State Celebrates Role of Forest Industry in Economy
Published on 10/23/2018 under News From the days of lumberjacks to modern mills, the forest industry has served as a lifeblood for many Wisconsin communities. In recognition of those who work in and care for Wisconsin's 17.1 million acres of forests, this week has been designated as Wisconsin Forest Products Week. Collin Buntrock, a Forest Products Team Leader with the DNR says, "From paper products such as food packaging, fine writing paper and tissue paper, to lumber used for homes and furniture, the products made by the 1,200-plus forest products companies in Wisconsin help make our life better." Buntrock's team of forest products specialists helps Wisconsin's forest industry build and maintain strong markets while ensuring that forests remain a vital part of the state's economy and culture for future generations. He noted that forest products contribute $24.1 billion annual to the state's economy. More than 60,000 people work directly in the industry, which is a leading employer in 10 counties. That includes Lincoln County, where more than 1,100 people work in the industry. We'll have a bit more on those local numbers later this week.
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mBank Donates $15,000 to Merrill Groups
Published on 10/23/2018 under News A new financial institute in Merrill has made a series of generous donation in their new community. As we've previously covered, mBank, based out of the Manistique, Michigan, recently acquired Lincoln Community Bank locations in Merrill and Gleason. Yesterday, they announced a $15,000 donation to support several local non-profits in the greater Merrill area. The first donation, $5,000, went to the Optimist Club of Merrill. The funds will be used to help construct a handicapped-accessible playground at Normal Park.Donation number two, also $5,000, goes to the Merrill School District to purchase a trailer to transport band equipment.VFW Post 1638 received $2,500 to assist in the construction of their new Northwoods Veterans Post facility.And another $2,500 goes towards the Merrill Community Homeless Center and the Habitat Home project. Executive VP Clay Peterson says, "We're proud to support these local organizations that have such a profound, positive impact here in our community. By supporting these programs, we are living our core value of giving back to the communities we serve. We look forward to seeing the opportunities this will bring to so many families and businesses."
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Defense Points Blame for Toddler's Death in Tran Trial
Published on 10/23/2018 under News RHINELANDER, Wis. (AP) — A defense attorney for a Wisconsin woman accused of killing her young stepson is attempting to pin blame for the child's death on the boy's father. Thirty-year-old Ellen Tran is on trial in Oneida County for first-degree reckless homicide. Twenty-month-old Avery Edwards died in April 2017 while he was in the care of Tran and her husband at the time, Trung Tran. WJFW-TV reports the toddler spent most of his time with his biological mother in Virginia, but occasionally stayed with his father and stepmother in Rhinelander. Defense attorney Jonas Bednarek attempted to show that Trung Tran was the person who likely caused his son's death. Trung Tran took the stand briefly Monday and refused to answer questions, citing his constitutional rights against self-incrimination. He's charged with two lesser felonies in his son's death.
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ADRC Hosts Public Hearing Tuesday in Tomahawk on 3 Year Work Plan
Published on 10/23/2018 under News As part of an effort to gather feedback from the people they serve, the local Aging and Disability Resource Center is hosting a number of public hearings. The ADRC of Central Wisconsin serves 4 counties including Lincoln, Langlade, Marathon, and Wood Counties. In 2016, the ADRC made more than 1,000 contacts in Lincoln County which included serving more than 37,000 meals through their nutrition program. The staff are currently working on their triennial aging plan which will guide their services between 2019 and 2021. As part of the process, they are currently accepting public comments on the plan with a series of public hearings over the next week. That includes Tuesday, when they'll be stopped at the Tomahawk Senior Center at 11am. They'll be in Elcho Wednesday, and Wausau on Friday. You can also view the plan on their website and submit comments through October 31.
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Tomahawk Police Report
Published on 10/23/2018 under News An officer observed a 27 year old male known to have a warrant through probation. Officers confirmed the warrant and took the individual into custody without incident. He was then brought to the Lincoln County Jail. Officers responded to a tree downed on a power-line near North Avenue. The officer confirmed that the wire was not an active electric line. He notified Public Service of the downed tree. An individual reported the theft of hockey equipment from SARA Park at some point over the weekend. Officers were called to a residence for a disturbance Saturday evening. One of the individuals had left the scene prior to the officers arrival, but was located a short time later. The officer determined the initial incident was verbal only, however the 26 year old was taken into custody for warrants and bail jumping.
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Week-Long Closure of South Tomahawk Avenue Begins for Rail Repairs
Published on 10/22/2018 under News Just a reminder for commuters in Tomahawk, that starting today, you may have to leave a little early. As we've covered several times over the past few months, CN Railroad will be completing some repairs and improvements to the railroad tracks crossing South Tomahawk Avenue/Hwy 86. Because that road is the lone way to cross the river in town, the posted detour will be lengthy. For semi traffic, the detour will head all the way to Highway 13. A round trip from one side of the tracks to the other would be 75 miles. Car traffic will be able to utilize town roads, but even the shortest route, utilizing Zenith Tower Road, will be 18 miles all the way around. Those routes will not be posted as detours. Emergency response vehicles will still be able to access the south side of town quickly through Bradley Park, but that will not be open for public access. The barricades were set up early Monday morning, and the road officially closed at 8am. The work is expected to last through Friday. Stay tuned to WJJQ for any updates.
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Prairie Rapids Bridge Re-Opened Following Month Long Repairs
Published on 10/22/2018 under News As one detour in the Tomahawk area begins, another comes to a close. Over the past month, crews have been working on the Prairie Rapids bridge on Prairie Rapids Road in Nokomis. That caused the bridge to be closed, and the work sent drivers on an 11.5 mile detour. We heard from the Town of Nokomis over the weekend. They announced that the bridge is now open to through traffic. They said the final phase of the project has been delayed. As a result, there is currently reduced speed limit in the work area between Point O' Pines Road and Peaceful Lane. With the work zone still posted, they as that everyone to be aware of the reduced speed limit and use caution when traveling through the area.
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Jury Selected, Trial to Begin in Death of Rhinelander Toddler
Published on 10/22/2018 under News A trial is expected to begin this week for a Rhinelander woman facing charges in the death of her step son. On Friday morning, a pool of jurors were selected for the case involving Ellen Tran. The 30 year old is facing first degree reckless homicide charges in the death of 20 month old Avery Edwards. The boy was found dead in April of 2017. The trial is scheduled to begin Monday in Oneida County Court. The court calendar shows 3 days set aside for proceedings.
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THS One Act Play Advances to Sectionals
Published on 10/22/2018 under News The Tomahawk High School One Act Play has advanced to the next round of competition. Tomahawk hosted the District 2 festival this past weekend. Six other schools joined the Hatchets for Saturday's event. The THS production of Complaint Department and Lemonade earned a score to advance to the sectionals. The Sectional Festival will be hosted at Green Bay West High School the first week of November.
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LDF Secures Grant to Construct Workforce Development/Business Training Facility
Published on 10/22/2018 under News The Lac du Flambeau Tribe will benefit from a $3.8 million federal grant aimed at creating jobs. Late last month, tribal president Joseph Wildcat Sr. announced the construction of a Workforce Development and Business Training Center utilizing those funds. The LDF Business Development Corporation, as part of its mission to create jobs and generate revenue outside of gaming, played a significant role in working to secure the grant. Wildcat says this "is another piece of our strategy to position future generations for success and to give them the tools they need to determine their own futures." The 20,000 square-foot facility is expected to create 40 jobs initially and retain 30 jobs going forward. That's in addition to the opportunities it is designed to create in the community.
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Lincoln County Sheriff's Report
Published on 10/22/2018 under News A 29 year old Merrill man was arrested Tuesday after a disturbance in the Town of Harding. The man was brought in on charges including disorderly conduct and bail jumping. A 33 year old Merrill man was arrested Friday morning after deputies investigated a battery complaint. The victim was located at a Merrill business, but deputies learned the incident occurred in a vehicle on Highway 51. The man was brought in for battery and disorderly conduct. Three people were injured in a single vehicle accident over the weekend. That accident occurred on Spring Lake Road east of County K Saturday afternoon. Deputies say at shortly after 2pm, the vehicle left the roadway and struck several trees. Deputies noted that all of the vehicle occupants were wearing their safety belts at the time. A 21 year old Merrill man was arrested on a number of warrants following a traffic stop. The man was wanted for failure to appear in Marathon and Lincoln County Court for a number of cases related to bail jumping, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal damage to property and transmitting a false alarm. A 20 year old Merrill man was cited Saturday following a traffic accident on State Road 107. A deputy located the man in his vehicle. He was cited for first offense OWI and having open intoxicants in the vehicle. He was brought to Good Samaritan Health Center for treatment of injuries. The number of deer crashes climbed significantly over the past week with 24 deer strikes reported on Lincoln County Roadways. Deputies also note that a Merrill School Bus struck and killed an eagle that was feeding on a deer carcass. The DNR took possession of the bird. A driver also reported striking a bear on Highway 51.
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Minocqua Native Returns Home to Manage Minocqua Trig's Store
Published on 10/22/2018 under News A Minocqua native has worked himself up the ladder to lead his hometown grocery store. Late last week, Trig's announced that Justin Mayer was promoted to store director at the Minocqua Trig's. His responsibilities include providing a great guest experience, building an effective team, executing promotions and community outreach. It's been a 10 year journey that started as a deli associate at the Wausau store in 2007. Mayer moved onto become a department manager, and most recently Assistant Store Director in Wausau. Mayer grew up in the Minocqua area and attended Lakeland Union High School before earning a degree in Electrical Power Engineering from Mid-State Technical College.  He said, "I am happy to be returning to the Minocqua area and to once again be part of the community I grew up in."
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Three Lakes Elementary Students Win Ride to School in Fire Truck
Published on 10/19/2018 under News A handful of students in Three Lakes are arriving to campus in style today, aboard a fire engine. The Ride to School partnership between the Three Lakes Elementary and the Three Lakes Fire Department is now in its 8th year. As part of a coloring contest during last week's Fire Prevention Week educational events, a half dozen students were selected. Fire Prevention Coordinator Andy Beach called the Ride to School Program the "capstone" of their efforts. Beach says they arranged to have two fire trucks head out and pick up 5 of the elementary winners. The students were able to get to know the firefighters over breakfast before making their way to school. This year they also selected a 4k winner made a solo trip for lunch. Beach also said this year is unique in that they had three siblings selected to participate. Beach says, "The goal of the program is to engage the students in a positive and exciting new way to be involved in fire prevention and fire safety."
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Local Snowmobile Club Begins Trail Preparation
Published on 10/19/2018 under News Once the leaves hit the ground, the snow is not far behind. And that means snowmobile season is not too far off. While it's not quite time to fire up the sleds, one group is gearing up for the season by preparing the trails. Coming up tomorrow morning the Northwoods Riders Snowmobile Club will be hosting their annual fall trail clean up. We heard from Club President Mark McDonald, who invited anyone who'd like to come out and help. He says they'll be removing downed trees, brushing trails, and maintaining trail signage. Many of the areas do have ATV prohibitions, but McDonald says they have worked with the DNR to utilize the equipment on the trails tomorrow to complete the work. For those that would like to help, simply stop by the Club Garage on County L at 9am where the club will hand out work assignments for the day.
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Brief Outage for Lincoln County 911 Thursday
Published on 10/19/2018 under News Yesterday morning the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office experienced a brief, isolated outage of their 911 call system. Their dispatch reported having difficulty in receiving 911 calls from phones on the Verizon network for a brief time. The issue only affected the 911 number. During the downtime, those individuals were still able to utilize the regular number at 536-6272. They said that techs both internally and externally worked on the issue. A short time after the initial outage was reported, the situation was resolved.
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