Nicolet College Financial Aid Night Moves Online Published on 02/23/2021 under News Paying for college can be one of the biggest hurdles for secondary education. Coming up this evening, Nicolet College will be providing current and prospective students with an opportunity to learn more about the various opportunities available.

With safety precautions due to the pandemic, Nicolet has moved their annual Financial Aid Night online for a virtual discussion.

Patrick Burns, Nicolet financial aid manager says, "I hear it all the time from students that receiving financial aid is crucial for them to attend college. Without it, many would not be able to achieve their dreams and goals of earning a college education."

The online event will start with a presentation about financial aid and conclude with a question and answer session. They plan on covering Federal Financial Aid or FAFSA, along with the numerous scholarship opportunities, the Nicolet College Foundation, and the Nicolet Promise Program.

The Virtual Financial Aid Night is scheduled from 6pm to 7pm. We'll include the virtual invitation in the online version of the story.

In Other News

Tomahawk School Board Hosting Referendum Informational Meeting
Published on 03/03/2021 under News In just over a month, the Tomahawk School District will send another referendum to the voters. Coming up this evening, they're holding a community informational meeting. Last November, the district asked voters to approve a $3.5 million, four year operational referendum. With more than 6,000 ballots cast, the referendum was defeated by just 51 votes. In reviewing the November defeat, the School Board lowered their request by a quarter of a million each of the four years. They also made the determination that additional public outreach was needed. Last month the district sent out an informational newsletter which included information on district needs and the impact the referendum would have on property taxes. A second part of the outreach campaign will be community informational meetings, the first of two is scheduled this evening. The meetings will be an opportunity for voters to learn more about the referendum through a presentation, and a chance to ask questions. The meeting is scheduled for 6pm, either through in the school auditorium or attend virtually.
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Rhinelander Eyes Vruwink for City Administrator Vacancy
Published on 03/03/2021 under News The City of Rhinelander has narrowed their search for a new city administrator which could be approved as at a special meeting this evening. Yesterday, the city issued a statement saying they have successfully negotiated an employment contract with their top candidate, Zach Vruwink. Following the dismissal of former administrator Daniel Guild last year, Vruwink was brought in to serve as assistant to the mayor. That temporary role ended last month. Vruwink, himself, formerly served as mayor in Wisconsin Rapids for four terms (2012-2020). According to the release, Vruwink was one of three candidates interviewed and evaluated for the city administrator position. A conditional agreement was reached Monday. A special City Council meeting has been scheduled Wednesday to finalize the offer. Mayor Chris Frederickson said in the news release that he is anxious to get back to his role as mayor and refocusing on serving as an innovator and policy maker, leaving the day-to-day duties of administrator to Vruwink.
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Tomahawk Approves 2021 Spring Fling, Music on the River
Published on 03/03/2021 under News While dozens of community events were canceled last year due to covid, Tomahawk's summer could show a bit more normalcy in 2021. At their meeting Tuesday, the Tomahawk City Council approved special event applications for Music on the River and the Tomahawk Main Street Spring Fling and Wine Walk. Music on the River is scheduled for six Wednesdays between June 23 and July 28th. The Spring Fling is May 7-8th. Each application was approved with the understanding that the organizers would follow any covid safety measures in place at the time of their events. Outside of the additional coronavirus precautions, the events will be largely be the same as year's past. At their meeting last month, the Council approved Chamber applications for the July 3rd Arts and Crafts Fair, the Fall Ride Bon Fire and Brat Fry, and the Venison Feed. With precedent already set, the Council approved last night's applications for the Wine Walk and Music on the River unanimously and with minimal discussion. It was an otherwise routine night of meetings for the city of Tomahawk... At the Health and Safety Committee, members had a brief conversation on the ~$8,000 Rainy Day Fund for the Downtown Fall Ride. That fund had been passed from the Tavern League to the VFW as those groups organized the downtown events in years past. The VFW proposed the city manage the funds going forward. The Committee ultimately determined that funds should be managed by whichever non-profit is organizing the downtown Fall Ride events, currently Tomahawk Main Street. The Committee voted against taking over the fund, leaving it with the organizers. The Finance Committee approved acquiring a tax delinquent property on East Somo Avenue from the county. That vacant structure will likely be demolished and sold to get it back on the tax roll. Two other properties will likely appear on the agenda in April. The Council only had a few other action items, approving new alcohol and tobacco licenses for three gas station/convenience stores that have recently undergone ownership changes.
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Oneida County Fair Plans March 19 Telethon; Searching for “Talent”
Published on 03/03/2021 under News The Oneida County Fair is known for their unique traditions, and their creativity will be on display later this month for a fundraising telethon. Fair Organizer Thomas Barnett recently announced plans for the event scheduled for March 19th. He also put out a call for talent individuals interested in taking part, as they are looking for musicians, poets, artists, jugglers, dancers and comedians. Last summer organizers made the decision to postpone the fair, instead hosting a number of events on their social media. This year they're hoping to return to a traditional fair July 29th through August 1st. For those looking to take part in the fundraising telethon, you can reach out to Barnett at or 715-420-1001. (Contact information included in online version of the story)
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DNR Begins Planning Spring Prescribed Burns
Published on 03/03/2021 under News Taking advantage of the current conditions, the Wisconsin DNR is starting their prescribed burn program. Fire management crews utilize prescribed burns to preserve and restore fire-dependent ecosystems in state-owned properties. These burns mimic the natural benefits fires have historically provided: a decrease in dead grass buildup; improved spaces for wildlife to feed, nest and raise young; and an increase in native grass and wildflower growth. Fires and burns have played a role in creating wetlands, prairies, oak/pine barrens and oak savannas. Starting this month and running through June, the DNR will design and conduct burns on state properties. Staff monitor factors including vegetation, conditions and weather forecasts; with decisions to burn evaluated up until the day of the planned burns. The DNR provides an interactive map of where prescribed burns are taking place.
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Nicolet Hosting Candidate Forum for Presidential Search
Published on 03/02/2021 under News The Nicolet College Board of Trustees is welcoming the public to participate in their search for the next president of the school. This includes a forum with a candidate this evening. Current president Richard Nelson previously announced he would be retiring this summer after serving in the position since 2015. After considering a variety of search strategies, the board decided to look at internal candidates first. Trustee Ryan Zietlow, who is serving as chair of the Presidential Transition Committee, said they were pleased with the direction of the current leadership team and wanted to maintain that continuity while also following the desire to promote from within whenever possible. From the internal candidate pool, the school received a single applicant, Kate Ferrell who serves as Nicolet Executive Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. She has been with the school since 2014, serving in several leadership positions. Prior to Nicolet, she was employed as an administrator and instructor at Mid-State Technical College. Coming up this evening, Ferrel will begin with a short presentation on her background and vision regarding Nicolet. This will be followed by question and answer segment. Tonight's event will be held virtually at 6pm. Additional information including log-in information is available on the Nicolet Presidential Transition webpage. There are a limited number of spaces available to attend in person and they ask these seats be reserved for those without access to reliable internet service.
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Fatal Weekend Snowmobile Crash in Iron County
Published on 03/02/2021 under News A snowmobiler died in a weekend crash in Iron County. According to the Iron County Sheriff's Office, that crash happened Saturday evening in the Town of Mercer. Responders were called to an area along Old Highway 51 at shortly before midnight. According to the investigation, the 50 year old man had been traveling south in a group when lost control and was thrown from the sled. The initial call indicated the man was unconscious, but breathing. By the time responders arrived on the scene, the man had stopped breathing. Further life-saving efforts were unsuccessful, and the man was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim's name was not immediately released. According to DNR data, this is the 11th fatal snowmobile crash in Wisconsin this riding season. It was the fifth in Iron County.
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Rhinelander Food Pantry Launches Annual “Spring Match Challenge”
Published on 03/02/2021 under News With the calendar now turned to March, the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry has launched one of their largest and most successful annual fundraisers. The Spring Match Challenge actually spun off from a previous national effort known as the Feinstein Challenge. Over the past few years, a local individual, who wishes to remain anonymous, has stepped forward to make a partial match for all donations and pledges received by the Rhinelander Food Pantry in March and April. Food Pantry Executive director Guy Hansen says, "Typically at this time of year donations are lower, but the need remains the same, so the annual Spring Challenge helps bring attention to the continuous needs of the Food Pantry." That is especially true this year, as the Food Pantry canceled their annual CANtastic collection effort due to Covid. Hansen says the match will include both monetary donations as well as food items values at $1 per item or pound. The Spring Match Challenge gets underway this week and runs through April 30.
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Forest County Health Lists No Active Covid Cases Monday
Published on 03/02/2021 under News In their daily Covid testing report, officials at the Forest County Health Department reported a notable milestone. With no additional positive tests and several people cleared from isolation, the Forest County Health Department, as of Monday afternoon, had no active cases. This is one of the first times since the pandemic expanded to the Northwoods that there has been no active cases in a county. Numbers have dropped across the Northwoods after a peaking in January, Lincoln County listed 23 active cases on Monday, Oneida County-55, Vilas County-80, and Langlade County-6. Despite lower case totals in recent weeks, health officials cautioned people not to let their guard down. There are asymptomatic carriers and the number of people being tested has also been slowing.
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Local Republicans Call for Additional Funding for Schools Offering In-person Instructions
Published on 03/02/2021 under News Several local legislators joined Republican calls for the Governor to send additional funding to schools holding in-person instruction. Representative Calvin Callahan of Tomahawk attended a press conference yesterday in Rothschild along with several other GOP lawmakers from central Wisconsin including Rep. Pat Snyder(R-Wausau), Rep. Donna Rozar(R-Marshfield) and local school administrators. In particular, $20.8 million is being requested to be directed to schools with in-person learning from the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funds. Callahan says, "Our rural school districts don't have the resources that larger districts, like Madison and Milwaukee do,yet under the Title I formula in the latest round of funding from the governor, they were provided significantly less funding per pupil than the larger districts." Rural districts have had to deal with in-person instruction challenges such as additional substitute teachers, frequent cleaning of classrooms, PPE costs, and expanding technology. Callahan said via news release, "We need to be putting our kids first. The CDC has already said it's safe for our students to return to school, so we need to prioritize in-person instruction and help our school districts that have been providing this since the beginning of the school year." In addition to the news release, Republican lawmakers also signed on to a letter to the Governor including Rep. Callahan, Representative Rob Swearingen, and State Senator Mary Felzkowski.
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