backyard. The igloo was built using ice bricks formed by freezing colored water in baking pans. Through her business Diamond Rock Glass Studio, Arnott is best known for work with stained-glass. The dyed ice blocks create a similar visual effect, particularly when illuminated at night. As word spread about the project, Arnott decided to open the igloo to visitors over the weekend. With guests both young and old stopping to snap a photo, Arnott took the opportunity to support a cause near and dear to her heart. She collected donations for the HAVEN shelter in Lincoln County. Over the course of the weekend, they were able to raise more than $400. Visitors were also treated to hot chocolate and penguin treats for kids. For those unable to attend, Arnott has photos of the completed and lit igloo on the Diamond Rock Facebook page. -Photo courtesy of Michelle Arnott-
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Local Responders Take Part in Ice Rescue Training on Lake Nokomis
Published on 01/17/2022 under News Local responders got some hands-on training in ice rescue over the weekend. On Saturday morning, the Nokomis Fire Department hosted around two dozen members of local dive teams made up of paramedics, EMT's, firefighters, and law enforcement. The training was designed to offer responders a chance at some real-life practice in a non-emergency situation. The crews set up their training session near the County Y bridge where they cut a hole into the ice. Like a real-life situation, the responders had to deal with unpredictable weather. Temperatures started off the day at around 10 degrees below zero. The exercise provides valuable training and experience for responders; a skill they hope they don't have to apply to a real-life emergency.
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Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest Waiving Fees Monday for MLK Jr. Day
Published on 01/17/2022 under News Fresh off of a free fishing weekend offered by the DNR, the US Forest Service will be waiving day-use fees today at Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in recognition of Martin Luther King Day. Forest Supervisor Paul Strong says, "The national forest offers many opportunities to get outside for adventure, exercise or simply fresh air. We hope this holiday waiver provides a bit of encouragement to get out and enjoy our national public lands." This fee waiver applies to most trailheads where visitors may normally pay a $5 day-use fee. National Forests around the country are also participating. This is the first of five scheduled fee waiver dates offered in National Forests this year. The next upcoming 2022 free dates are:•Presidents Day: February 21 •National Get Outdoors Day: June 11 •National Public Lands Day: September 24 •Veterans Day: November 11
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UWSP Invites Native American Artists for Permanent Memorial Marker
Published on 01/17/2022 under News UW Stevens Point has put out a call for artists to submit ideas for a project that will recognize and honor Native American tribes. The school is looking to create a permanent marker observing the campus location where tribal members were buried following a scarlet fever epidemic in the 1860's. There is currently a temporary marker near the Dreyfus University Center. In addition to educating the university community, they are also looking to engage the Native community through art. The submissions may include murals, sculptures, monuments or multiple media pieces for outdoor display. They hope to begin the project in June. The deadline for submissions is February 14.  Native artists will be given preference.(additional information on submitting ideas) The selected artist will receive a $5,000 honorarium for artwork designs, along with up to $25,000 for creation and installation.
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Snowmobile Derby Returns to Eagle River this Weekend
Published on 01/14/2022 under News Some of the fastest snowmobiles in the world are converging in the Northwoods this weekend for the World Championship Snowmobile Derby. This is the 59th year for the event held each January in Eagle River. In a typical year, tens of thousands of sledheads travel to the Northwoods bringing a much needed boost to the local economy along with plenty of speed and excitement on the ice oval. The Eagle River Chamber anticipates this year's event will bring in around 40,000 people to the Northwoods. While racers are predominantly from the US and Canada, this year's field includes drivers from Europe and Japan. While practice and other activities have been ongoing throughout the week, the festivities official begin this evening with opening ceremonies. That will include the completion of the two day torch run, a collaboration between the Derby and the Badger State Games. On the track it's wall to wall racing in dozens of classes. The World Championship race is Sunday afternoon. All eyes will be on Blaine Stephenson who is seeking to win an unprecedented fifth consecutive crown in the 25 lap shootout.
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Tomahawk Students Benefit from Partnership with CASE Construction Equipment
Published on 01/14/2022 under News Tomahawk students continue to benefit from a partnership the district has established with CASE Construction Equipment over the past five years. At the Tomahawk School Board meeting this week, High School Principal Ryan Huseby highlighted the continued collaboration of the company and the district's technology education department. To promote their field, an annual field trip has been coordinated at the CASE Proving Grounds in Tomahawk. In a typical year, between 10-12 high school students in the district's Building Trades Class take part. Huseby says, "This experience has been beneficial for THS and has supported seven students entering the Heavy Equipment Operation profession since the start of this partnership with CASE." Huseby also shared that the CASE charitable foundation awarded the district a $25,000 grant. The funds will be utilized to replace the district's computer controlled router in their tech ed lab. The current machine is approaching 20 years old. Huseby says the purchase is still being finalized and they would share the information once the equipment arrives.
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Fire at Merrill Area Stable; No Animals Harmed
Published on 01/14/2022 under News Firefighters battled a blaze on the grounds at a Lincoln County horse stable last evening, fortunately no people or animals were harmed. The Merrill Fire Department says their crews were called to the Blue Haven Stables on Blue Haven Lane in the Town of Scott. The initial call was for a structure fire. Upon arrival, responders found fire coming from the windows of one of the outbuildings on the grounds. That building was an apartment, though it was unoccupied at the time. The fire was contained to that building. The fire remains under investigation, but does not appear suspicious. -Photo provided by Merrill Fire Department.-
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DNR Brings Back Free Fishing Weekend
Published on 01/14/2022 under News Whether tip-ups, jigging, or casting a line; Wisconsin anglers can hit the ice for some fishing this weekend without a license. The DNR has brought back their winter free fishing weekend. These free activity weekends are a way to introduce new participants to Wisconsin's many outdoor sports, while also providing former participants to renew their interest. It's part of the DNR R3 program which stands for recruitment, retention and reactivation. Theresa Stabo is a DNR R3 coordinator. She says,"Free Fishing Weekend is a great opportunity for people from all walks of life to give angling a try, without the added step and expense of getting a fishing license. Fishing is about so much more than the catch. Get out there and enjoy nature, spend time with friends and family and if you're lucky, bring home some fish for your next at-home fish fry." While you don't need a license, anglers must still follow all other fishing regulations including size and bag limits. Ice Safety:For those heading out this weekend, or at any point this winter, the DNR is urging caution when out on the ice. First and foremost remember that no ice is 100% safe. While the surface may be frozen, currents, springs and water levels below the surface may affect ice strength. Dress appropriately and bring appropriate safety gear including a life preserver, a section of rope, and ice picks. Let someone known where you are and when plan to return, and carry a cell phone with you. The DNR has a website dedicated to ice safety.
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Lincoln County Sheriff Seeks Help in Camper Theft
Published on 01/14/2022 under News This past week, the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office asked for help from the public in an ongoing investigation of a stolen camper and trailer. Last October, an estate caretaker for a property in the Town of Bradley discovered the pull-behind camper was taken from the property. The model is a 2011 Heartland Prowler 'shadow edition.' The individual also reported a Triton flatbed snowmobile trailer was stolen at that time. Photos of the missing camper and trailer are posted on the Lincoln County Sheriff Facebook page. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office or Crimestoppers of Lincoln County.
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Badger State Games, Snowmobile Derby Partner for Torch Ride
Published on 01/13/2022 under News Two iconic Northern Wisconsin sporting events, the Badger State Games and the World Championship Snowmobile Derby will join forces for a torch lighting ceremony. A bit earlier this morning, participants in the annual Torch Run left from Wausau by snowmobile on a Northwoods tour which will end in Eagle River tomorrow evening. Back in 1989, the Badger State Games introduced their version of the Torch Run from Madison to Wausau. After quietly fading away, interest in a new torch run was established in 2020 in collaboration with the annual snowmobile derby. As for this year's tour, it will feature 15 snowmobile clubs and 200 miles across 4 counties. That includes a stop this morning at around 11:45 at the Tomahawk Sports Center for a meet and greet and luncheon before continuing north into the Minocqua area. After several stops in Oneida and Vilas County Friday afternoon, participants will make their way to the Derby track in Eagle River. Tomorrow evening is the ceremonial cauldron lighting by this year's Wisconsin Snowmobile Queen AJ Kreager. This year marks the 33rd Badger State Winter Games and the 59th World Championship Snowmobile Derby.
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Red Cross Calling for Donors Amid National Shortage
Published on 01/13/2022 under News Earlier this week the American Red Cross declared a National Blood Crisis and put out a call for additional donors. We have an American Red Cross blood donation opportunity coming up in Tomahawk next Tuesday. Yesterday we were joined by Chris Luxton who coordinates American Red Cross drives in Northern Wisconsin and the UP. She says that the American Red Cross currently has their lowest supply of blood on hand in more than a decade. In general, Luxton says that winters are traditionally a slower time for donations as regular donors may miss opportunities due to the holidays and weather complications. Recently Covid-19 has added another hurdle. Not only are people more hesitant because of the pandemic, but schools and universities play a huge role in collection efforts offering not only a base of donors, but collection locations. In fact Luxton noted that about 20% of their overall donations come from school affiliated drives. As for Covid, their team has taken precautions to ensure that people are able to donate safely. Among them, the have an appointment preferred scheduling which has made the entire process go smoothly. Most donors are in and out in about an hour. Those appointments can be made by phone, online, or the Red Cross App. Luxton highlighted another unique feature on that app, as donors can actually track their donation. For those that would like to donate, Tomahawk has a drive coming up on Tuesday afternoon at Grace Lutheran Church.
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DNR, EPA: Rhinelander Now Meets Sulfur Dioxide Standards
Published on 01/13/2022 under News The DNR and the EPA announced that the air quality in the Rhinelander area once again meets standards for sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide can cause respiratory issues in humans and animals, damage plants and form acid rain.The largest source of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere is the burning of fossil fuels, particularly by power plants and other industrial facilities. Back in 2013, a portion of Oneida County near Rhinelander was designated as having non-attainment of sulfur dioxide standards.Teams identified the Ahlstrom-Munskjo paper mill as a primary contributor to the emissions. The company worked with the DNR and EPA to implement control measures. By 2018 they were able to lower sulfur dioxide levels by 75%. In yesterday's announcement, EPA Region Administrator Debra Shore said , "People in the Rhinelander area are breathing cleaner, healthier air due to EPA's partnership with the state of Wisconsin." They also celebrated state efforts, as a whole, in cutting levels by 90% over the past two decades. Gail Good, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' Acting Environmental Management Division Administrator says, "This widespread improvement in sulfur dioxide levels across the state is an air quality success story." Statewide, Good says, "Emissions of sulfur dioxide from Wisconsin sources are approximately 90% lower than 2002 levels, with most of this decline attributable to the use of cleaner-burning fuels at power plants and industrial facilities, along with the introduction of low-sulfur diesel fuels."
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Merrill, Rhinelander Mayors Not Seeking Re-Election
Published on 01/13/2022 under News Come April, both the Cities of Merrill and Rhinelander will have new mayors. Last week was the deadline for candidates to submit their nomination papers for office. In the Northwoods, neither Merrill Mayor Derek Woellner nor Rhinelander Mayor Chris Frederickson are seeking re-election. Both mayors took their own unusual paths to office. Woellner became Merrill's youngest mayor in 2018 at just 25 years old. Meanwhile, Frederickson took office after winning as a write-in candidate. Merrill has familiar names running to succeed Woellner including former mayor Bill Bialecki (2010-2018) and current city council alderman Steve Hass. In Rhinelander, three candidates are running, which will require a primary next month. That race includes Steve Sauer, Bill Fruedenberg and Kris Hanus. As we've previously covered, Tomahawk mayor Steve Taskay is running, and he is facing a challenge from Roxanne Consolver.
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Tomahawk School District Begins Education on Upcoming Referendum
Published on 01/13/2022 under News After officially placing a referendum question on the ballot earlier this week, the Tomahawk School Board is kicking off a public education effort to inform voters of why they are seeking additional funding. As we have previously covered, the district is seeking a 3 year, $3.25 million non-recurring referendum. It would essentially replace a similar measure voters approved in 2017 which expired at the end of last school year. Two previous spending requests were narrowly rejected by voters. If approved, the proposed referendum would have a projected property tax impact of $1.49 for $1,000 of assessed property valuation next year. That's lower than the recently expired referendum. Over the past decade, the Tomahawk School District has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in general state aid. Despite a declining enrollment, those revenues have dropped faster than expenses. In the current budget, the district has closed the deficit through by taking money from their general fund. Following Tuesday's vote to place the question on the ballot, Board President Kay Kissenger Wolf released a statement saying, "While we are very proud of our financial discipline over the years, the district has made so many expense reductions that, as a board, we worry about harming our schools and students over the long term if this trend continues." She continued, "We believe this referendum is necessary to maintain current programming and continue to provide residents with the high-quality school district they have come to expect." Tomahawk's referendum will appear on the April ballot for voters in the Tomahawk School District.
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