Lincoln County 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Assigned to Committee
Published on 01/22/2020 under News A proposal to declare Lincoln County a 2nd amendment sanctuary was instead directed to committee. The Lincoln County Board took up the measure during their meeting Tuesday evening. Similar resolutions are being introduced by a number of municipalities and counties around the state. Supports aim to re-enforce the belief that local officials could reject laws they deem as an infringement on 2nd amendment rights. Around a dozen people spoke during last night's public comment; an even split in favor of and opposing the resolution. When introducing the Lincoln County resolution, Supervisor Calvin Callahan took the atypical step of bypassing committee and bringing the proposal directly to the full board. After some debate, the supervisors instead voted 13-9 to assign the resolution to the Administrative and Legislative Committee. Callahan released a statement to the media following the meeting calling it a "sad day for Lincoln County." He says, "We need to be proactive, we needed to pass this resolution, I am trying to protect the future of the second amendment, and standing up to gun control is a must."
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Snowmobile Safety Week Part 2: Ice Safety
Published on 01/22/2020 under News State officials are reminding snowmobile riders to continue using caution on area waterways. Throughout International Snowmobile Safety Week, the DNR has offered various tips on safe operation. In part two, we're focusing on riding on trails crossing Wisconsin's lakes and rivers. As we told you on Monday, Wisconsin has already seen five snowmobile deaths in January. Two fatal incidents in Oneida County were the result of riders going through on Lake Nokomis. DNR Captain April Dombrowski, who is overseeing the outreach, says, "Nobody wants the sudden surprise of breaking through ice or riding into open water conditions." She encouraged riders to do some research before hitting the trails by checking ice conditions with local clubs or sports shops. She says fluctuating temperatures, snowfalls and snow melts lead to often-changing conditions. The DNR says ice should be considered unpredictable, and it's never completely safe. Lastly, Dombrowski said, "Common sense is the greatest ally in preventing ice-related accidents."
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Woman Ordered to Pay Restitution in Skimming ATM Deposits from Minocqua Gas Station
Published on 01/22/2020 under News A woman accused of taking cash from a Minocqua gas station where she worked has reached a plea agreement. Gina Ozelie appeared in Oneida County Court yesterday for the hearing yesterday. According to court records, the 49 year old pleaded 'no contest' to a single count of theft in a business setting between $10,000 and $100,000. Ozelie was charged in August with skimming cash from the gas station's ATM deposits over the course of a year. Investigators said that added up to approximately $25,000. After the plea agreement, the case moved directly into sentencing. Ozelie received a 3 year withheld sentence. She was ordered to serve four months in jail. She'll also have to pay restitution, plus another 10%, nearly $28,000.
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Nicolet College Launches Winter/Spring Learning in Retirement
Published on 01/22/2020 under News Retired residents have another opportunity to return to the classroom over the next few months. Yesterday, Nicolet College launched the second semester of Learning in Retirement. The ongoing series allows participants to take classes on a wide variety of topics. Each course ranges from a single sessions to weekly or monthly meetings. The courses allow participants to unlock a new skill, learn more about a specific topic, and interact with those sharing a similar interest. As always, the courses cover a wide range of topics. This Winter/Spring series includes Green Building, Motorcycling Women, Native American Powwows, and Mental Health. Some classes will even hit the road with tours at the Raptor Education Group and the UW-Madison Research Station in Rhinelander. Nicolet says they have about 300 members of their Learning in Retirement program. Enrollees can take as many, or as few courses as they'd like each year. Enrollment is available on the Nicolet website. The first courses got underway this week with offerings through May 22.
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Rep. Felzkowski Praises Bills on Overnight Camps; School District Grade Level Sharing
Published on 01/22/2020 under News A Northwoods Legislator is hoping a series of bills passed by the Assembly Tuesday will help rural Wisconsin, and the Northwoods in particular. Rep. Mary Felzkowski released statements following the passage of several packages of bills she co-authored. The first set addresses overnight recreation camps. It is aimed at alleviating duplicate or what she described as "burdensome" regulations. It passed with bi-partisan support. Felzkowski says, "These camps are hidden gems tucked throughout the Northwoods, bringing campers from dozens of countries here to experience our beautiful natural resources and grow fond memories of Wisconsin that last a lifetime," A second bill would provide a funding mechanism for neighboring school districts looking to share whole grade levels. Felzkowski used the hypothetical Districts A and B. She explained that District A could take both district's students in grade 6-8 while District B would take high school students from both districts. The hope is that district's pursuing collaboration would be able to maximize resources and put more funding in the classroom. Felzkowski says, "This is just one more tool that enables schools to retain valued teachers and offer a variety of courses they would otherwise not be able to." Each bill still needs to go through the Senate.
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Lincoln County Board to Take Up 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Resolution
Published on 01/21/2020 under News The Lincoln County Board will consider a resolution this evening that would declare the county a 2nd amendment sanctuary. A number of other communities and counties are considering similar measures. The general goal is to re-enforce the belief that local officials could reject laws they deem as an infringement on 2nd amendment rights. The Lincoln County resolution was introduced directly to the full board by 13th district supervisor Calvin Callahan last week. Oneida and Langlade Counties are each considering similar actions, but their measures remain at the committee level. Last week, the City of Merrill passed their own sanctuary resolution, while St. Germain decided to send theirs to their voters for a referendum vote.
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Lincoln County Health Department Warns of Youth Cigarillo Use
Published on 01/21/2020 under News While much of the focus is on youth vaping, some Northwoods health officials are concerned about another product...cigarillos. Cigarillo is roughly translated as "little cigar." The Lincoln County Health Department recently shared data from a Wisconsin survey showing the overall sale rate of tobacco products to youth has remained stable, but the product most often sold to youth were cigarillos. Shelley Hersil serves as both the Lincoln County Health Director and on the Northwoods Tobacco Free Coalition. She called the sales to young people 'concerning.' She says, "Many of these cigarillos can be bought for as cheap as three for 99 cents, and unlike cigarettes, they come in candy and fruit flavors like Grape and Cherry, making them more appealing to kids." They also don't need to be sold behind the counter. While cigarillos may be flavored and displayed differently than conventional cigarettes, the Health Department says they carry the same health risks and often times have more nicotine than a regular cigarette. Hersil says, "Any of these are reason enough for concern, but cigarillos are also increasing health disparities since they're often sold aggressively in communities that are already more impacted by tobacco." The Coalition encourages any tobacco retailer to visit witobaccocheck.org to utilize free trailing to help prevent future underage sales.
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Two Injured in Lincoln County Accident Monday
Published on 01/21/2020 under News Two people were injured in a two vehicle accident in Lincoln County yesterday afternoon. According to the Department of Transportation, that crash happened at shortly before 1pm on State Road 17. The Merrill Fire Department incident report showed that one person was entrapped in their vehicle. Responders had to extricate that individual through the roof. Two individuals were transported to area hospitals for treatment. No update on their condition was provided. Crews were on the scene for a little more than an hour.
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Rhinelander Students Collect Record Number of Jeans
Published on 01/21/2020 under News A group of Rhinelander students proved there's still plenty of denim to go around here in the Northwoods. Over the past month, the Rhinelander High School FBLA/DECA conducted their annual 'Jeans for Teens' event. The students set up numerous drop-off locations around district's various campuses, as well as businesses in the community. They also held several drives at Hodag sporting events. The project, inspired by a statewide drive, has continued to grow each year. This year, the students were proud to announce collecting more than 650 pairs of jeans. Over the past 6 years, the Rhinelander students have collected more than 2,000 pairs of jeans. Pants that are still in good condition will be donated to Frederick Place temporary housing shelter. Once their needs are fulfilled, the extra jeans will be distributed to others in need in the Northwoods. Jeans that have seen better days will be utilized for rags and other purposes. In the announcement, the students wanted to thank everyone who contributed.
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Tomahawk Cafeterias Exploring World-Wide Cuisine this Week
Published on 01/21/2020 under News As students return to the class Tuesday after a long weekend, they'll also take a culinary trip around the globe. A number of Northwoods school lunch services will be participating in a Department of Public Instruction program known as Around the World in 80 Trays. Among the goals is to explore new cultures through food and get students interested in trying new dishes. We heard from Tomahawk's Food Service Director Dustin Tessmer. He shared this week's menu which will bring students to Germany, Mexico, Italy and the Far East. Among the regional cuisine the students will get to sample stir fries, German braised cabbage and spaghetti tossed in marinara among. The Elementary, Middle, and High Schools will all be participating with decorated cafeterias and encouraging staff to partner with cultural conversations. Also utilizing Taher Food Service, the Rhinelander School District will be offering a similar program this week.
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Tomahawk Police Report
Published on 01/21/2020 under News While investigating another matter, the officer took a 38 year old Tomahawk man in on a probation warrant. A woman contacted police after receiving threatening messages. While still speaking to officers, the woman received a call from the individual. The officer took the phone and warned the man that future contact could result in disorderly conduct charges. Officers observed a 28 year old driver known to have a revoked license. As a result, he was cited for a 5th offense operating after revocation. Probation and parole will also be contacted regarding the violation. Tomahawk Police received an apprehension request from Oneida County regarding a disorderly conduct complaint in their jurisdiction. Tomahawk police located the woman and took her into custody. She was transported to an Oneida County Deputy. Officers also recovered drug paraphernalia.
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Case Continues for Credit Union Teller Accused of Taking Money
Published on 01/21/2020 under News The case will move forward for a Wausau woman accused of taking money from a Lincoln County financial institution where she worked. Tabitha Mayer is facing three felonies including theft from a financial institution, theft in a business setting, and fraud against a financial institution. The twenty year old is accused of retaining cash from her till while working as a teller. The alleged incidents occurred between August of 2018 and June of last year. According to court records, at an appearance last week, Mayer waiver her preliminary hearing and Judge Robert Russell determined there is enough evidence for the case to continue. Mayer then entered "not guilty" pleas. Future court dates will be determined at a hearing next month.
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All Riders Urged To Follow Safety Tips During Snowmobile Safety Week
Published on 01/20/2020 under News The DNR is stressing smart and sober riding for snowmobilers as part of International Snowmobile Safety Week. This safety effort began over the weekend and continues through Sunday. All riders in Wisconsin born after 1985 are required to complete a snowmobile safety course, however officials say it is helpful for all riders to brush up on their safety skills. Capt. April Dombrowski, who leads the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' Bureau of Law Enforcement Recreational Safety and Outdoor Skills Section, says, "The awareness week spotlights the smart and safe methods all snowmobilers should use the entire season." Unfortunately, the DNR recorded 16 fatal snowmobile accidents in 2019. Eleven took place on public trails or roads, while four were on frozen waterways. This year, there have already been 5 snowmobile deaths including two in Oneida County. Both Vilas and Langlade Counties have also had a fatal crash. Dombrowski says, "Safe snowmobiling means riding within your capabilities, operating at safe and appropriate speeds for the terrain, machine and user capability, along with the element of daylight visibility versus night operation. Moreover, never drink alcoholic beverages before or while driving. Always wear a helmet and adequate clothing, stay within designated riding areas and always snowmobile with another person, never alone."
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Stephenson Wins Third Snowmobile Championship; Van Strydonk 2nd in Final Derby Race
Published on 01/20/2020 under News For the third consecutive year, Blaine Stephenson held off Nick Van Strydonk to win the World Championship Snowmobile Derby in Eagle River. Over the weekend, the racers competed in the 57th edition of the crown jewel of the sport. Still just 23, Stephenson became the first racer to win the championship in three consecutive years. The Minnesota native started on the poll, fell to the back of the field following a 6th lap spin out, and worked back to the lead. For Tomahawk's Nick Van Strydonk, the runner-up finish was bittersweet. At the end of last season, he announced this racing season would be his last. Van Strydonk finished his Derby career with two World Championships in 2012 and 2017. He also ended with 6 consecutive podium finishes in Eagle River. By Sunday, the initial field of 32 competitors was whittled down to 12. The field also included Sabrina Blanchett. The Quebec native became the first woman to qualify for the finals in the Derby World Championships.
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Local Fire Departments Participate in Ice Rescue Training in Tomahawk
Published on 01/20/2020 under News A number of local fire departments are better prepared for ice rescues thanks to a weekend training session. On Saturday morning, the Tomahawk Fire Department hosted responders from the Nokomis, Cassian and Crescent Fire Departments. The agencies met at Bradley Park in Tomahawk where they staged a mock rescue in the icy waters of Lake Mohawksin. An ice rescue can be a dangerous situation for not only those being rescued, but the responders themselves. They need to ensure they don't break through the ice. This training allowed participants to utilize their specialized equipment in a controlled environment. In addition to the fire departments, Tomahawk EMS members were also on hand to go over the treatment of patients that have been exposed to frigid waters and hypothermia conditions.
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