State Parks and Trails Remain Open;Admission Fees Waived Published on 03/25/2020 under News Gov. Evers' Safer at Home order recognizes outdoor activity as essential. With that decision, the DNR announced that all state parks, trails, and forests will remain open.

They also announced that all fees for those locations will be waived at this time. That's a change from last week, when admission was on a voluntary basis.

In yesterday's update, the DNR continued to emphasize social distancing. They encouraged those going to park facilities not to congregate in parking areas, near kiosks or bathrooms.

Staff will continue to provide routine sweeps of state park system properties. Bathrooms will remain open, other non-essential buildings will be closed to the public.

All campsites are closed through April.

They also reminded anglers that fishing remains open, normal season regulations do still apply.

In Other News

DoT Planning Highway 51 Repairs Near Tomahawk this Summer
Published on 04/03/2020 under News Drivers could see some improvements to one of the roughest road segments in the area. The DoT is planning on reconstructing portions of Highway 51 near Tomahawk this summer. That segment of road has experienced road tenting from freezing water in the pavement which results in a washboard like surface. The project area will include the southbound lanes of 51 from County Road S to Hwy 8. The project will be completed with a goal of keeping traffic open during the busiest holiday weekends. Traffic may be re-routed to single lanes on the Northbound side at times. When that occurs the speed limit will be reduced. The current project start is listed as late April. We'll pass along any informational meetings or official start dates as we receive them.
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Judge Extends Absentee Ballot Deadline to Friday
Published on 04/03/2020 under News While Wisconsin's election is still scheduled for next Tuesday, two deadlines have been extended. On Thursday, US District Judge William Conley extended the deadline to request an absentee ballot by another day. Lincoln County Clerk Chris Marlowe says that absentee requests can now be made through 5pm Friday (today). Conley's ruling also extended the deadline for clerks to accept absentee ballots. Marlowe says they will accept those ballots through Monday, April 13th at 4pm. Those delayed ballots must still be postmarked by election day. Traditionally, we learn the results of the election within a few hours of the polls closing. This extension will delay those results by a week, as well.
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Local Clerk: Return Absentee Ballots Seperately
Published on 04/03/2020 under News Local clerks are reminding those voting by absentee to return the ballots separately rather than placing multiple ballots in the same envelope. The April general election (next Tuesday) and the special 7th district congressional election in May are two separate elections. Each of those ballots is being sent out separately. With the extension of absentee voting period, some voters may have those ballots at the same time. Each ballot must be returned to your clerk's office separately with the envelope the ballot came with. Please do not attempt to return the ballots in the same envelope to save on postage. This will invalidate the ballots.
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Tomahawk Schools End Bus Route Delivery; Pick Up Continues
Published on 04/03/2020 under News The Tomahawk School District will be altering their grab-and-go meal program once again, with the latest change going into effect next week. After communicating with the Health Department and their concerns, the district will be suspending the bus route delivery of meals. The district says they will be providing that meal delivery one final time on Friday. The district will continue to provide the curbside pickup of meals on campus. Moving forward, the number of pick-up days will be reduced to Mondays and Wednesdays from 8am to noon. Additional meals will be provided at those times to cover the days when the service is not being offered.
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Absentee Ballots Requests Continue to Climb
Published on 04/03/2020 under News The number of absentee ballots both requested and returned are setting records for the spring. As we shared yesterday, Wisconsinites have requested more than 1.1 million absentee ballots. Based on the latest update from the Wisconsin Elections Commission, more than 470,000 completed ballots have already been returned to their clerks. An updated count from Lincoln County shows nearly 3,600 absentee ballot requests. As of Thursday, 1,300 ballots had already been entered as returned. By comparison, the November 2018 election in Lincoln County had 1,300 ballots requested, with a more than 90% return rate. In general, the state typically sees 95% of requested absentee ballots completed and returned to their clerks.
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BBB Warns of COVID-19 Text Message Scams
Published on 04/03/2020 under News The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau is warning resident about a new text message scam related to COVID-19. They have seen a spike in phony, unsolicited text messages claiming to be from the government with a mandatory COVID-19 test. These fake texts also include a link. The Better Business Bureau says the link may download malware on your phone, or send you to a website that will attempt to trick you into entering personal information.
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Ascension Expands COVID-19 Testing in Tomahawk, Woodruff
Published on 04/02/2020 under News Ascension Medical Group Wisconsin continues to expand their drive-thru testing locations for COVID-19 in northern Wisconsin. Yesterday, the provider opened new testing sites in both Tomahawk and Woodruff. That is in addition to the previous sites in Plover, Rhinelander and Crandon which opened last week. The announcement says they continue to work on additional locations. As with the previous sites, Tomahawk and Woodruff drive-up testing does require a pre-screening and referral to utilize. This can be done either by appointment or telemedicine. The drive-up screening minimizes the amount of exposure with a patient that is potentially carrying the coronavirus. The patient remains in their vehicle as records are confirmed, and a nasal swab sample is collected. (Photo: From the Tomahawk testing site are left to right Ascension Associates Shannon Bushong, LPN and Tiffany Barthels, CMA.)
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Tomahawk Moves Polling Location to City Hall
Published on 04/02/2020 under News Voters in the City of Tomahawk will head to a new location to cast a ballot next week. Clerk Amanda Bartz announced that the polling place for next Tuesday has been moved from it's traditional location at SARA Park. Residents will now vote at Tomahawk City Hall for in-person voting. Even though polling places will be open on election day, Bartz urged voters in Tomahawk to avoid polling places and vote absentee by mail, if possible. For those concerned their completed absentee ballot won't be returned by next Tuesday, Bartz did clarify that a completed ballot can also be dropped off at the clerks office or polling location. A few other municipalities are taking additional steps to social distance. The towns of Skanawan and Bradley are both arranging to have a drive-up voting process. Nokomis will limit the number of voters allowed inside the polling location at a given time to five. We'll be compiling a list of changes from clerks as we receive them.
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Absentee Ballots Being Sent at Record Numbers
Published on 04/02/2020 under News Wisconsin voters have requested well in excess of 1 million absentee ballots as the state prepares for next week's election. Over the past few weeks, clerks across the state have been encouraging voters to vote by absentee ballot. As of Wednesday, clerks in Wisconsin have sent out 1,028,734 ballots and 387,833 completed ballots have returned. Here in Lincoln County nearly 3,400 absentee ballots have been requested. Nearly double the number in Oneida County with 6,300. Vilas County had 4,300 requests as of Wednesday. Meagan Wolfe is Wisconsin's Chief elections official. She says, "We remain encouraged that so many voters have requested absentee ballots, especially through the MyVote Wisconsin website. We want everyone who is eligible and who wants to vote to be able to do so safely. Absentee voting will also greatly reduce crowds at polling places on Election Day, which will make social distancing much easier." Thursday is the final day to request an absentee ballot by mail. Early voting runs through the end of the week.
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Tomahawk School Grab and Go Delivery Change; Requests Drop-Off Containers
Published on 04/02/2020 under News The Tomahawk School District announced an additional request for their successful grab-and-go meal program. Since the district closure last month, staff have been providing daily breakfast and lunch meals for children in the district. The district says they have been delivering close to 450 meals each day. Many of those meals are dropped off along bus routes. To help improve social distancing, starting today they are asking for families to provide a container at the drop off point for the meals to be placed in rather than using a direct hand-off. If a container is not available, staff will leave the lunches on the ground for the family to pick up. This is to ensure the recommended six foot barrier.
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