Update: Victim Identified in Fatal Three Lakes Motorcycle Crash Published on 06/11/2019 under News
Officials have identified the victim in a fatal weekend motorcycle crash in Oneida County.

That accident happened Saturday evening at approximately 7:30 in Three Lakes. According to the Three Lakes Police Department, the operator was traveling north on Highway X when he left the roadway after failing to negotiate a curve.

The operator has been identified as 51 year old Jonathan Luepke of Three Lakes.

The crash remains under investigation.

In Other News

Officials Urge Safety With Home Fireworks
Published on 07/03/2020 under News With a number of communities canceling their fireworks displays this year, many people are turning to their own shows. Safety officials are reminding everyone to do so with caution. Darrell L. Williams, Wisconsin Emergency Management administrator says, "Fireworks can be extremely dangerous if not used properly, and there's a good reason large displays are best left to the professionals. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, there were 91 total emergency department visits in the state during 2019 due to fireworks-related injuries. Of those, 70 percent of patients were males, while 25 percent were under the age of 18. If you do decide to light fireworks, Ready Wisconsin offered some tips. •Only buy and use legal fireworks that are allowed in your community, and purchase from reliable sellers. •Check and follow any local rules and ordinances. •Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks. •Have a source of water available, utilize a smooth flat surface, and make sure everyone is a safe distance away. •Use eye protection. •Light fireworks one at a time, and do not handle or attempt to reignite a 'dud' firework
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Wisconsin Brewdown Finalists Include Merrill, Eagle River Breweries
Published on 07/03/2020 under News Along with the Packers and Cheese, Wisconsin is known for its beer. Wisconsin's Tourism Department is offering a friendly contest to highlight some of the smaller breweries around the state, and there are some Northwoods nominees. Yesterday Travel Wisconsin announced the twenty finalists for the Wisconsin Brewdown. Tourism Secretary-designee Sara Meaney, "With so many great breweries throughout the state, The Wisconsin Brewdown is a fun way to support your local favorites and learn about new must-try breweries to visit in the future," Among the finalists looking to become Tops in Hops are the Sawmill Brewing Company in Merrill and Tribute Brewing Company in Eagle River The Wisconsin Brewdown promotion is one of a series of efforts the department is undertaking to spotlight and support the tourism industry's recovery. The event comes on the heels of their Fish fry Face Off held earlier this year. Meaney encouraged people to visit the Travel Wisconsin website to cast a ballot, voting runs through July 24th.
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Man Sentenced to 25 years for 2013 Sexual Assault in Oneida County
Published on 07/03/2020 under News An Eau Claire man convicted of sexually assaulting a child in Oneida County has been sentenced to 25 years of prison. Brandon Darnick was back in Oneida County court for a sentencing hearing yesterday afternoon. Last December a jury found the 28 year old guilty of first degree sexual assault of a child. Darnick was arrested in 2018 as the state began to clear a backlog of sexual assault kits. The DNA evidence linked Darnick to a 2013 sexual assault of a then two year old child. At yesterday's hearing, Judge Patrick O'Melia sentenced Darnick to 25 years of initial confinement followed by 15 years of extended supervision. Following the sentence, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul released a statement saying, "This case shows, once again, how important the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative is and how important it is that we continue working to strengthen Wisconsin's response to sexual assault."
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Clean Boats, Clean Waters Educates on Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention
Published on 07/03/2020 under News To help keep our Northwoods lakes and rivers free of invasive species, this weekend and all summer long volunteers will be out educating boaters on aquatic hitchhikers. The effort is part of a program known as Clean Boats, Clean Waters. Erin McFarlane is the Statewide CBCW Educator with the University of Wisconsin-Extension Lakes Program. She says, "We know that the prevention guidance is effective at preventing the spread of invasive aquatic plants and animals," Mc Farlane says "Taking a minute or two to remove all the plants, animals, mud and debris from your boat and trailer while draining water from the bilge and live well is all it takes to prevent a new invasive species from establishing in your favorite lake or river." Over the past 15 years, the volunteers, clad in their blue Clean Boats shirts have been a familiar site at boat launches. This year, they'll be taking some added precautions due to Covid-19. That includes wearing face masks and maintaining physical distancing while still educating the public. Unfortunately they're suspending their program giveaways that have included free free live well ice packs or wipe-down towels. The DNR has more information on Clean Boats Clean Waters and aquatic invasive species prevention.
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Lincoln, Vilas Counties Report New Covid-19 Cases
Published on 07/03/2020 under News There were several additional cases of Covid-19 reported in the Northwoods Thursday. The Lincoln County Health Department reported its twelfth overall case. The person is in their twenties, similar to the three most recent cases. Four people are currently in isolation. There were 27 negative tests bringing that total to 1,848. For the first time in several weeks Vilas County has reported a new case, the eleventh overall. The health department says its a person in their sixties. The person has no known contact with someone who has tested positive. Ahead of this positive test, all previous cases in Vilas County have been released from isolation.
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Remember Pets During Fourth Fireworks
Published on 07/03/2020 under News While we may enjoy Fourth of July fireworks displays, our four legged friends generally do not. The Lincoln County Humane Society says that more pets go missing on July 4th than any other day of the year. That's why its important to make sure your dog has a collar with up-to-date ID tags. Try taking a long walk with your pet in the late afternoon or evening. Once fireworks begin, your dog will be most comfortable in a safe and familiar environment. If you're going somewhere to watch fireworks, leave your pet home. To make it more accommodating, close windows and lower blinds. Make sure your pup has plenty of water and toys to keep them occupied. A TV or music may also help drown out the firework noise.
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Oneida County Health Seeking Businesses to Assist Covid-19 Contact Tracing
Published on 07/02/2020 under News The Oneida County Health Department is looking to partner with local businesses to assist with Covid-19 contact tracing efforts. The health department is asking businesses such as bars and restaurants, where patrons may have prolonged exposure to employees and one another, to collect at least one name and phone number per customer group. The goal is to help identify and contact individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19, should a case be diagnosed. Oneida County Health Director Linda Conlon says, "We know our business owners want to keep the community safe, so we look forward to working together to help fight this virus and keep our local economy strong." The local Chamber offices will assist businesses in implementing the contact tracing requests, but businesses are also welcome to contact the health department with any questions or to discuss ways to make their business lower risk for transmission. Conlon says, "The more easily we can get into contact with people who may have been exposed, the faster we can shut down the spread from that encounter." She added, "In the long run, it not only protects our residents and visitors, but also the economy here in the Northwoods, because our businesses can continue to operate successfully." In that same release, the health department also announced plans to launch a dedicated COVID-19 webpage to notify the public of locations where they may have come into close contact with the virus.
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Oneida, Lincoln County Announce Additional Covid-19 Cases
Published on 07/02/2020 under News There were several additional cases of Covid-19 reported in the Northwoods yesterday. The Lincoln County Health Department confirmed its eleventh case overall. The individual is in their 20's and has had close contact with someone who has previously tested positive. Three recent cases in Lincoln County have involved people in that age range. There are currently three people in isolation in Lincoln County. The negative test total has now surpassed 1,800. Oneida County, on Wednesday, reported its 20th overall case. The individual is in their 50's and has a history of travel outside of the area. This person is self-isolating. Oneida currently has 2 people in isolation and nearly 3,000 negative tests. In Vilas County, the Health Department hasn't reported any new cases recently. All 10 previous cases have been released from isolation. The health department reported nearly 1,500 negative cases.
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Operation Dry Water:Sober Boating Campaign this Weekend
Published on 07/02/2020 under News Law enforcement officials will be hitting waterways across the state this weekend to ensure that boaters aren't operating while intoxicated. Launched in 2009, Operation Dry Water is an enforcement and education event dedicated to increasing public awareness about sober boat operation. Throughout the Fourth of July weekend, DNR staff and local law enforcement will be out on area waterways to ensure boaters are operating safely. DNR Capt. April Dombrowski says, "Alcohol use continues to be a leading known contributing factor in recreational boater deaths and a leading contributor in boating accidents." While the enforcement is a weekend long effort, the mission of Operation Dry Water is a year-round theme to keep all waters safe. During last year's effort DNR officers contacted 2,410 vessels, issued 202 boating citations and removed 25 impaired boaters from the water. In addition to the enforcement of sober driving, they will also continue to educate boaters about life jacket use and safety course participation.
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Tomahawk Public Library Offers Online Unemployment Application Assistance
Published on 07/02/2020 under News Thousands of jobs are being affected either directly or indirectly by the Coronavirus pandemic. The Tomahawk Public Library is reaching out to assist those who have been affected locally. The area was already experiencing recent highs in unemployment. Last week reports indicated plans for Harley Davidson to lay-off 50 employees in Tomahawk. We heard from Melissa Nieman with Tomahawk Public Library Outreach Services. She says, "Anyone who needs to file an unemployment application, but lack a computer or internet service, may visit the Tomahawk Public Library during our open hours." Nieman says residents who have been laid off due to the Coronavirus or recent lay-offs at Harley Davidson will have priority for the use of our computers. She says that staff will also be available to assist community members, if needed. The Tomahawk Public Library re-opened with limited hours last week. Current library hours (subject to change) •Monday and Tuesday 10am-12 pm and 3-6 pm •Wednesday- 10 am- 12 pm •Thursday- 3-6PM
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