100,000 Tree Reforestation to Benefit Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest Published on 02/08/2019 under News
A state forest here in the Northwoods will benefit from a reforestation partnership.

At their meeting last month, the State Natural Resources Board agreed to a project with Orbridge, a Washington (state) educational, group-travel provider. Their goal, to plant 100,000 trees in Wisconsin state forests and DNR-owned lands.

According to a news release, Orbridge's reforestation program will kick off this spring. Trees will be planted in three state forests. That includes the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest. in Oneida, Vilas and Iron Counties. The 232,000 acre forest in located in Oneida, Vilas and Iron Counties.

Jim Staples, the founder of Orbridge says,  "As a travel company, we understand and appreciate the environmental impact that we have."

He noted the reforestation program is their biggest undertaking to date on accomplishing that goal. He says they hope to bring similar programs to other states while also continuing to grow other sustainability efforts.

Teague Prichard with the DNR says they have over 1.5 million acres with reforestation needs across the state. He added that the donation provides a great example of an effective partnership to manage state forest lands for current and future generations.

In Other News

One Arrested, One Injured Following Altercation in Lincoln Hills Visitor Area
Published on 04/22/2019 under News An altercation in the visitor area at Lincoln Hills Juvenile Prison resulted in one injury and one arrest. According to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Report, deputies were called to the youth prison for the incident which involved multiple people on Saturday afternoon. They said a 47 year old Racine woman was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct. A 22 year old Wisconsin Rapids woman was brought to the Ascension Good Samaritan Health Center for treatment of minor injuries. No other information was provided. Deputies were assisted by Merrill and Tomahawk Police during the response.
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Northwoods Dealing with Flood and Fire Risks
Published on 04/22/2019 under News The Northwoods region is dealing with both flooding issues and fire danger at the same time. The quick spring melt has caused this interesting juxtaposition of flood and fire risks. Melting snow and rainfall combined with still frozen ground has led to the flood issues. Earlier Monday morning the National Weather Service extended a flood watch for most of Northeastern Wisconsin including Lincoln, Langlade, Oneida and Vilas Counties. At the same time, area vegetation has yet to green up creating the fire risk. According to the DNR's fire danger assessment, the fire danger for the southern third of the state is 'very high.' The central third of the state, as far north as Taylor, Lincoln, and Langlade Counties, are in the 'high' risk designation. According to the DNR wildfire report, firefighters responded 61 wildfires over the past week stretching to all four corners of the state. That includes three fires in Lincoln County.
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Three Weekend Grass Fires in Lincoln County
Published on 04/22/2019 under News Lincoln County Firefighters were kept busy over the weekend with a trio of fires. According to their incident reports, the Tomahawk Fire Department responded to two grass fires on Saturday afternoon including on Phalzgraff Road and Keg Road. Those fires burned about 3 acres between the two. A third fire along County H in Lincoln County on Friday afternoon burned 7.5 acres. No injuries or structure damage was reported. All three fires were attributed to debris burning that got out of control. Residents are reminded to always check conditions and restrictions prior to burning.
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Earth Day Sustainability Fair Returns to Northwoods
Published on 04/22/2019 under News It's Earth Day, and a number of groups will be helping educate the community on different environmentally conscious alternatives in the Northwoods. For nine years now, Sustainability Northwoods has hosted an Earth Day Fair in the Rhinelander area, and this year is no different. We heard from one of the organizers, Ann Eshelman who gave a rundown on what people can expect. They've arranged for educational booths and a series of speakers. Throughout the day, experts will touch on a wide range of topics including a horse logging demonstration, careers in sustainability, and protecting pollinators. The keynote speaker is UW-Oshkosh Professor Steve Dunn, who will present Sustainability End Game: Be an Avenger. That's at 1pm. Dunn will then take part in an education round-table discussion at 2pm with other local instructors. In addition to the speakers, they'll have children's activities, a community painting project, and a recycled art competition. Today's event runs 10 until 4 in the Nicolet College Lakeside Center.
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Officials Investigating Dog Poisoning Deaths on Public Lands Far Northern Wisconsin
Published on 04/22/2019 under News The DNR and the US Fish and Wildlife Service are seeking information with poisoning deaths of several dogs and wildlife in far Northern Wisconsin. According to a news release from the US Forest Service, confirmed cases of domestic dogs being poisoned took place in Bayfield, Marinette, and Florence Counties. They are unsure if other northern counties are affected. The release says the deaths, dating back to December, occurred on public properties managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Goodman Timber Company. In addition to the dogs, investigators also found dead coyotes, weasels, raccoons and one wolf that they suspect also were poisoned.  Lab tests are underway to confirm the cause of death in these wildlife cases. Officials say the poison was found on the ground in rural areas and the dogs died in less than 30 minutes after ingestion. They are also reminding pet owners to keep their animals on leashes. If you have information or a tip – no matter how insignificant it may seem – please contact the WDNR Violation Hotline. (Photo: Sample recovered by WDNR law enforcement at one of the locations of a canine fatality.)
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Deadling Approaching for WPS Tech College Scholarships
Published on 04/22/2019 under News For area students heading to local tech schools next fall, Wisconsin Public Service Foundation is reminding seniors of a scholarship deadline. The scholarship program offered by the WPS Foundation dates back 55 years now. They are available for high school seniors enrolling in the 6 tech colleges within the WPS footprint. Locally that includes Nicolet and Northcentral Technical College. Students planning to attend Fox Valley, Lakeshore, Northeast and Mid-State Technical College may also apply. The Foundation says that application, which can be found online or through school guidance offices, are due back by the end of the month (April 30.)
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Plea in 2017 Unintentional Shooting Death in Vilas County
Published on 04/19/2019 under News A man accused of unintentionally shooting and killing another man in Eagle River has reached a plea deal. Jeremiah Solis was back in Vilas County Court for that hearing yesterday afternoon. According to court records, the 21 year old pleaded 'no contest' to a count of homicide by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon. In exchange, a count of homicide by fire arm under the influence of a controlled substance was dismissed. Solis was arrested in September of 2017. The complaint says that he had recently purchased a gun and was showing it to friends when he unintentionally fired the weapon. The shot struck 20 year old Connor Stephens, who later died. Following yesterday's plea, a sentencing hearing was scheduled for June 24. Solis faces up to 10 years in prison.
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Flooding Affects Northwoods Roads
Published on 04/19/2019 under News Heavy rains, melting snow, and frozen ground have combined to cause flooding issues here in Northern Wisconsin. A number of roads have been detoured due to rising water. We heard from officials in the Town of Wilson regarding flooding over Zenith Tower Road Thursday. Drivers, as always, are warned not to drive across a flooded road. The National Weather Service has also continued their flood warning for the Wisconsin River below Lake Alexander near Merrill. The typical flood stage is 7 feet. As of last night, the stage was 7.3. Reported impacts include widespread flooding of nearby wooded and agricultural land, as well as the local riverwalk.
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Organizers Announce New Northwoods Film Festival this Summer
Published on 04/19/2019 under News Film buffs in the Northwoods have a new event to look forward to this summer. Earlier this month organizers unveiled plans for the first annual Northwoods Film Festival. The event is planned for August 16th and 17th at the Lakeland Cinema 6 in Woodruff. Organizers say the two day event will bring groundbreaking and dynamic programming to local audiences, aiming to create conversation and appreciation for film in Northern Wisconsin. Bess Donoghue is the executive director of the festival. She says, "We are thrilled to channel our passion for the arts and cinema into creating the first-ever annual Northwoods Film Festival." She says, "Film has a special, unique role in communities and we are so excited to introduce local audiences to independent titles that might not normally play in the Northern Wisconsin region." The film line-up, tickets, and other event details will be updated throughout the spring and summer through their social media.
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Tomahawk Police Annual Report/Weekly Report
Published on 04/19/2019 under News The Tomahawk Police Chief was pleased with the overall progress of the department this past year. Earlier this week, Chief Al Elvins presented the department's 2018 annual report to the various city committees. He went over some of the highlights from the document. The first data he brought up was a decrease in the Violent Crime Index by 37.5% when compared to 2017. The agency also placed above the national average in clearance rates in 7 of 8 crime categories as set by the FBI.*The report says they are seeing positive results in addressing drug trade. During 2018, officers seized more than $14,000 worth of illegal drugs. *Chief Elvins also highlighted the continued positive impact of the drug take-back program. Tomahawk has a permanent drop-off location in their lobby. Last year they collected 147 pounds of unwanted prescriptions, bringing the running total to 651 pounds. *Interestingly, the number of calls taken by the Department, at ~2,600, fell in line with the five year average, as did the number of arrests at 547. *During the Fall, the Department added two new officers and Brett Susa transitioned from patrol to a school resource officer. They also saw the retirement of long time officer John Duplayee. Chief Elvins attributed the Department's progress, in part, due to increased community visibility, partnerships and communication. That entire 40 plus page report is available on their Facebook Page._____ As for this past week, it was relatively quiet for Tomahawk officers. They were contacted regarding a man violating a no drink order. They located the 31 year old and confirmed consumption. As a result, he was brought to the Lincoln County Jail. A property owner reported that another individual had a number of items stored in his shed without permission. That man was in the jail and the reporting party wanted to remove the items. Among the located property was a computer tablet. They were able to contact an address on the tablet. The woman wanted to pursue theft charges and officers are investigating.
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