Lincoln County Health Dept. Offering Daily Walk-In J&J Vaccines Published on 06/09/2021 under News In an effort to bolster covid vaccines in Lincoln County, the health department is now offering daily walk-in clinics.

As of Tuesday, the number of people who have received at least one dose of Covid vaccine in Lincoln County stands at 43.3%, while the number of people who have completed the vaccine series is 40%.

The Lincoln County Health Department recently announced that they will be accepting walk-in appointments at the Health Department Mondays through Thursdays each of the next two weeks. These walk-in clinics between 10am and 4pm will be Johnson and Johnson, which have the added convenience of a single dose.

This is in addition to the drive-thru Pfizer vaccines they offer each Thursday at the Merrill Festival Grounds. The drive-thru no longer requires an appointment.

When the vaccines were first made available, demand was high and waitlists and appointments were required. After the initial rush, the number of people seeking vaccines has slowed drastically over the past two months. After issuing more nearly 2,000 doses the first week of April, fewer than 300 were administered last week in Lincoln County.

In Other News

Train Derailment Near Merrill; Avoid Scene near Center Ave
Published on 06/16/2021 under News A train derailed in Merrill early Wednesday morning and officials are asking the public to avoid the area at this time. According to an update from the Merrill Police Department, that train derailed near the Center Avenue viaduct. Recovery and repair crews will be working throughout the day to clear the area.  The police department notes that it is an active scene and they don't need the added complication of onlookers whether by foot or vehicle. They also highlight the dangers when operations are underway. As a result, access to the Agra Pavilion parking area is currently blocked. No update was provided on what caused the derailment. No injuries were reported.
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Tomahawk Considering Police/Fire Needs Study Ahead of Kaphaem Road Property Decision
Published on 06/16/2021 under News A City of Tomahawk committee established to determine the future of a newly acquired building will take some additional time to determine the city's emergency services needs before moving forward. For years, the city has explored a potential new location for a new fire station. Back in January, the City acquired the former Lincoln Industries building from the County for a dollar. They envisioned the possibility of moving the fire station to the new location, with the potential for a larger public safety building as well. At their meeting last night, an ad-hoc committee, made up of 7 of the 9 council members, considered a proposal from Five Bugles design to conduct a feasibility study on the city's fire response needs at the current location and the potential for the new building. Last night's hour-long discussion revealed the council members had different ideas on what direction the city should take going forward. Ideas discussed at the meeting included retrofitting the existing building or building an entirely new building on the property for a fire station alone. Large scale options could include adding the police department to the building design or shuffling additional city properties and utilizing the Kaphaem Road land for additional city needs. With more questions than answers, the committee members determined that the study would provide important information on their options going forward. The study proposal, as presented last night, only involved the fire department. With the police department potentially included, the committee members requested Five Bugles bring back a new proposal which would incorporate police in the study. A representative on hand from Five Bugles said an updated proposal could be brought back in a few days for the committee to consider. If approved, the study would take 2-3 months to complete. Last night's meeting was just the second since the committee was established, and the first since January.
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Rep. Callahan Encourages Eligible Communities Apply for Recovery Funds
Published on 06/16/2021 under News Millions of dollars remain available to municipalities from covid relief funds, and one Northwoods legislator is reminding local officials in his district of the quickly approaching application deadline. The Local Government Recovery Funds come from the American Rescue Plan Act. They've been set aside to help support public health expenditures, negative economic impacts caused by the pandemic, replace lost public sector revenue, provide premium pay for essential workers, and invest in water, sewer, and broadband. Statewide, around 1,200 eligible municipalities have yet to file. That includes 39 municipalities in Representative Calvin Callahan's 35th assembly district. Callahan says, "This funding could have a huge impact on many communities in the 35th Assembly District." Those 39 municipalities could miss out on a combined $3.6 million. These outstanding funds ranged from $11,000 in the Town of Somo up to $800,000 for the City of Antigo. Callahan said in reaching out to those who hadn't applied, the main issue he's heard is that they weren't aware of the funding. He says, "I encourage any municipality in the district that has not yet applied, please do so as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact my office." The deadline for municipalities to apply is coming up on Friday.
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Rhinelander Chamber/Forward Rhinelander Seeking "Best of" Winners
Published on 06/16/2021 under News The Rhinelander Chamber and Forward Rhinelander are looking to find favorite places throughout the community. Earlier this month, the two groups brought back their Best of Rhinelander competition. They're asking community members and visitors to take part in a short survey to identify the "Best of..." in 32 different categories. They range from best trails and lakes to best fish fry and best location for a date. A few unique categories include hidden gems and best Instagram worthy photo location. Winners will be featured on the Chamber and Forward Rhinelander social media accounts. They'll also be recognized at the Chamber's Business After 5 event. The survey launched earlier this month and voting runs through next Monday. We'll include a link in the online version of the story.
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DNR: Wildfire Risk Remains High thru Much of State
Published on 06/16/2021 under News Despite last week's heavy rains, the state of Wisconsin remains dry and fire dangers are rising once again. Yesterday, the DNR sent out an announcement asking the public to remain vigilant and avoid burning due to high fire danger across large portions of the state. While moderate to severe drought conditions are showing up in southern and western Wisconsin, the fire danger encompasses nearly the entire state. Much of the Northwoods was listed in moderate fire danger as of Wednesday morning including Lincoln, Vilas, Oneida, Price, and Taylor Counties. According to their wildfire tracker, the DNR has already responded to two small wildfires this week in Lincoln and Oneida Counties. The state has seen an extended wildfire season in 2021. The DNR has responded to 765 wildfires which have burned more than 1,900 acres.
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Former Oneida County Corrections Officer Reaches Plea for Lewd Behavior
Published on 06/16/2021 under News A former Oneida County corrections officer accused of solicitation of a female inmate has reached a plea deal. Jacob Petitt was back in Oneida County Court yesterday for a plea and sentencing hearing. The 26 year old was originally charged with solicitation of prostitution and misconduct in public office. Petitt was arrested in January after investigators said he exchanged information about drug investigations for sexual favors. At yesterday's hearing, Petitt pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of lewd behavior. The misconduct in public office charge was dismissed, but considered during sentencing. According to sentencing records, Petitt was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine along with court costs. He will avoid any jail time.
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Hatchets Sports Recap - Monday
Published on 06/15/2021 under Sports SOFTBALL: The season for the Tomahawk Hatchets Softball Team came to end with a heartbreaking 8-7 loss in 11 innings to the Westfield Pioneers in the WIAA Tournament on Monday.  The Hatchets scored first with one run in the first inning, but Westfield took a 4-1 lead with 4 runs in the third inning. They added one more run to take a 5-1 lead to the bottom of the fifth inning. But the Hatchets stormed back with 4 runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game at 5. The game stayed tied and went to extra innings.  Maddie Marino (Tomahawk) and Trista Drew (Westfield) both pitched the entire game for their teams and kept the opposition scoreless until the 11th inning. Westfield scored 3 runs in the top of the 11th inning, and the Hatchets had work to do in the bottom of the 11th. The Hatchets were able to score 2 runs, but Maddie Marino flew out to centerfield with Scout Stromberg on second base to end the game. The Hatchets lost 8-7 and Westfield moves on in the WIAA Tournament.  TRACK AND FIELD: The Hatchets Girls and Boys Track and Field Teams competed in the WIAA Regional Meet in Medford on Monday. Many Hatchets qualified for the WIAA Sectional Meet on Thursday. See below. Girls Sectional Qualifiers: -2nd Rachael Reilly- 3200m run -3rd 4x800m relay- Morgan Hansmann, Kate Reilly, Rachael Reilly, Macey Mann -3rd 4x200m relay- Maddie McCormick, Autumn Peissig, Halle Derleth, Karlie Woodall -4th Ava Dragosh Pole Vault Boys Sectional Qualifiers:-1st Ethan Liebnitz Pole Vault -1st Noah Buckwalter 800m run -2nd Drew Bolder 1600m Run -2nd Drew Bolder 3200m run -2nd Alex Norman 800m run -4th Dakota Jelinek Long Jump
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Nicolet Named 'Promising Place to Work' by National Diversity Groups
Published on 06/15/2021 under News For the second consecutive year, Nicolet College has been named a 'Promising Places to Work' award winner by two national organizations that support diversity efforts by community colleges across the country. The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development partnered with Diverse: Issues in Higher Education to recognize Nicolet for its  "best-in-class student and staff recruitment and retention practices, inclusive learning and working environments, and meaningful community service and engagement opportunities." The school highlighted several recent efforts that contributed to the award including their 10 member diversity, equity and inclusion committee, interviewer bias training on hiring committees, and professional development workshops by indigenous presenters. They've been able to utilize a grant from the Lumina Foundation to build clearer pathways to degrees for adults, particularly those of color or Native America Learners. Nicolet also works with the Wisconsin Indian Education Association to implement 'The Many Ways of Knowing: American Indian Culture Competencies for Community College Career Pathways' 'project. Nicolet was the only college in Wisconsin and one of 16 across the country to receive the honor in the two most recent years.
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Update: Victims Identified in Fatal Brokaw Crash
Published on 06/15/2021 under News Officials have released the names of the two victims in a fatal crash this weekend in Brokaw. According to the Wisconsin State Patrol, that three vehicle collision happened Sunday afternoon on Highway 51 South. The initial investigation showed the first SUV rear-ended a second, sending that vehicle forward into a third SUV. The two backseat passengers in the middle vehicle sustained fatal injuries and were pronounced dead at the scene. Yesterday, the State Patrol identified the victims as 88 year old Ralph Rosenbecker and 99 year old Darlene Rosenbecker. Both are from Mukwonago. Between the three vehicles, there were five other occupants. None listed further injuries from the crash. The Wisconsin State Patrol and the Marathon County Sheriff's Office continue to investigate.
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Blood Donations Encouraged Ahead of Summer; Declining Inventory
Published on 06/15/2021 under News Officials are encouraging blood donations with a dwindling inventory ahead of their busiest season. On Monday, the American Red Cross highlighted a "severe blood shortage" on World Blood Donor Day, recognized yesterday. They note that hospitals are currently responding to an atypically high number of traumas and emergency room visits. And this year, they note that more patients are being treated at hospitals after deferring their care during the pandemic. This comes ahead of the summer, which is typically when blood donations are most in demand due to travel and other summer activities. Dr. Baia Lasky is medical director with the Red Cross. Lasky says, "As many people begin to enjoy travel and time with loved ones again this summer, patients are relying on the generosity of donors to help ensure they have access to the treatment they need." We routinely post local blood drives in the WJJQ Community Calendar including both the American Red Cross and Community Blood Center.
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