South Tomahawk Avenue Project Delayed by a Week Published on 07/11/2018 under News
The start of a street project in Tomahawk will be delayed by a few days, but should still finish on time.

Public Works Director John Cole says that the South Tomahawk Avenue is now expected to begin next week. The six week project was originally penciled in to start this week.

The work is intended to correct drainage issues affecting a number of property owners along the abandoned rail road by adjusting the storm sewer pipe underneath the road. Cole says that some of the pieces of the pipe are a few days behind and they didn't want to open up the road and have to wait for the parts. Cole anticipates the project still meeting it's target completion date of August 17.

The work on the divided road will require some lane closures and traffic cross-overs at times. The goal is to keep the road open throughout the project.

The city has been working with Merrill Construction on a pair of road projects that were bid together to reduce the costs. Earlier this summer,those crews worked on a segment of King's Road up to the base of King's Hill Drive. Cole says that project went well, and it is wrapped up for the most part. He says they have just a few odds and ends along with a final walk through with the project engineer.

The two projects were intentionally scheduled to avoid any construction work over the Fourth of July holiday.

In Other News

Foxconn, Wisconsin Ginseng Board Reach Partnership
Published on 09/19/2018 under News While their facility will be based in Southeastern Wisconsin, Foxconn announced a partnership that will likely reach this region and a key crop. Representatives were on hand in Wausau yesterday as the group signed an agreement with the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin to develop Wisconsin's ginseng industry through farming innovation, medicinal research, and marketing. Of course Wisconsin is already one of the leaders in ginseng production. The announcement said Wisconsin ginseng accounts for 90-95% of all American produced ginseng with Marathon County serving as the top ginseng producer in the state. Governor Walker was on hand at the announcement. He says, "Ginseng is a key part of our state's history and economy, and because of this investment we will continue to see the growth of Wisconsin ginseng around the world."
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Lincoln County Health Department to Offer Flu Clinics at Schools
Published on 09/19/2018 under News As we'll be hearing in the coming weeks, flu season is quickly approaching. Here in Lincoln County, the Health Department is making it simple for kids to get flu shots, by making them available at local schools. Jennifer Johnson is a public health nurse for the Lincoln County Health Department. She says, "Last year in Lincoln County the flu hit people hard so we are pleased to be able to offer protection for all students this school year." The flu shots will be free and voluntary, students simply need to return a signed consent form that have been sent home. For the Merrill area schools that deadline is today, for Tomahawk it's next Monday. Johnson says, "Being able to save parents time and help keep kids healthy is a benefit for all." The Merrill area schools will have their clinics next Monday and Tuesday. Tomahawk's are scheduled for October 1. The Health Department will also have a walk-in clinic available for private and charter school students at their office October 16th. And stay tuned to the WJJQ Community Calendar for a number of upcoming flu clinics for the public, as well.
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Lincoln County Receives $200,000 Youth Justice Innovation Grant
Published on 09/19/2018 under News The Lincoln County Social Services Department has been awarded a grant to help support community programs for local youth to reduce law referrals. The $200,000 Youth Justice Innovation Grant comes from the state Department of Children and Families. Social Services Director Renee Krueger was on hand at last night's Lincoln County Board to talk more about the grant. The money will go towards improving existing groups to make them more effective and sustainable. She highlighted programs such as youth mentorships and Books and Badges police reading programs as ways to provide the support network for youth between the ages of 10 and 17. The goal is to build informal relationships to keep those kids out of the system. This is the seventh year the state has made the grants available. Krueger said it's typically a one time grant, although the state occasionally makes partial grants available for previous recipients.
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Lincoln County Preliminary 2019 Budget Appears Balanced
Published on 09/19/2018 under News With two months before its is typically due, the Lincoln County Board appears to have a balanced budget for 2019. Finance Director Dan Leydet updated the board on the months-long budget process by saying that some additional changes have brought the levy difference to zero. When the department heads initially submitted the figures, the preliminary budget came in $750,000 high. The total levy presented is $14.5 million, with the operating levy at $11.7 million. Leydet anticipated having a more in-depth presentation in October. The board typically approves the budget in November.
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Hatchet Volleyball Team Loses to Medford
Published on 09/19/2018 under Sports The Tomahawk Hatchet Volleyball Team falls to 3-3 in the Great Northern Conference with a three games to none loss to Medford on Tuesday night at the Fieldhouse. Games scores were:  23-25, 19-25, 22-25 Mady Hanse led Tomahawk with 12 kills, Katie Pierce added nine and Natalie Zastrow had five. Tomahawk will host a quad on Thursday, with the opening matches at 5:00 pm at the Fieldhouse.
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DNR Tracking Wood Turtle Hatchlings on Wisconsin, Tomahawk Rivers
Published on 09/19/2018 under News The DNR is partnering with the UW-Madison Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology to track wood turtles here in the Northwoods. The DNR says they are outfitting 20 with tiny transmitters to monitor how nest protection programs such as cages, relocation, and fencing are working. Tiffany Bougie, a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student says, "We suspect there's a lot of mortality but we don't know because no one has tracked them for a full year. We also want to learn if the nest protection is worth the effort in terms of increasing turtle populations or at least preventing population declines." Bougie and DNR conservation biologists glue the transmitters on hatchlings emerging from nests DNR has protected along the Wisconsin and Tomahawk rivers. The transmitter and glue together weigh about 0.7 to 0.8 gram, about one-tenth as much as the weight of the hatchlings, so biologists are careful to place the transmitters only on the larger hatchlings. The batteries in the transmitters will be replaced after 90 days and in the winter, the turtles will be placed in overwinter enclosures in the rivers. Wood turtles hibernate in the winter; the turtles with the transmitters will be tracked again in the spring. Carly Lapin, a DNR district ecologist stationed in Rhinelander says, "Wood turtles are currently listed as a threatened species in Wisconsin and USFWS is assessing their status in the Midwest. Females do not lay eggs until they are 14- to 18-years old; their late maturity makes it harder for declining populations to come back because the loss of even one adult female can have a large effect on future population numbers." (Photo from Tiffany Bougie)
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Lincoln County Board September Meeting Recap
Published on 09/19/2018 under News It was a relatively quiet Lincoln County Board meeting Tuesday evening. The first item on the agenda was an invitation for the supervisors to attend upcoming Building Merrill Together programs on economic development. The citizen-based group has been meeting in Merrill for two years now, focused on a variety of topics to make the community a more inviting place to live. Also in the announcements, Supervisor Bill Zeitz recognized Constitution Day. For Service Recognitions, it was Sam Steckbauer-10 years in the Sheriff's Department, and Todd Schmeltzer-25 years in the Highway Department. The board appointed Tim Panfil to the Forestry, Land, and Parks committee and John Kromm to the Lincoln County Housing Authority. The Board heard a report on the 2019 budget which is now balanced. Finance Director Dan Leydet will give a full presentation at the October meeting. The budget is typically approved in November. County administrator Jason Hake briefly discussed changes to the county insurance plans which would save the county significant money by utilizing Aspirus. There were just four resolutions on the agenda. The first accepted and thanked Ascension Good Samaritan Hospital for a $7,500 donation to implement the Live Well Lincoln Community Health Plan. The second accepted a $200,000 Youth Justice Innovation grant from the state to strengthen local programs through the social services department. The third resolution authorized the use of $5,000 in contingency funds to replace old and deteriorating furniture in county facilities. Finance director Dan Leydet says going forward they would establish a replacement program through the maintenance department budget. The final item was written and introduced by supervisor Bill Zeitz. He wanted to install, at a cost of $7,000, an electrical meter at Pinecrest to determine their electric usage. He argued this would provide the supervisors and the public with added transparency. Other supervisors noted that other departments share electric readings, and the spending this money wouldn't save tax payers any money down the road. Ultimately the resolution was defeated 18-1, with Zeitz casting the lone vote in favor.
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Tomahawk Police Report Relatively Quiet Fall Ride Weekend
Published on 09/18/2018 under News Despite the thousands of motorcycles and people in Tomahawk for the Fall Ride, police say the event went relatively smoothly in the city with just a few minor incidents. We spoke with Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins Monday morning. He called the 2018 Fall Ride a "good event, with a good crowd." He says there were two minor accidents within the city, but it was an otherwise quiet weekend despite the large number of bikes. As they do each year to accommodate the influx of people, the agency brings in officers from outside departments to maintain a police presence throughout town during the weekend, particularly the Thunder Parade and Street Dance. They even get into the spirit with the black and orange colors synonymous with Harley riders. The weekend police report was lengthier that a typical weekend, but a majority of the police-contact listed was for an increase in traffic violations. As we told you Monday, there were two, more serious accidents that occurred on Lincoln County roadways over Fall Ride, including one just outside the city limits. Eight people were injured in those two crashes. ____ Weekend Police Report On Friday evening, prior to the Thunder Parade, officers responded to a crash at 3rd and Main. A Madison man was doing a wheelie and struck another bike. As a result, the 35 year old was cited for disorderly conduct with a motor vehicle. Following a traffic incident Friday evening in a car, a 23 year old Tomahawk man was cited for disorderly conduct with a motor vehicle and operating without insurance. On Friday evening, officers were called to a dispute on Leather Avenue. The reporting party said the incident started with a man unplugging her RV and making threats. Officers initially warned the 51 year old regarding his behavior, and left without further incident. Officers were called back to the location later in the evening. As a result, the man was brought in for disorderly conduct and threats to law enforcement. Officers are investigating a break-in reported at a 2nd Street garage. The owner of the property reported that items stored in the garage had gone missing. Officers are following up. A property owner on 4th Street reported entering a storage garage and locating unfamiliar items. Officers are following up on whether those items were stolen items that were placed there by another party.
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NTC Awarded Fast Foward Grant to Train Local Teachers
Published on 09/18/2018 under News North Central Technical College was among 14 schools across the state that have been awarded a Wisconsin Fast Forward Dual Enrollment grant. Yesterday Representatives from the Department of Workforce Development distributed $3.6 million to those technical colleges to train high school teachers within each college's region. The Dual Enrollment program allows high school age students to earn college credits while still in high school . New program standards require high school dual enrollment courses to match the quality and integrity of those offered by the post-secondary institution, including the credentials of high school instructors who teach dual enrollment courses. NTC will receive $200,000 to train 72 teachers toward Higher Learning standards. That's been earmarked for 30 instructors in math, science, communication and social science; and 42 in technical certification areas.
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Man Sentenced for Woodruff Arson
Published on 09/18/2018 under News A Weyerhaueser man accused of burning a rental home in Woodruff this spring has been sentenced. Back in July, 38 year old Clark Krueger pleaded no contest to a single count of arson. In exchange, a charge of obstructing an officer was dismissed. Krueger was arrested in May, following an investigation into that fire which occurred in March. According to court records, at a sentencing hearing last week, Krueger received 8 years of initial confinement and 7 years of extended supervision. He was credited with 122 days of time served. Judge Michael Bloom also ordered more than $4,300 in restitution.
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