Merrill Hosting Candidate Forum Ahead of Next Week's Recall Published on 07/11/2019 under News With a recall election in Merrill next week, voters will get a chance to hear from the candidates tonight.

The TB Scott Free Library will be hosting a City of Merrill-Aldermanic Recall Election Forum this evening. Five aldermen are being recalled. The effort is largely the result of the 2019 budget process which initially saw a mayoral veto and ultimately led to a higher than anticipated tax increase.

Tonight's forum will be broken down into two parts based on district.

•The 6pm timeslot will feature District 1, Paul Russell and Becky Meyer, and District 7, Rob Norton and Eric Dayton.

•At 7:15pm it will be District 5, John VanLieshout and Shannon Collins; District 8, Tim Meehean and Steve Sabatke; as well as District 7 where incumbent David Sukow will run unopposed.

UW-Extension educator Melinda Osterberg is set to moderate the forum with assistance from Merrill Foto News editor Jeremy Ratliff. Organizers encourage citizens to participate, and they will allow questions to be submitted prior to the start of the forum.

The forum will be held at the Merrill Expo Center, doors open at 5:30. The recall election is scheduled for next Tuesday.

In Other News

Wisconsin National Guard Assisting in Langlade County
Published on 07/23/2019 under News Around two dozen Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldiers have been called up to assist following this weekends storms. As part of Gov. Tony Ever's emergency declaration, Wisconsin's Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar was authorized to activate the guard members. According to yesterday's announcement, those members will be assisting in Langlade County. That work includes delivering water to distribution points in Langlade County to provide residents with water to flush septic systems and for other needs. Dunbar said, ""The Wisconsin National Guard is honored to answer the governor's call and support our fellow citizens and communities during this difficult time." As for Evers, the Gov. toured Northern Wisconsin Monday, including by helicopter to assess damage.
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Lincoln County Health: Food Safety During Power Outages
Published on 07/23/2019 under News With the large number of power outages, it leads to questions on whether your food is safe to eat. We heard from Kristin Bath, a Public Health Educator with the Lincoln County Health Department regarding those recommendations. She says if the power is out for less than four hours, the food in your refrigerator and freezer should be safe to consume. After 4 hours, the USDA recommends discarding refrigerated perishable foods such as meat, poultry, fish eggs, and leftovers. A full freezer will actually hold a safe temperature for approximately 48 hours (a half full freezer will stay cold for around 24 hours.) Of course, you should minimize the number of times you open and close the doors and "When in doubt, throw it out." Bath also shared a link with additional resources online._____ Bath also gave a few reminders for those who turn to generators. Never use generators or any gas powered engines in your home to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Generators should be run at least 20 feet away from your home. Also make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector with a battery powered back up.
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Water Task Force Public Hearing in Tomahawk Tuesday
Published on 07/23/2019 under News Earlier this spring, the legislature created a task force to study water quality in the state, and today that group will be stopping in the Northwoods. The speaker's Task Force on Water Quality was created "to gather information and make policy recommendations to better assess and improve the quality of both surface water and ground water in the state." Areas of focus include: soil mapping, contamination sources, runoff management, remedies to protect a healthy and stable supply of water, and best practices for designing and construction of wells and septic systems. Our local representative, Mary Felzkowski is a member on the bipartisan task force. Coming up today they'll host a hearing in Tomahawk which will include an opportunity for public testimony. That's at 1:00 pm at the PCA Tomahawk Mill Buedingen Training Center.
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Lincoln County Sheriff's Report: Dispatch Busy with 100+ Storm Related Calls
Published on 07/23/2019 under News While first responders and clean-up crews have been at the forefront of the storm response this weekend, those behind the scenes have been busy as well. The Lincoln County Sheriff's Report indicated that their 911 call center received 111 storm related calls over the weekend. Fourteen of those calls were actually from other counties whose 911 centers were so overwhelmed it caused the calls to ring through to Lincoln County. While the area received significant tree and property damage, we have not received any local reports of injury. Other Notes from Lincoln County Sheriff's Report... A Merrill man was arrested for violating a no-drink order by consuming alcohol. The 50 year old was brought in at the Lincoln County Courthouse, where he attending a hearing. A preliminary breath test showed he was more than twice the legal limit to drive. A crash resulted in the arrest of a 44 year old Merrill man Thursday afternoon. Deputies were called to Joe Snow Road at around 3:30pm. The deputy arrived to find the driver "huffing" the contents of an aerosol can. The driver was taken into custody for intentionally abusing a hazardous substance along with a misdemeanor count of bail jumping. A 28 year old Merrill man was arrested Thursday evening after deputies responded to a disturbance in the Town of Pine River. Just after 6:00 PM deputies went to a home and learned that the intoxicated man had slapped someone during a disturbance. When deputies attempted to take the man into custody he refused to comply with their commands and an electronic control device was used in order to gain compliance. The man was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Nine people reported striking deer.
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Tomahawk Police Report: Break-Ins near County CC Area
Published on 07/23/2019 under News Tomahawk Police are investigating a string of break-ins that occurred over the weekend in the County Road CC area. Officers received a number of complaints Saturday and Sunday regarding those break-ins typically targeting garages. That included Coey Lane, Division Street and Nelson Lane. According to the incident reports, items missing included power tools, fishing equipment and alcohol taken from a garage fridge. Officers are investigating. Other notes from the Tomahawk Police Report... Tomahawk Police received a report of a man making obscene gestures on North 4th Street near Toddler Park Wednesday evening. Officers made contact with the man who admitted he was "having a bad day." He was warned regarding his behavior. On Thursday evening, Tomahawk Police received a suspicious activity call. The reporting party said there was a vehicle parked on the 51 exit ramp with a person on the hood. Officers made contact with the man who explained he was resting and taking in the vibrant sunset that evening. Officers worked with the construction crews regarding a malfunctioning temporary stop light at the Highway 86 bridge. A woman reported that an ex-boyfriend broke into her home. The 34 year old had been consuming alcohol which violated probation. As a result, he was brought to the Lincoln County jail for the violation.
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WPS Restoration Efforts Continue
Published on 07/23/2019 under News We received an update from Wisconsin Public Service regarding power restoration efforts. As of last evening, crews had restored power to more than 146,000 WPS customers since the weekend. Spokesperson Matt Cullen says, "Crews are continuing to work nonstop until all customers affected by these storms have been restored." Based on progress made Monday, they anticipated restoring power to 95% of customers impacted by the weekend's storms by the end of the day Tuesday if they are able to receive service. Cullen noted that some customers may be unable to receive service due to extensive damage to their home or property. As of day break Tuesday, there were still 25,000 outages, with Portage County experiencing the largest number of outages.
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Man Arrested After 100mph Chase in Lincoln County Monday Morning
Published on 07/22/2019 under News A River Falls man is in custody following a high-speed chase in Lincoln County early Monday morning. According to the Sheriff's Office, at shortly after midnight, they received a suspicious vehicle report at the end of 14th Street in Merrill. When the responding deputy attempted to stop a vehicle matching the description, it took off at a high rate of speed. Deputies and Merrill police pursued the vehicle east on County Road G where speeds reached 100 miles per hour. The report says the driver eventually stopped near Town Line Road and fled into the woods on foot. With the help of the K9, deputies located the man about a mile into the woods hidden under dirt, bark, and leaves. During the pursuit, a backpack was thrown from the vehicle. It was recovered and found to contain drug paraphernalia and a large amount of money. The Sheriff's Office says the man was brought to the Lincoln County Jail on charges of fleeing, probation violations, possession of drug paraphernalia and a number of traffic violations. The man's name was not immediately released.
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Confirmed Local Tornadoes, Thousands of Power Outages Following Weekend Storms
Published on 07/22/2019 under News Clean up continues after several lines of storms crossed the Northwoods Friday and Saturday. Over the weekend, the National Weather Service confirmed 9 tornadoes touched down in Wisconsin including several in our immediate area. The Northern portion of our listening area was hit hardest on Friday evening. According to NWS, an EF-0 tornado was confirmed along Highway 8 in Tripoli at around 7 pm. As that system moved east, a second tornado, this time an EF-1, touched down just west of Pelican Lake in Oneida County at 7:45pm. A third Friday night tornado was confirmed in Mosinee. Statewide there have now been 15 confirmed tornadoes in 2019. Straightline winds in excess of 80 miles per hour were reported. Some in the Nokomis area reported small amounts of marble sized hail in addition to around 2 inches of rain. Storms, of course, brought power outages and WPS spokesman Matt Cullen says this was one of the most widespread and powerful storms to hit the area in the past twenty years. According to an update provided Sunday night, power had been restored to more than 150,000 customers. As of daybreak Monday, there are still more than 30,000 without power. Cullen says they are receiving mutual aid from neighboring utility companies. Gov. Evers did declare a state of emergency due to the extreme weather.
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National Veterans' Cemetery in Harshaw Gets 'Northwoods' Name
Published on 07/22/2019 under News New Veteran's Cemetery Officially Named...Northwoods National Cemetery A new Veteran's Cemetery in Northern Wisconsin officials has a name, the Northwoods National Cemetery. The six acre site in Harshaw is will be the second Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemetery in Wisconsin. It is part of the VA National Cemetery Administration Rural Initiative to provide access to VA burial benefits for Veterans who reside in rural areas and who have not previously had reasonable access to a national or state Veterans cemetery. Crews broke ground on the project just over a year ago. When completed, Phase I will offer approximately 3,380 casket and cremation spaces to accommodate burials for the next 10 years. The cemetery will provide casket burials, in-ground cremation burials, columbarium niches for cremation burials, and a memorial wall. Work on the site continues and an opening date hasn't been announced.
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Weekly Road Construction Update
Published on 07/22/2019 under News The DoT's weekly construction report includes the continuation of a number of projects affecting traffic here in the Northwoods. For the Tomahawk area, crews continue to work on Highway 86 from Tomahawk to the Price County Line. We enter the second week of a planned two week detour between County Roads E and O as crews work. Nearby, the Lake Mohawksin bridge, near the mill, is down to a single lane with traffic lights. Drivers could see a few extra minutes. In the Merrill area, traffic on WIS 17 will be reduced to a single lane with the use of temporary traffic signals over Big Hay Meadow Creek. Down in Wausau, crews will be working on the Eastbound 29/Northbound 51 ramp later this week. That will include a temporary closure. As of the last update, the interchange will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday.
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