Aspirus Langlade Hospital Using Hydroponic Garden, Solar Panels
Published on 04/13/2021 under News Aspirus Langlade Hospital in Antigo is continuing their sustainability mission with their latest efforts including hydroponic produce grown on site and new solar panels on the campus. The facility recently announced that they have completed the first harvest of their organic, hydroponic system which produced 18 pounds of lettuce. Director of Nutrition & Food Services Penny Matuszewski said, "It is an interesting process to see the produce grow... We are so pleased to have another sustainable, healthy product to offer in our café." The Fork Farms unit can yield 360 pounds of produce annually, with a variety of fruits and vegetables that can be grown in as few as 23 days. Betsy Kommers, Director of Marketing & Fund Development said, "This is such an exciting project and speaks to how we are transforming the ways that Aspirus Langlade Hospital and the Community Health Foundation partner to address some of the top health priorities in our community." The facility also recently installed solar panels to help power two of their buildings on the campus. Other efforts include expanded recycling, employee herb gardens and transitioning their vehicle fleet to alternative fuel or electric vehicles. According to a news release, goals for the 10 Aspirus system hospitals include reducing carbon emissions by 80% and reducing energy costs by 50%, both by 2030. Photo provided by Aspirus
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Severe Weather Awareness Week: Watches vs. Warnings
Published on 04/13/2021 under News All week long we're taking part in Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week. Throughout the year, meteorologists work with the media to keep the public informed of developing weather conditions. We often hear of watches and warnings, but what do they mean? According to the National Weather Service, a watch generally comes first. It means that conditions are right for that particular alert. Watches are issued by storm prediction centers and generally cover large areas. When a watch is issued, you should prepare for the possibility of severe weather. When a warning has been issued, the National Weather Service says that particular weather event has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Warnings are issued by local forecast office using information from radar and trained storm spotters. Warnings typically encompass a much smaller area. An advisory will be issued for less severe occurrences like frost. There are two mock tornado drills coming up on Thursday that will include both watches and warnings. We at WJJQ will be taking part in those drills.
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NWS Offering Storm Spotter Courses
Published on 04/13/2021 under News For those interested in learning more weather and becoming part of the process, the National Weather Service is offering a number of opportunities to become a storm spotter. Storm spotters are volunteers who help their community and the National Weather Service by keeping an "eye on the sky" during severe weather. Spotters communicate with National Weather Service staff with the latest weather information from their location when severe weather strikes. Due to the pandemic, each of the classes will be held virtually this spring with standard and advanced classes available. Each takes about 60 minutes to complete and allows the opportunity to learn and interact with NWS meteorologists. Officials say you only need to attend one session to become a certified storm spotter. There are a number of courses available over the next two weeks. We'll include a link for those interested in signing up.
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Wisconsin Conservation Congress Survey Period Open
Published on 04/13/2021 under News Outdoor enthusiasts have another opportunity to take part in the rules-making process on a variety of topics. The Wisconsin Conservation Congress and the Department of Natural Resources launched their annual Spring Hearings Monday evening. Like last year, the survey will be conducted entirely online. Over the next three days, the public will have a chance to weigh in on more than 50 rules proposals and advisory questions on a wide range of topics. Nearly half the questions regard fishery rules, many lake specific bag limits and slotting rules. A handful of them regard lakes here in the Northwoods. Other topics covered in the survey include, but are not limited to: high capacity wells, shoreland protection,ATV Safety requirements, harvesting albino and piebald deer, and the length of various hunting and trapping seasons. We recently heard from local delegate Laurie Groskopf. She noted that Lincoln County had strong citizen participation last year and they hope that is the case again this time around. According to 2020 data, more than 500 residents participated. The survey went live at 7pm Monday evening and will remain open until 7pm Thursday. It's available on the DNR website.
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Tomahawk Fire Department 2020 Awards
Published on 04/13/2021 under News The Tomahawk Fire Department recently recognized several volunteers with their 2020 department awards. In year's past, they would have been presented over a celebratory meal. Due to Covid precautions, the awards were instead held in-house during their monthly meetings. It was Melissa Nieman awarded the 2020 Firefighter of the Year. We heard from Melissa this morning. She said, "Our entire department deserved an award in my eyes! It's been a long year." Two members were also recognized for their service time with Taylor Randall 10 years and Lance Powers 35 years with the department.
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Wisconsin Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week: 2020 Tornado Season
Published on 04/12/2021 under News As we well know, Wisconsin's weather can be unpredictable and this week is dedicated to some of the extreme weather emergencies we see in the Badger state. The state is observing Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness week. Over the next few days, we'll share what you need to know about Wisconsin's weather concerns. Dr. Darrell Williams is Wisconsin's Emergency Management administrator. He says, "Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are a frequent weather threat across the state each year, and it's important that people know what to do when the skies darken and warnings are issued." Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes per year. Last year, the state experienced 20. There were three in the Northwoods, two that occurred in Vilas County and another that crossed from Forest into Florence Counties. The three f-1 tornadoes were on the ground for approximately 16 miles combined. Fortunately no injuries were reported. Last year's tornado season was nearly 8 months long, the first recorded in March, the last on September 25. This past weekend also marks the 10 year anniversary of an F-3 tornado that touched down in Merrill. A bit later this week, on Thursday, we'll be participating in the statewide tornado drills. One will be held in the afternoon, another in the evening. Graphic provided by National Weather Service
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Public Input Opens for Seasonal Structure for Fall Deer Hunt
Published on 04/12/2021 under News Outdoor enthusiasts have another opportunity to participate in the process to set the season structure for this fall's deer hunting season. The multi-step process to establish the harvest goals and antlerless deer quotas has reached another public input period opening today. At their meetings last month, the County Deer Advisory Councils made preliminary recommendations for their respective counties around the state. Each county establishes their own goals based on their herd objectives. For example, here in Lincoln County, the Council recommended 1,000 antlerless deer as the quota. To reach that goal, they recommend 400 public tags and 3,600 private land tags. Over the next two weeks, the public will be able to weigh-in on the recommendations. That will lead to one final round of CDAC meetings in early May when councils will consider the feedback and finalize the recommendations to the Natural Resources Board. The preliminary recommendations and the public feedback forms can be accessed on the DNR's CDAC webpage. Separately, the DNR will open up their Wisconsin Conservation Congress Surveys at 7pm, as well. We'll preview that feedback opportunity tomorrow.
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Local Covid Vaccinations Numbers Continue to Rise
Published on 04/12/2021 under News Covid vaccination numbers continue to climb here in the Northwoods. As the Covid Vaccine roll-out continues, we saw several new partnerships providing additional opportunities and easier access to the vaccine. Last week, a community vaccination clinic in Wausau opened, while Marshfield Clinic began offering several walk-in vaccine locations. Those opportunities are boosting local numbers with several counties approaching half the population. Oneida County is up to 44.3% of residents having received at least one dose, and 30.7% have completed their vaccine series. Vilas County data shows 43% with at least one dose and 29 percent completely vaccinated. Lincoln County, in the first week of April, had it's highest numbers since the roll-out began with nearly 1,900. The County has 33.5% of residents with at least one dose, and 23% have completed their vaccines.
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Wisconsin Utility Disconnection Moratorium Ends Thursday
Published on 04/12/2021 under News For the first time in more than 18 months, Wisconsin residents may be at risk of utility disconnection starting later this week. Last month, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin voted to allow the state's residential disconnection moratorium to expire. That deadline is coming up on Thursday. The law prevents utilities from disconnecting residential power between November and April. Due to the pandemic, the PSC kept the moratorium in place the entire year. Wisconsin Public Service says disconnection is always a last resort. Via news release they said that less than 1% of customers are at risk of disconnection. They encouraged anyone behind on their bills to work out a payment plan. More customers may qualify for energy assistance this year through the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP). To apply online go to or to apply by phone call 1-800-506-5596, or go to or call 1-866-HEAT WIS to find out where to apply in person .
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Eagle River Man Sentenced for Phelps Robbery
Published on 04/12/2021 under News An Eagle River man involved in a robbery outside of a home in Phelps last fall received a 7 year prison sentence. Miles Krohn was back in Vilas County Court Friday for a plea and sentencing hearing. The 27 year old was one of three people arrested following an investigation into a robbery outside of a home in Phelps in November. The 79 year old resident said he was confronted by two masked individuals who struck him with hammer, took his money, and fled. Krohn initially faced 14 charges. According to court records, he pleaded no contest five: armed robbery, fleeing an officer, resisting an officer, domestic disorderly conduct and bail jumping. Judge Neal Nielson then sentenced Krohn to 7 years of initial confinement, followed by 5 years of extended supervision.
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Lincoln County Sheriff's Report: Numerous Speeding Citataions Exceeding 90mph
Published on 04/12/2021 under News Lincoln County Deputies continue to enforce speed limits on area highways with numerous citations issued this past week at notable speeds. According to the sheriff's report, eight citations were written for motorists traveling more than 90 miles per hour. That includes one clocked at 100 miles per hour, another at 106 miles per hour. As for ages, five citations were written to teens 16-18 years old. At the upper end, one individual is 66. A few other notes from the Lincoln County Sheriff's Report... A 34 year old Tomahawk man was arrested Monday evening on multiple charges after a deputy stopped him in the Town of Russell. Deputies were watching for the vehicle after a resident of the Town of Merrill reported interrupting a theft. The man pulled into an address on County Rd J and told the deputy it was his and asked him to leave. A check showed the property was owned by an out of state couple who when called said they did not know the man. The suspect was arrested on a preliminary charge of a probation violation. When the man was brought to the jail a search by a corrections officer turned up a baggie with a substance that tested positive for methamphetamine. The man was booked in on charges of possession of methamphetamine with an enhancer for possessing it in a jail, along with two felony counts of bail jumping. He was also cited for trespassing and driving on a suspended license. A 64 year old Tomahawk man was cited on Monday evening after a deputy stopped a UTV traveling on US Hwy 8. Just before 9:00 PM the deputy stopped the vehicle near Rapel Rd. The driver was placed through field sobriety tests before he was cited for operating while under the influence, failing to take a chemical test, driving on a closed road and failing to stop at a stop sign. A 33 year old Merrill man is in the Lincoln County Jail facing multiple charges after deputies arrested him Wednesday in the City of Merrill. Deputies and officers from the Merrill Police Department were watching a retail store on South Pine Ridge Ave after a deputy spotted the man and knew he was wanted. When the man exited the store the man fled on foot but was quickly taken into custody. The man was charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia used to manufacture meth, resisting/obstructing an officer, carrying a concealed weapon as a convicted felon and a warrant for a probation violation. A 51 year old Aniwa man was arrested Friday afternoon after a traffic stop in the Town of Rock Falls. A deputy stopped the man for equipment violations and found the subject had been drinking. The man is out on bond for a felony drug charge, and part of the bond requires absolute sobriety. The man was arrested on a felony bail jumping charge. A 29 year old Lac Du Flambeau woman was arrested Sunday evening on multiple charges after deputies responded to a business in the Town of Scott for a suspicious person call. Deputies made contact with the woman and noted she appeared to be under the influence of methamphetamine. The woman turned over drugs to the deputy and they later found more during a search. The woman was brought to the Lincoln County Jail where she was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana as a second or felony offense along with parole violation. A 50 year old Merrill woman was cited Sunday evening for OWI. A deputy found the woman in the ditch on County Rd E near State Rd 64 in the Town of Scott just after 8:00 PM. Five people reported striking this past week, including a deputy. There was also one turkey strike reported.
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Kirsch Wins Write-in Race for Tomahawk School Board Seat
Published on 04/09/2021 under News We have a few other notes from Tuesday's election including the results of write-in race for a 3rd Tomahawk School Board seat. There were just two candidates for three Tomahawk School Board seats on Tuesday. Two candidates registered as write-ins for one of two vacant city seats, Tricia Hoffman and Shar Kirsch. In the end, it was Kirsch who received 330 votes to Hoffman's 235. Kirsch will join incumbents Deb Velleux and Cheri Hafeman, who each ran unopposed. Each of those seats is a 3 year term. As expected with a write-in race, there were far fewer votes. Hoffman and Kirsch combined (565 votes) received a third of the votes the Velleux (1,436) and Hafeman (1,456) each received.
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Breaking Down Tomahawk School Referendum Results by Municipality
Published on 04/09/2021 under News Diving into the data from the failed Tomahawk School District referendum, we get a better picture on where the proposal fell short, at least geographically. It was generally the surrounding townships opposition that exceeded support in the city of Tomahawk to defeat the spending request. The certified results from the Thursday canvas show 1,332 votes opposing the referendum, with 1,299 in favor. The 33 vote difference is one less than the preliminary results we reported Wednesday. In the city of Tomahawk alone, the number of votes supporting the referendum exceeded 'no' votes by 121. Nokomis banked another 14 net votes in favor of the referendum. It was the remaining townships that either split or voted overwhelming against the referendum which led to the eventual defeat. As for the next steps, state law largely prohibits the district from seeking another referendum until the next scheduled election. With no fall election, the next election will be the February 2022 primary. That also means the district will have to prepare next year's budget without the extra dollars. Municipality Yes No City of Tomahawk 394 273 Nokomis (Oneida Cty) 209 195 Little Rice (Oneida Cty) 27 61 Birch 0 0 Bradley 286 339 Harrison 60 59 King 170 171 Rock Falls 13 6 Skanawan 49 79 (Town of)Tomahawk 52 94 Wilson 39 55 Total   1,299  1,332
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Reminder WJJQ Home, Sport, and Travel Show Canceled for 2021
Published on 04/09/2021 under News The Tomahawk School Fieldhouse will be a bit less crowded than originally planned this weekend. In a normal year, we would be putting the final touches on the WJJQ Home, Sport, and Travel Show. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we made the difficult decision earlier this year to cancel the 2021 show. While we've made progress against Covid in recent months, the nature of the event with face-to-face interactions, hugs and handshakes, and large crowds make it difficult to do safely. One of the goals of the Home Show is to allow businesses to showcase their services and products to the community. In the coming weeks, we're going to help those vendors out, by featuring them on our morning conversation program. Some have already aired and are available in the WJJQ audiocenter. We'll have more conversations in the coming weeks. As for the popular Savings Booklets, we recently received them from the printers and we'll be mailing them to residents in the greater Tomahawk area in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, highlights like the Church Ladies Diner will simply have to wait until next year. As for 2022, we are planning to safely bring the Home Show back to the community on April 9 and 10, 2022.
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Local Golf Courses Opening; Hoping to Build on Successful 2020
Published on 04/09/2021 under News Area golf courses are looking to build on successful 2020 season, as people sought outdoor activities amid the pandemic. Golf was among the recreation options deemed a safe alternative. By its very nature, the sport is done outdoors. Depending on your driving accuracy, there is also plenty of physical distancing in the fairways and rough. Most area golf course reported either steady sales or even a slight uptick when compared to previous years. That's a trend we saw across a number of activities, as we've previously reported, DNR license sales and park use were also up last summer. Local golf courses also adapted by limiting access in their clubhouses and additional cleaning of carts. Some even introduced innovations such as touch less devices to remove the golf ball from hole without touching the flag. This early spring has allowed courses to open much earlier the recent years. Last year courses remained closed until late April because of Covid restrictions. Looking back to 2019, courses remained closed into May due to several spring snow storms.
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