Stuffed Animals Provide Hugs of Comfort to Lakeland Area Emergency Services
Published on 06/14/2019 under News A stuffed animal can provide comfort to a scared child. Thanks to one group, emergency responders in the Northwoods will have an additional supply to hand out. Yesterday, the Lakeland Area Republican Women's Club or LARWC provided approximately 275 stuffed animals to ten Lakeland Area emergency service providers including fire, law enforcement and medical. The project is called 'Hugs of Comfort.' It was this year's service project from the 30 member group. LARWC president Norma Duerst says, "This is our clubs way of saying thank you to the police, fire and emergency medical services who provide invaluable service to our community. We are blessed to support the many dedicated professionals and volunteers who care for our residents and the many visitors to the area." Yesterday's presentation was held at Howard Young Medical Center. In the announcement, Rick Brodhead, Medical Director of Emergency Services said, "This donation will provide comfort to children served by these agencies and ease the fear they may have as they receive treatment." They said recipients include: municipal and county fire, police, sheriff and first responder agencies from Minocqua, Arbor Vitae, Hazelhurst, Manitowish Waters, Lac Du Flambeau, Oneida County, Vilas County; as well as Howard Young Medical Center and Ascension Wisconsin Spirit Medical Transport. (Photo provided by Ascension: Members of the Lakeland Area Republican Women's Club making their "Hugs of Comfort" donation to Emergency Service agencies at Howard Young Medical Center)
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Deer/Vehicle Accidents Typically Increase in June
Published on 06/14/2019 under News With new fawns and extended daylight, deer activity is picking up. That means drivers need to be extra vigilant. David Pabst, the Director of the Bureau of Transportation Safety says, "This time of year, we typically see an increase in vehicle speeds and traffic volumes along with more motorcycles and deer along roadways. It's a recipe for a crash, especially if motorists aren't being alert." Last year in Wisconsin, motorists reported 20,177 deer/vehicle crashes to law enforcement, resulting in more than 500 injuries. Here in Lincoln County the total was 303. Oneida County had 243 reported crashes involving deer. The DoT says that motorcyclists need to be extra alert. All 4 fatalities involving deer crashes involved motorcycles. The DoT did offer some additional tips regarding deer.•If you see one deer cross in front of you, watch for more. One long blast from your vehicle's horn may frighten the animal away.  •If a collision with a deer is unavoidable: ○Brake firmly. Stay in your lane.  ○Avoid sudden swerving which can result in a loss of vehicle control and a more serious crash. ○The one exception is if you are operating a motorcycle, in which case you should slow down, brake firmly and swerve if necessary to avoid hitting the deer. Try to stay within your lane to avoid hitting other objects.  •If you do hit a deer:  ○Get your vehicle safely off the road if possible and call law enforcement. Be prepared to describe your specific location.  ○It's generally safest to stay buckled-up inside your vehicle. Walking along a highway is always dangerous as you could be struck by another vehicle. ○Don't attempt to move an injured deer.
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Small-Mouth Bass, Northern Zone Opens Saturday
Published on 06/14/2019 under News For our Northwoods anglers, one last fishing season opens for the summer this weekend. That would be for the small-mouth bass. The state is currently divided into a northern and southern zone for bass. In our immediate listening area, the boundary line is Highway 64. While anglers could practice catch-and-release on 'smallies' the past 6 weeks, the Northern zone season opens for harvest starting June 15. As always, anglers are reminded to check regulations including bag and size limits for each body of water. Reservoirs There wasn't much change on our area reservoir levels, all of which remain within a foot of being full. As of Thursday, the Eau Pleine and Spirit are each about 3 inches down; while Nokomis, the Rainbow, and Willow are each about 10 inches down.
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Highway 86 Work Continues; Planned Closure Postponed
Published on 06/14/2019 under News We heard word a bit earlier Friday morning regarding the planned closure of Hwy 86 near Tomahawk. According to the latest update, the full closure between County Roads E and O, originally set to begin next week, has now been pushed to July. Crews will continue to work through June, but with flagging operation and temporary single-lane reductions instead. This is part of a summer-long, Hwy 86 project between the Price County line and the Wisconsin River near Tomahawk. The project begin earlier this month. The entire project will run into October. As always, construction status is subject to change.
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THS Student Elected 'Mayor' at Badger Boys State
Published on 06/14/2019 under News For years, upcoming High School seniors have been able to get a hands-on look at government through Badger Boys State program. During the week long event in Ripon, students participate in leadership programs while dividing up into mock cities, counties, and a state, complete with campaigning and elected positions. One of the Tomahawk High School delegates, Travis Phillips, was elected as mayor of his city. This year the 1,000 plus delegates are divided into 27 cities. Boys State, held in each state, is sponsored by the American Legion and Auxiliary. Alumni have gone on to do great things including: future presidents, supreme court justices, governors and others including Neil Armstrong, Michael Jordan and Bruce Springsteen.
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Nicolet Instructors Qualify for 'Minds that Move Us' National Competition
Published on 06/13/2019 under News A group of Nicolet College educators has qualified for a National Competition and a chance for $100,000. The team will participate in the Minds that Move Us Career Pathways Festival later this summer. The Shark Tank-like competition challenged colleges to create innovative programs for disadvantaged adults 26 and older that would result in students earning a college credential that leads to better employment. The Nicolet team includes director of adult basic education Lisa Young, along with team members Chris Kolasa, Automotive Technology instructor, and Toni Van Doren, Business Solutions coordinator. Their pitch was to address reliable transportation to and from campus for financially-strapped students. The school said in the announcement that the students would complete the college's automotive technician program while working on donated vehicles. Graduates would then complete a scholarship application through the college with the top applications receiving the repaired and roadworthy vehicles. The Nicolet team was selected as one of 10 finalists in the competition and will travel to Miami in August to make their final pitch. Young says if Nicolet wins the $100,000 prize money, the winnings would go towards future automotive students and the program itself. Photo: Members of Nicolet's Minds That Move Us team meet to fine tune their presentation before the national competition. Members are, left to right, Chris Kolasa, Automotive Technician instructor, Toni Van Doren, Business Solutions coordinator, and Lisa Young, director of Adult Basic Education.
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Rhinelander School District Finalizing Choices for Enclosed Athletic Facility
Published on 06/13/2019 under News For many Northwoods schools, Mother Nature wreaks havoc on athletics' schedules, particularly in the spring seasons. Thanks to one significant donation, along with additional contributions, the Rhinelander School District will be getting an enclosed athletic practice facility. Earlier this week, the Rhinelander School Board narrowed down those options. The two final plans include either a 50,000 square foot steel-sided complex or a 90,000 square-foot air-supported dome. Plans picked up after a $500,000 pledge from Dr. Lee Swank as well as more than $700,000 in contributions through the Hodag Schools Foundation. Other spending for the estimated $5.7 million project would come from the districts maintenance budget and general fund. The Board will hear more detailed information on the two remaining choices later this month before making a final decision.
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DNR Winter Wolf Track Survey Shows Stable Wolf Population
Published on 06/13/2019 under News The DNR says recent track survey data shows the state's wolf population was steady this past year. The DNR released the results of their annual winter wolf track survey this week. Those figures show an overwinter minimum wolf count of 914-978 wolves, similar to the 905-944 wolves detected during the 2017-2018 count. Wolf surveys are conducted annually during winter when snow cover affords suitable tracking conditions. At that time of year, the wolf population is at its lowest point, so the results of these surveys are considered minimum counts. The population increases every spring with the birth of pups, then declines throughout the remainder of the year due to dispersal and various mortality factors. Their research shows the number of wolf packs detected during surveys increased slightly, from 238 packs last year to 243 this past winter. The DNR says the survey was the result of more than 100 volunteer trackers, along with DNR staff.
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Medford Woman Gets All Lotto Numbers Wrong, Wins Jackpot
Published on 06/13/2019 under News A Medford woman won by losing this week in a new Wisconsin lottery game. The All-or-Nothing lottery game, which launched in April, draws 11 numbers nightly. Statistically, the Wisconsin Lottery says the odds of getting all 11 numbers correctly is exactly the same as selecting no numbers correct( 1 in 705,432) and they award the jackpot accordingly. In Tuesday's drawing, Sandra Roiger of Medford got all 11 numbers incorrect to receive that $100,000 jackpot. In that same drawing, a Madison man had all 11 numbers correct marking the first time that Lottery has had "opposite end winning tickets" in the same drawing.
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Man Arrested in Minocqua Hospital Attack Sentenced to 8 Years
Published on 06/13/2019 under News A man arrested after threatening staff at a Northwoods hospital last year received a maximum prison sentence. Joseph Buza was back in Oneida County Court yesterday for his sentencing. The 72 year old from Eagle River previously pleaded to charges of false imprisonment and attempted aggravated battery to cause great bodily harm. Investigators said that Joseph and Jillian Buza went to the Marshfield Clinic facility in Minocqua armed with a hatchet, meat tenderizer and loaded gun. They were accused of holding a physicians assistant against her will demanding Jillian's medication. No one was harmed in the incident. At yesterday's hearing, Joseph Buza was sentenced to 8 years of prison and 5.5 years of extended supervision. Jillian Buza died of natural causes while in custody last summer.
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Tomahawk School Board Reverses Course, Approves Library/Weightroom Relocations
Published on 06/12/2019 under News The Tomahawk School Board reversed course Tuesday by approving the funding necessary to relocate several facilities on campus including the high school library and the weight room. The topic has found a home on the board's agenda for the better part of this year. The idea originated out of concerns regarding safety in the high school library. By moving the facility out of the commons and into the high school area of campus, the district would be able to more easily isolate the elementary, middle, and high schools. That move would create a domino effect allowing the weight room and fitness areas to move into the vacated, and larger, library location. The estimated cost would be approximately $105,000. Local athletic boosters have already pledging $20,000. Last month, the board voted 5-3 in opposition of the additional spending. Over hours of debate, impassioned at times, two sides emerged. Supporters cited modernization of facilities, additional space and safety, and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Those voting against the proposal in May were not necessarily opposed to the change, but the timeline. They were hesitant to move ahead with this project ahead of the upcoming, building-wide comprehensive strategic plan. Several board members who voted in opposition last month, including Jeffery Johnson and Cathy Schmit, noted that they visited the crowded weightroom over the weekend to observe some of the needs. Dozens of Hatchet student athletes were in attendance at Tuesday's meeting to support the proposal. After another hour of debate last night, a second vote was called. The board, which routinely votes in unison, was again divided on this topic. Johnson did change his vote, coupled with Kay Kissinger-Wolf, absent from the May meeting, was enough to swing the outcome to 5-4 in support of the proposal.
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Wisconsin State Patrol Reminds Travelers to Properly Secure Trailers and Campers
Published on 06/12/2019 under News With the summer travel season picking up, law enforcement officials are reminding travelers to properly secure their trailers and their cargo. Each month the Wisconsin State Patrol highlights a "Law of the Month." June's focus is on boat trailers and campers. Wisconsin State Patrol Captain Travis Wanless, Commander of the North Central Post in Wausau says, "We regularly see problems with trailers that break down or break loose, and items jarred loose from boats, trailers or truck beds that create hazards along our roadways." In addition to the safety risk and potential equipment damage, failing to properly secure a trailer can result in a $200 citation. Before leaving with a camper or boat trailer:•Make sure that trailer tires, axles and lights are in proper working condition. •For towed equipment, ensure that the ball and hitch coupling assembly are the same size and latch securely. The latching mechanism must be able to prevent disengagement of the trailer while the vehicle is in operation.   •Two safety chains of proper length and strength must be attached between the vehicle and the trailer with enough slack to allow proper turning.   •It's a good idea to crisscross the safety chains. This creates a cradle that can catch the tongue of the trailer and prevent it from striking the pavement if an unexpected disconnection occurs. Wanless also encouraged travelers to cover smaller items being transported in the open. He says, "Items such as coolers, chairs, lumber or fishing equipment that bounce out of trailers or truck beds become dangerous obstacles that can damage other vehicles or result in crashes when drivers swerve suddenly to avoid roadway debris."
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Tomahawk Well Project Update: Water Reduction Appreciated, Not Required
Published on 06/12/2019 under News With an ongoing well project and a typical summer increase in water usage, Tomahawk's Public Works Director is reminding residents to be mindful of water use. Director John Cole joined us on our morning forum for his regular monthly visit. He updated listeners on the current well house rehabilitation project. He reiterated several times during the conversation that there are no current concerns regarding the city's water and he didn't want to alarm anyone. He did note that they are currently operating with one well rather than two at this stage of the project. They are also pushing water through an eight inch main rather than ten inches. Cole says reducing the capacity lengthens the run time on the motors. Upgrades by the end of next week would return to the 10 inch main and reduce the run time from 14 hours to 7 or 8 hours. That being said, while not required, Cole noted that residents can do their part by reducing their water consumption, especially over the next few weeks. For example, he suggested rather than watering your lawn for 30 minutes to do so for 20 minutes. You can hear that entire conversation in the WJJQ audio center where Cole also went over the Departments Summer transition including painting, summer street projects, downtown flower baskets and the downtown Honor Banner project.
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2019 Spring Turkey Harvest Steady
Published on 06/12/2019 under News Preliminary totals show Wisconsin's turkey harvest during the recently completed spring season were nearly identical to last year. According to statistics provided by the DNR, hunters registered 38,556 birds this year, compared to 38,885 in 2018. With the number of turkey tags nearly the same as well, the success rate was relatively flat at just over 18 percent. DNR upland wildlife ecologist Mark Witecha says they did receive a fair number of reports of uncharacteristic turkey breeding behavior with toms being less responsive in the early and middle time periods. Despite that he still called it an "excellent year in the field." In addition to the spring turkey hunter, the DNR also offers a fall hunt, though it is typically not as popular as the spring season.
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Sen. Baldwin Continues to Support Blackwell Job Center Amid Closure Plans
Published on 06/12/2019 under News Just a few weeks after the announcement of a plan to close a Northwoods training center, lawmakers continue to push to keep the facilities open. In late May, the Trump administration announced the closure of numerous Civilian Conservation Centers within the US Forest Service. That list includes Blackwell Job Corps Center in Forest County. Since that time, US Senator Tammy Baldwin has joined with legislators from both sides of the aisle to preserve the Centers. The facilities train disadvantaged youth ages 16 to 24 in job skills such as forest fire fighting. Baldwin has also frequently mentioned the 54 employees at Blackwell that will be affected. Last week, she signed onto bipartisan legislation aimed at blocking the closures. This week she wrote letters to Dept. of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and Ag. Secretary Sonny Purdue. In it, she noted that Blackwell is ranked 14th out of 131 public and privately operated job centers according to the Department of Labor's most recent Center Report Card. Baldwin also posted the letter on her website.
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