Bolder Named Next Tomahawk Middle School Principal
Published on 05/13/2022 under News The Tomahawk School District didn't have to look far to find their next middle school principal. Following their meeting Tuesday, the Tomahawk School District announced that Stacey Bolder has been named the next principal at Tomahawk Middle School. Bolder currently serves as associate principal at Tomahawk High School, a post she's held since 2017. Prior to her career in administration, Bolder was a physical education and health teacher at Tomahawk Middle School. Bolder said, "The middle school is a very special place to me because I spent a large amount of my teaching career in that building, and I am very proud to once again be part of such a caring and hardworking staff." She added, "The 6th-8th grade years are such an important piece of helping our students feel a sense of connectedness, belonging, and the exploration of academic and career opportunities. Bolder is filling a vacancy that will be created this summer when current middle school principal Wendell Quesinberry becomes district administrator. Both of those transitions will take place on July 1.
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Rhinelander Students Collecting Pennies to Purchase Water Filters for Africa
Published on 05/13/2022 under News As part of a lesson plan on water, Rhinelander third graders are raising money to help provide water filters for developing countries. Among the topics in the lesson are water access, demand, and pollution. While water is readily available in the Northwoods, the students are learning about a lack of access in some African nations. That includes children, their own age, having to walk long distances to get a supply of water. To help become part of the solution, the students launched a penny war this week. They've partnered with a local resident Mike Prom. He is director of Wise Intentional Leadership Development. Through his connections in several African nations (Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Rwanda), they'll be able to purchase and provide water filter units. \\For approximately $75 each, these filter systems have the ability to clean enough water for everyone in a village the size of Rhinelander for approximately 250 days. Students at Central, Crescent, Northwoods Community and Pelican are all participating. Each school has set a goal of $400. The Penny War will run through the end of next week.
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Oneida, Lincoln County Summer ATV/UTV Trails Open Friday
Published on 05/13/2022 under News   The spring wait for Northwoods ATV and UTV riders has finally come to an end. The off-road trail systems in both Lincoln and Oneida County opened a bit earlier today. Local clubs and county staff members have been busy of the past few weeks clearing brush and debris and getting the trails ready for this morning's opener. In announcing the Lincoln County Trail opening, the Forestry, Land, and Parks Department also encouraged riders to download their new geo-referenced trail map. The map can be stored on your cell phone and features the 47 plus miles of trails in the Harrison Hills area. The map is available for free download on the county website. In addition to the ATV/UTV trail openings, officials also announced that the equestrian trails at the Underdown Recreation Area in Lincoln County and the campsites at the Enterprise Campground. In announcing today's trail openings, both counties also warned that some trail segments will be in early-season riding conditions. As such, operators should use added caution when heading out.
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Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive This Weekend
Published on 05/13/2022 under News The largest single day food drive in the country is taking place this weekend, and postal workers are looking forward to a little extra work tomorrow. It's time once again for the Stamp Out Hunger, organized by the Association of Letter Carriers in cooperation with the US Postal Service. The traditional letter carrier food drive returns this year after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In each of the previous two years it was replaced by the NALC's donor drive, in which those wishing to help made online monetary donations to local food pantries. Earlier this week, carriers here in Tomahawk distributed collection bags throughout the community which will be collected on Saturday. Bags can be filled with non-perishable food items and placed in or on your mailbox for collection on Saturday. While most non-perishable food items are welcome some of the 'most wanted' include: canned soup, vegetables, meats like tuna or chicken, along with boxed pasta, rice, or cereal. Please do not put out rusty or unlabeled cans, expired or opened items; and perishable or homemade items.
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Three Lakes Groups Hosting 'Volunteer Fair' Saturday
Published on 05/13/2022 under News An event in Three Lakes is designed to connect potential volunteers with groups and organizations that need help. Many people may be very willing to lend a helping a hand, but don't know where to start. Coming up Saturday morning, Forward Three Lakes, the Demmer Library and the Three Lakes Chamber will be hosting a 'volunteer fair.' Similar to a traditional job fair, community organizations have been invited to register a table at the event to connect with volunteer. According to the schedule, the participating groups and organizations will offer a short presentation (at 9:30am) on what they do and volunteer opportunities they have available. Following the presentations, prospective volunteers will be able to meet organizations to ask questions or sign up for volunteer opportunities. That Three Lakes Volunteer Fair will take place tomorrow from 9am to noon at the Reiter Center in Three Lakes.
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90's Themed Names Selected for WPS/We Energies Peregrine Falcon Chicks
Published on 05/13/2022 under News Jump, Mae, and Golden are among the names for the newest peregrine falcon chicks in the state. This year marks 30 years since Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) and We Energies began their efforts to restore the peregrine falcon population in Wisconsin. To celebrate, customers were asked to name this year's peregrine falcon chicks after the best of 1992. More than 7,000 people voted. The rest of the names in the top ten include: Mario, Scrunchie, Whitney, Favre, Dream, Garth, and Barney. (names and meanings below) These names will be assigned to the chicks when they are banded later this spring. While some of the falcons at plants in Southern Wisconsin are beginning to hatch, those at the Weston Power Plant are still in the eggs. The nests are featured on webcams for the public to follow online.· Jump — in honor of the 1992 debut of "Jump Around," by House of Pain, now used as a rally song by the Badgers. · Mae — in honor of Mae Jemison, who orbited Earth in 1992, making her the first African American woman in space. · Golden — in honor of "The Golden Girls," which aired its last episode in 1992. · Mario — in honor of the debut of "Super Mario Kart" in 1992. · Scrunchie — in honor of the unique fashion sense of 1992. · Whitney — in honor of "I Will Always Love You," the best-selling song of 1992. · Favre — in honor of Brett Favre's first year with the Packers. · Dream — in honor of the 1992 Olympics gold-medal Dream Team. · Garth — in honor of "Wayne's World," which premiered in 1992. · Barney — in honor of everyone's favorite purple dinosaur, who made his debut in 1992.
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Nicolet College Receives ~$1 Million in Wisconsin Technical College System Grants
Published on 05/12/2022 under News Nicolet College students will benefit from nearly $1 million in grants recently awarded to the school through the Wisconsin Technical College System. Nicolet President Kate Ferrel says that the biggest beneficiaries of these grants will be the students providing a quality education leading to careers with family supporting wages. She added that local economies will also reap rewards by having a skilled workforce. In all, Nicolet was awarded 13 grants totaling $989,000. A credit to the quality applications, Nicolet received all 13 grants for which they applied. The largest grant, $350,000, will be used to further expand the college's "family" of patient simulators used to train students in Health Occupations programs. These simulators have advanced features allow students to practice in scenarios they may not encounter during their clinical training. Other grant categories include: implementing diversity and equity work and curriculum; piloting virtual reality assessment and simulations; upgrades to career services and coaching programs, and the student emergency assistance program. Even potential students will benefit with grant funds earmarked for career exploration programs for middle and high school age students such as college day visits, the eighth grade 'heavy metal' manufacturing tour, and the high school skills competition day. Ferrel said of the grants, "At its core it's all about creating opportunity for students, giving them the tools, knowledge, skills, and experiences they can benefit from in whatever professional endeavor they choose."
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Rhinelander City Leaders Break Ground on Stage Project in Hodag Park
Published on 05/12/2022 under News A multi-phase improvement project at Hodag Park in Rhinelander kicked off Wednesday. City leaders gathered for a ceremonial ground-breaking as they look to add additional amenities to Hodag Park located along Boom Lake. Phase 1 of the project will include the construction of an entertainment stage, along with ADA accessibility for the space. City Administrator Zach Vruwink noted this is "the introduction of a new feature that will be used for generations to come." In addition the obvious site for live music, he highlighted other potential uses such as open mic nights, poetry readings, family gatherings and even outdoor weddings. The groundbreaking follows years of planning and fundraising in partnership with the Rhinelander Community Foundation. The city contributed $100,000; an anonymous donor also pledged $100,000. More than 70 donors have chipped in overall. Vruwink was optimistic that the they could complete this phase by mid-summer in order to utilize the stage for events later this year. According to the project website, future phases may include the addition of a splash pad, enhanced natural areas with Hodag Park, improved fishing areas and boating docks on the waterfront, as well as improvements to the ball fields and playground areas. These projects will begin as funds are available.
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Three Victims in 'Grandparent Scam' Lose ~$80,000 in Marathon County
Published on 05/12/2022 under News An area law enforcement agency is alerting the public to a twist on the common 'grandparent' scam, an in-person interaction. The Marathon County Sheriff's Office is investigating three separate fraud complaints in which elderly residents were scammed out of a combined total of $83,400 over the past week. All three victims were led to believe their granddaughter was involved in a car crash, was being held in jail, and needed bond money. What's new is that the suspect showed up at the victim's home in person and collected cash in all three incidents. Public Information Officer Sarah Severson says, "It's imperative that everyone remains vigilant when receiving requests for money from someone you don't know." If you're suspicious, She recommends checking with a friend or family member. The Sheriff's Office says one arrest has been made related to these cases; it isn't immediately known if these incidents are all related. According to the announcement, similar scams have been reported in other communities around the state over the past week.
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Wisconsin Public Services Hosts Students for 'Solar Olympics'
Published on 05/12/2022 under News Mother nature certainly cooperated as area students showing off their skills on renewable energy Wednesday. Wisconsin Public Service held their 26th annual Solar Olympics on the UW-Green Bay campus. This year marked the return to in-person participation after virtual competition last year due to the pandemic. Around 100 students from 11 high schools in the WPS footprint participated. That included local students from Lakeland, Marathon, Wausau West, and Tomahawk. The friendly competition, hosted each spring, allows students to showcase their knowledge of solar energy. This year featured 13 categories including hands-on activities like creating solar cars and solar cookers; design work such as advertising, art, and t-shirts; and knowledge-based events like solar jeopardy. WPS created the Solar Olympics in 1996, in conjunction with districts participating in their Solarwise for Schools program. Solarwise provides renewable energy lesson plans, projects, and teacher training. While only a handful of of these districts compete in the Solar Olympics each year, WPS says approximately 90 percent of high schools in their service area participate in the Solarwise program. -Photo provided by Wisconsin Public Service-
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Two Dead Near Fire in Presque Isle
Published on 05/11/2022 under News Two people were found dead near a house fire in Vilas County, though their deaths appear accidental. According to the Sheriff's Office, responders were paged to a fire off Baer Road in the Town of Presque Isle at shortly before 1pm Tuesday afternoon. Upon arrival crews were able to knock down the fire at the home. According to the news release two deceased individuals were located on the scene. Investigators say that power lines were downed near those victims. Their names were not released, no was a cause of death. The deaths appear to be accidental and are not suspicious in nature. Both the deaths and the fire remain under investigation.
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Tomahawk School Board Recap: Board Bringing Back Committees, Single Meeting per Month
Published on 05/11/2022 under News At their re-organizational meeting last night, the Tomahawk School Board once again changed format, reverting to a more traditional, committee-based structure. The change comes four years after another transition. Back in 2018, board members voted to eliminate most of their committees. They changed to twice-monthly meetings featuring the full board. The first iteration included a regular board meeting along with a 'committee of the whole' meeting which was comprised of all nine board members and handled duties typically delegated to committee. They later transitioned to two regular board meetings per month with all business conducted at these meetings. While this accomplished the goal of keeping all board members involved in all aspects of the board, it also led to occasional lengthy board meetings. Interim superintendent Joe Innis also provided insight as an administrator noting that the frequency meant they were seemingly always preparing for an upcoming meeting. Innis, along with Kay Kissenger Wolf discussed the proposal which included re-establishing four committees with three members each. The regular board meeting will remain on the first Tuesday of the month as it had traditionally been held. One of the few remaining board members from the first change, Kissenger-Wolf referenced the board "coming full circle." While not all current board members spoke on the topic, those who did were in favor of the change. With approval, the change will go into effect starting in June. As for the second May meeting, that will be decided based on the agenda. ______ Zimmerman Elected New Board PresidentAs part of the re-organizational meeting, the board also elected their officers for the term with a change at the top. The board elected Ron Zimmerman as president. Former president Kay Kissenger Wolf will now serve as Vice President. Deb Velluex will continue as clerk, while Dave Long was elected to serve as treasurer. ______ It was an otherwise routine board meeting taking care of some end-of-year business. The board approved this year's graduation list without discussion. They also renewed the food services contract with Taher. According to the presentation, there won't be a price increase with federal reimbursements expected to expire at the end of the current school year. That means the costs for the upcoming year should remain the same as the 2019-20 school year. In his monthly financial report interim superintendent Joe Innis noted it was a good year, highlighting that revenues were up slightly along with some realized cost savings. He provided a few examples such as the district being unable to fill an position saving that salary and some reduced travel costs due to the pandemic. He also noted that the district delayed some maintenance projects awaiting the results of the referendum. He suggested that surplus be reinvested into some of that maintenance. The board also officially welcomed their two newly elected board members, Bob Skubal and Ann Swenty. Both former teachers themselves, the pair took the time to wish several long-time teachers and staff well in their retirement. They specifically mentioned Wes Roessler, Karen Jarvensivu, and Sue Gerber. Combined the three, alone have more than 80 years of experience with the Tomahawk School District.
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Hodag Heritage Festival Schedule Released Ahead of Next Week's Event
Published on 05/11/2022 under News The count down is on for the return of the Hodag Heritage Festival in Rhinelander. Ahead of the next week's celebration, the Rhinelander Chamber unveiled a schedule of events with a little something for everyone. Last year the Chamber introduced this community-wide celebration of their most iconic symbol, the hodag. Chamber Events and Program Coordinator Rachel Boehlen. "Our goal is to share our Hodag Heritage and we are doing that through historical speakers, hodag exhibitors, a historical bus tour which has never been done before, and a plethora of other things." Among those 'other things', the schedule also includes: a citywide scavenger hunt, several art competitions, an organized bike ride, hodag dress-up days, and hodag-themed sales at local businesses. Hodag Heritage Festival week kicks off Monday and culminates with a community event a week from Saturday. The Chamber has a full schedule on their website, and will provide updates via social media. We'll also preview Hodag Heritage Festival next week as well.
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Rhinelander Public Library Launches Plastic Recycling Challenge
Published on 05/11/2022 under News The Rhinelander Public Library is looking to eliminate some plastic waste while also getting a comfortable place to relax. The library has launched a plastic recycling challenge in partnership with Trex. The company works with organizations to re-purpose plastic waste into furniture like benches. They accept plastics such as grocery bags, bubble wrap, packing material, and certain types of food storage bags. A full list is available on the library website. According to library director Virginia Roberts, their goal is to collect 500 pounds of plastic over the next six months. Once that goal is reached they'll re-purpose that waste into a comfortable bench for the community. The plastic recycling challenge is being run in conjunction with the library's Summer Reading Program, Oceans of Possibilities. Of course the impacts of plastic waste on the ocean are frequently highlighted by environmentalists. The library has placed receptacles at their facility for drop off of acceptable plastic materials. They do ask that the plastic be clean, dry, and free of food residue.
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Northwoods Firefighters Kept Busy Monday with Numerous Wildfires
Published on 05/10/2022 under News Elevated fire risks coupled with blustery conditions on Monday led to another busy day for local firefighters. Coming out of the busiest wildfire weekend of the season, Monday followed that trend, particularly here in the Northwoods. On Monday alone, the DNR fire tracker listed 4 wildfires in Lincoln County and another 3 in Oneida County. Fortunately these fires were contained quickly and burned less than an acre. Even busier in Vilas County, there were 7 wildfires burning about 8 acres. Fortunately none of these area wildfires listed injury or structure loss. Several near roadways did backup traffic.Around the entire state there were more than 60 wildfires Monday. The DNR says that the spring green-up is progressing nicely in the southern portions of the state, a bit slower in the North. This has left fuel on the ground in dead leaves and dry grass. A small spark can ignite this debris and with winds both fan the flames and cause fires to spread quickly. As of Tuesday morning, fire risk in our listening area remains either 'moderate' or 'high.' The DNR has wildfire risks on their Burning Restrictions website.
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