Gov. Evers Applies for Federal Disaster Aid for Oneida, Forest, Langlade Counties
Published on 08/20/2019 under News Gov. Tony Evers has requested a federal disaster declaration for 18 Wisconsin counties and two tribes for damage sustained from severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding in July. The request would provide federal disaster assistance to help local governments and electric cooperatives recover some of their costs from responding to the storms, protecting citizens, removing debris, and repairing roads and other infrastructure. Homeowners and businesses are not eligible for this type of funding. Evers says, "Damage assessments by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) verified more than $19.5 million in eligible damages." That request includes: Forest, Langlade and Oneida Counties. In the letter, Gov. Evers noted the region being covered by scenic forested lands and the potential economic impact of an area that relies heavily on the tourism and forestry industries. The request includes verified damage estimates for Langlade County at $787,000; Oneida County at $212,000; and Forest County at $70,000. (Photo of tree damage in Oneida County.)
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Merrill Special Council Meeting to Discuss City Administrator Position
Published on 08/20/2019 under News Over the past six months, the City of Merrill has seen a recall election and an alderman resign. Now, a special council meeting this evening will consider eliminating the City Administrator position. The proposal and reasoning are included in a letter from Mayor Derek Woellner dated August 16. In it, he he calls the proposal "the first step towards savings." He writes that "the 2020 budget will require cuts" and sees eliminating the city administrator position as a way to save $72,000. He notes that "the (city administrator) position offers great service, but the service is ultimately to the council and employees, much more so that to the end-user. The current administrator contract would require 6 months notice and severance. The topic is one of two items on the special meeting agenda at 6pm.
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Elevated Levels of PFAs Found in Crescent Town Spring
Published on 08/20/2019 under News The Oneida County Health Department is warning residents about the presence of polyfluoroalkyl substances in the Town of Crescent town spring. According to a news release, the Health Department tested the spring on South River Road for PFA's on July 31. Test results received last week indicated elevated levels. PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals that have been used in non-stick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain resistant fabrics and carpets, some cosmetics, some firefighting foams, and products that resist grease, water, and oil. While Wisconsin does not have a standard for PFAs, the levels in Crescent are higher than the guidance values. The Health Department says they are taking a proactive approach and posting a sign advising community members. At this time, OCHD recommends that if you are concerned about your private well, you should find an alternative source of water. At this time, municipal water is safe to drink and is considered a known safe source. They also note that boiling water does not reduce PFA concentrations. A source for the PFAs is still unknown and the DNR investigation is ongoing and could take several months up to a year. The Oneida County Health Department has additional resources on PFAs.
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Tips for Navigating a Roundabout
Published on 08/20/2019 under News With the Highway 8 and 47 roundabout in Rhinelander set to open today, the DoT has been providing some tips on social media for those not familiar with navigating the circular intersections. DoT crash statistics show that roundabouts reduce fatal crashes about 90%, reduce injury crashes about 75%, and reduce overall crashes about 35%, when compared to other types of intersection control. As for driving in roundabouts... •Here in the United States (and countries that drive on the right) roundabouts go in a counter clockwise direction. •As you enter the roundabout, slowdown and yield to pedestrians and vehicles already in the roundabout. Don't stop in a roundabout, and use your turn signal before exiting. •And the rules when encountering an emergency vehicle, the DoT says if you haven't entered the roundabout, pull over as you normally would. If you have already entered the roundabout continue to your exit and then pull over after leaving the roundabout to allow the emergency vehicle to pass. The DoT has additional tips and illustrations on their website.
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Lincoln County Board Considering North Central Healthcare Operation of Pinecrest
Published on 08/20/2019 under News The Lincoln County Board is set to consider a proposal this evening that would see North Central Health Care take over operations of Pinecrest Nursing home. Due to a retirement in administration this spring, North Central has been managing the facility over the past 90 days. During that time, they were also tasked with a review of operations. Late last month, North Central CEO Michael Loy recommended North Central continue to operate Pinecrest on behalf of the County. They anticipate minimal changes for residents of the facility and the community, but hope to alleviate some of the budget concerns in recent years. North Central is a tri-county partnership governed by Lincoln, Langlade, and Marathon Counties.
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Update: Tomahawk Hotel Set to Re-Open Following Legionnaires Cases
Published on 08/19/2019 under News We have learned that the Rodeway Inn and Suites in Tomahawk is set to re-open after two reported cases of Legoinnaire's Disease linked to the motel. The motel was shutdown over the weekend for treatments of the water system. _____ Health officials are investigating two cases of Legionnaires' disease in Tomahawk. The Lincoln County Health Department reported that two individuals became ill with Legionnaires' over the past year. The Health Department says in both instances, the illnesses occurred within two weeks following a stay at the Rodeway Inn and Suites. As a result, the Rodeway was closed until the source of Legionella is determined. The Health Department says that Legionnaires' is a serious type of pneumonia. It is spread when people breathe in small droplets of water that contain Legionella bacteria. Legionella bacteria are found naturally in the environment, usually in fresh water. The bacteria grow best in warm water and can be found in shower heads and faucets, hot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks, decorative fountains or plumbing systems in large buildings. The Health Department says Legionnaires' disease is treated with antibiotics, and most people who get sick make a full recovery. Most healthy people exposed to Legionella do not get sick at all. However, people at increased risk of getting sick are 50 years or older, current or former smokers, people with chronic lung disease or weak immune systems. The Lincoln County Health Department has additional information on Legionnaires' Disease. (Photo: Microscopic image of Legionella from Centers for Disease Control.)
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Fatal UTV Crash at Boulder Jct. Campground
Published on 08/19/2019 under News One person died following a UTV crash late last week at a campground in Vilas County. The Vilas County Sheriff reported that the incident happened late Thursday at Camp Holiday Campground in Boulder Junction. According to the initial investigation, the UTV rolled pinning the operator underneath. Employees at the Campground utilized a tractor to lift the machine off the operator. CPR was performed, but the man died prior to arriving at the hospital. His name wasn't immediately released. The crash is being investigated by the Vilas County Sheriff's Office and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
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Lake Minocqua Hosts 4th Annual Dragon Boat Festival
Published on 08/19/2019 under News Lake Minocqua was a sight to behold this weekend as they hosted their fourth annual Dragon Boat Festival. Nearly two dozen teams competed in the 300 meter course. The 45 foot long boats hold 20 paddlers, a steer person, and a drummer. The event serves as a fundraiser for the Howard Young Foundation. In pre-race pledges alone, the nearly two dozen teams had committed $34,000. That was led by the Sea Merchants team made up of co-workers, family, and friends of Trig's. Specifically Trig's in our Northwoods territory including Minocqua, Eagle River, Rhinelander and Manitowish Waters. Combined with their Fiery Fresh team from their southern locations, the two Trig's squads alone raised nearly $17,000. In addition to the Dragon Boat Races, the festival has a growing number of celebrations and dragon themed activities out of Torpy Park.
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Road Construction Update
Published on 08/19/2019 under News A quick update on the road construction projects from the Department of Transportation. For the Highway 45 project in Eagle River that got underway last week...This week crews are scheduled to continue grading for new sidewalk areas, begin installation of curb and gutter, sidewalk and ADA compliant ramps. Electrical crews will begin traffic signal work at various intersections. On the Highway 86 project here in Lincoln County...Crews will continue the bridge deck overlay and will also be working on the bridge approach. Away from the bridge, crews will also be completing some curb and gutter work. Over in Rhinelander, the DoT plans on opening the roundabout at the 8 and 47 intersection in Rhinelander at some point Tuesday. With this being one of the first roundabouts in the Northwoods, we'll share some tips from the DoT on navigating a roundabout coming up on the Tuesday Morning Sunrise Show.
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Local Groups Participate in AIS Snapshot Day
Published on 08/19/2019 under News Volunteers were out this weekend helping to get a look at aquatic invasive species in the Northwoods. The Oneida County Land and Water Conservation Department and their AIS team took part in the annual Wisconsin AIS Snapshot Day. Similar groups around the state, along with the DNR and the River Alliance of Wisconsin, organized the annual event. After the volunteers received a quick lesson on what to look for, they were assigned to various monitoring sites to observe and gather specimens. The results are sent on to the DNR as well as entered into a database. Organizers note that early detection plays a critical role in minimizing the impact that AIS have. Those who registered to participate in the weekend event even got a a keepsake totebag and boot brush.
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Record Number of Entries in Eagle River Musky Championship
Published on 08/19/2019 under News A record number of anglers participated in a musky tournament in Eagle River this weekend. Over the past three days, the Eagle River Chamber and the Musky Clubs Alliance of Wisconsin hosted the 34th annual National Championship Musky Open. In all, the Chamber says they had a record 1,366 anglers registered, coming from 13 different states. There were 171 fish caught-and-released on the seven chains of lakes in the Vilas County area. Mike Driessen of Kaukauna boated the largest musky at 49.5 inches. As a result, he wins a replica which will be presented to him at next year's tournament. Clayton Spiess of Eagle River boated four fish to win the tournament. His four muskies totaled 153.75 combined inches. And entry in the tournament earns a shot at winning a 2019 Ranger fishing boat and trailer. That prize was awarded to Curt Cornelius of Green Bay.
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Lincoln County Sheriff's Report
Published on 08/19/2019 under News A 35 year old Wausau man who was reported to be armed and being sought by authorities in Marathon County for felony warrants and a 25 year old woman were arrested Wednesday afternoon in the Town of Harrison. They will also face additional charges related to the possession of methamphetamine in Lincoln County. A 42 year old Kronenwetter man was arrested Thursday morning on a felony charge after a traffic stop in the Town of Scott. The K9 Poncho was deployed on the vehicle and he alerted to the odor of illegal drugs inside the vehicle. During a search a deputy found paraphernalia related to methamphetamine use. Four people received non-life threatening injuries after a two vehicle crash Thursday evening in the Town of Birch. The crash occurred on USH 51 at County Rd J.  An 18 year old Merrill man was injured after a single vehicle crash Saturday evening in the Town of Russell. The crash occurred near the intersection of County Rd J and Town Hall Rd.   An 18 year old Lac du Flambeau woman was taken into custody early Sunday evening after a traffic stop in the Town of Merrill. A deputy stopped the vehicle on State Rd 17 and State Rd 64 in the Town of Pine River after he observed it cross the centerline. The woman was cited for a first offense of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Five people reported striking deer last week. In addition to the common deer strikes, drivers also reported collisions with a bear cub and a goose this past week on Lincoln County roadways.
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Fatal Boating Accident in Price County
Published on 08/16/2019 under News One person is dead after a boating accident in Price County yesterday morning. According to the news release, that accident happened on the Crowley Flowage portion of the North Fork Flambeau River in the Township of Lake. Officials say two people were thrown from the boat after it struck a submerged object. Bystanders were able to rescue one of the occupants. The second person, a 59 year old Franklin man, did not resurface. A search followed, and the man's body was later recovered. The man's name was not immediately released. The incident remains under investigation.
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Officials Investigating Pelican Shot in Land O'Lakes
Published on 08/16/2019 under News Officials are seeking information on individuals responsible for shooting a pelican in Land O'Lakes last month. Wild Instincts animal rehabilitation shared that information via social media yesterday. They said back on July 27th witnesses observed an American white pelican get shot by someone on a pontoon boat on Mill Lake. As many as 10 shots were heard, at least three hit the pelican. Based on the resulting injuries, they had to euthanize the bird. WDNR Conservation Officer Tim Price is now asking for anyone with information about this incident to contact him or call the WDNR Tip LIne at 800-TIP-WDNR or 800-847-9367.
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Inaugural Northwoods Film Festival in Woodruff this Weekend
Published on 08/16/2019 under News Film fanatics of the Northwoods will experience variety of pictures at a new festival kicking off today. Over the next two days, the Northwoods Film Festival aims to showcase engaging and groundbreaking work in independent cinema while provide audiences the opportunity to see films not typically screened locally. Organizers have lined up 4 full length screenings as well as 4 short films. Executive Director Bess Donoghue says, "We are thrilled to announce a dynamic group of films in this year's lineup bringing together a variety of stories ranging from a Scottish country star and a charming romantic comedy to real-life accounts of courageous sustainable farmers and a daring female sailing team." The festival will be hosted at the Lakeland Cinema 6 in Woodruff. You can visit northwoodsfilmfestival.org for more information. Tickets are available for a short and full length feature or a bundle for the entire series. Full length features include: The Biggest Little Farm directed by John Chester; Maiden directed by Alex Holmes; Juliet, Naked directed by Jesse Peretz and Wild Rose directed by Tom Harper.
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