Overnight Storms Bring Much Needed Rain; Numerous Power Outages Published on 08/03/2022 under News
Thunderstorms crossed the Northwoods overnight, bringing some much needed rain and leaving scattered power outages at day break.

Several rounds of storms crossed the Northwoods with a soaking rain, more than an inch in many locations. Here at the WJJQ studios, we've had approximately 1.5 inches over the past 24 hours. According to the most recent report from the US Drought Monitor, most of Northern Wisconsin had been classified as 'abnormally dry' which is the first step on their drought scale.

In addition to the rain, storms also brought lightning and gusty winds. That left many waking up without power on this Wednesday morning.

According to Wisconsin Public Service, more than 12,000 outages were reported at daybreak. While Forest and Oconto Counties were hardest hit, several thousand were left without power in the WJJQ listening area as well.

Crews have been making steady progress, cutting those numbers in half by mid-morning. In the 8am hour there were approximately 700 outages left in Lincoln County and 250 in Vilas County. Oneida County had just two dozen reported.

In Other News

Two Injured in Motorcycle/Deer Crash in Lincoln County
Published on 08/15/2022 under News Two people were injured in a motorcycle collision with a deer in Lincoln County this past week. According to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, the accident happened Wednesday on Tannery Road in the Town of Bradley. Two riders were on the bike at the time it struck the deer. The operator a 64 year old Merrill man was first transported to Aspirus Tomahawk Hospital and later airlifted to Aspirus Wausau Hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries. The passenger, a 62 year old Merrill woman, was transported to Aspirus Tomahawk Hospital for treatment of what was described as significant injuries to her head and leg. No further updates on their conditions were provided. Responders from multiple agencies provided assistance on the scene. Deputies were able to locate the deer which died in the collision. Dating back to early July, this is the third motorcycle/deer collision on Lincoln County roadways in six weeks.
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Plea Agreement in 2021 Oneida County Homicide Case Ahead of Trial
Published on 08/15/2022 under News Just days before an Oneida County homicide trial was set to begin, a plea deal was reached and the case settled. That last minute plea hearing was called on Friday afternoon. Christopher Terrell Anderson was facing a single count of 1st degree intentional homicide in the shooting death of Hannah Miller last summer. At Friday's hearing, the 31 year old pleaded guilty. Last June, Miller's body was discovered along side a rural road outside Rhinelander. She was shot multiple times. Miller and Anderson had formally been involved in a relationship and shared a child. Anderson was quickly identified as a person of interest in the case. He fled the area and was located nearly two months later in Illinois. Anderson's trial was originally set to begin today, and motions hearings continued as recently as last week. With a plea agreement now in place, a sentencing hearing was scheduled for August 23. The homicide charge carries mandatory life in prison. The sentencing will determine whether Anderson can extended supervision at some point during his incarceration.
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Thrilla on the Grilla Teams Dodge Rain Drops for Annual Cook-Off
Published on 08/15/2022 under News A little rain didn't stop a rib cook-off in downtown Tomahawk this weekend. The Tomahawk Lion's Club hosted their annual Thrilla on the Grilla rib competition on Saturday. The grill-masters competed to see who had the best ribs in town. While it was an overcast day with a continuous light rain, the teams made good use of tents to turn out hundreds of racks of mouthwatering ribs for the public to enjoy while also raising money for a good cause. Perhaps using their home-field advantage, it was the Tomahawk Main Street entry that swept the people's choice and the judge's awards. They beat out LP on both scorecards. Geiss Meats placed third from the judges, while the Symonds Family was third in the fan vote. In addition to the ribs, they also had a side category where Geiss Meats took first. Century 21 and LP followed in the category. Of course the event doubles as a fundraiser for the Tomahawk Lion's Club, and organizer Kevin Koth thanked all the teams and everyone who came out.
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Milwaukee City Council Votes to Explore New Youth Corrections Site
Published on 08/15/2022 under News Milwaukee city leaders gave their blessing for the state to further explore a potential new youth prison in the city, which would ultimately lead to the closure of Lincoln Hills. Early last week, Governor Evers announced a possible site for the juvenile correctional facility in Milwaukee. For years, officials have sought to move the incarcerated youth closer to their homes, families and support networks. That means a location in southern Wisconsin where a majority of the Lincoln Hills population comes from. A bipartisan bill was passed by state leaders earlier this year which would provide $42 million for a project. The resolution requires support from whichever local community the facility would be located. With a potential site identified on Clifton Avenue in Milwaukee, the Common Council called a special meeting Friday. At that meeting the Council voted 11-1 to continue planning at this site. There are still a number of steps in what is expected to be a lengthy process. That includes public hearings, zoning changes, and formal project approval at both the local and state level. Once a new facility has been built and youth relocated, Lincoln Hills is expected to be re-purposed as an adult correctional facility.
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Update: New Judge Appointed in Oneida County
Published on 08/15/2022 under News We have a bit more information on a new Oneida County judge appointed last week. As we told you Friday, Governor Evers announced the appointment of Mary Roth Burns to the bench in Oneida County. The appointment fills a vacancy created by the recent retirement of Judge Patrick O'Melia. Burns worked for the Wisconsin State Public Defender's Office from 2008 until August 2021. She then opened her own law practice in Rhinelander. According to the announcement, Burns also has extensive experience working with the Vilas County/Lac du Flambeau Healing to Wellness Court and has been working to implement a treatment court in Oneida County. Burns said she was honored to accept the appointment. She says, "I am committed to following Judge O'Melia's example by resolving cases fairly and efficiently, while treating all parties respectfully and maintaining public safety." With the appointment, Burns becomes the first female judge in the history of Oneida County. She'll serve the remainder of O'Melia's term scheduled to runs through July 31 of next year.
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Thrilla on the Grilla in Tomahawk this Weekend
Published on 08/12/2022 under News Downtown Tomahawk will become Ribtown this weekend as it's time once again for the Thrilla on the Grilla. The Tomahawk Lion's Club rib cook off returns after a several year absence. Last year, due to a lack of entries, the competition format was paused and organizers with some past teams simply prepared ribs for sale. The competition is back this year, with seven grill masters signed up to participate including some past winners. While it's a friendly competition, the contestants take their ribs seriously. Teams have been tweaking and perfecting their recipes for years. They'll typically be manning the grills hours before the event begins. Hundreds of slabs will be sauced and served tomorrow. In addition, a 'side competition' will select the best rib accompaniment. Over the years people have enjoyed loaded baked potato salad, macaroni and cheese, beans, and even deep fried cole slaw. The event serves as a Fundraiser for the Lion's Club. Thrilla on the Grilla is coming up Saturday from 11-3 on Tomahawk Main Street. Tickets are available for $25 while supplies last.
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Qualheim's Hosts Ribbon Cutting at Tomahawk Location, Fills Vacant Storefront
Published on 08/12/2022 under News A new hardware store opened it's doors in Tomahawk earlier this summer filling a storefront that has been empty for several years. Coming up this weekend Qualheim's True Value is celebrating their arrival in the community. When Shopko closed all of their stores in 2019, it left vacant storefronts in numerous communities across the region. While some buildings quickly filled, others sat empty for several years. That included here in Tomahawk, but that changed earlier this year when Qualheim's moved in. While they've already been open for business, officials hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony this morning. That kicks off a grand opening weekend and celebration. The family-run franchise operates two other True Value stores in Northern Wisconsin, their original location in Shawano and another in Park Falls.  Owner Willis Qualheim released a statement saying sharing his excitement in coming to Tomahawk. He says, "After looking for a location for quite a long time, we settled on Tomahawk and couldn't be happier with our decision. The Shopko store closing left a void in the community and we hope to fill that void..." The retail space is relatively new, built in 2013. The city also made significant investments in the business park, and officials were happy to see the space filled once again. In addition to this morning's ribbon cutting, they also have a weekend that includes sales, contests, and prizes.
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Rib Lake Celebrating Ice Age Trail Designation
Published on 08/12/2022 under News A Northwoods village is celebrating their recognition as an Ice Age Trail Community. For those unfamiliar, the 1,200 mile trail starts on the Minnesota border and ends near Green Bay. In between the trail snakes through 30 counties including Taylor, Lincoln and Langlade. Last month, with the Ice Age Trail Alliance announced that Rib Lake will receive designation as an Ice Age Trail Community. This program helps municipalities take advantage of their location along the trail as a economic and social engine. Rib Lake became the 16th designated community in the state. It's the second in our area, joining Antigo. Mike Wollmer, Executive Director/CEO of the Ice Age Trail Alliance says they were thrilled to welcome Rib Lake as the next Trail Community and 'says they look forward to increasing their impact on a local level.' Amy Lord is an Outreach and Education manager for the Alliance. She added, "Commitment to this program represents agreement to cross promote one another and build healthy and vibrant communities." Coming up this weekend, the community will host a designation celebration. Saturday's slate of events will include a ribbon cutting, trail talks, and a guided hike.
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WPS Reminds of Diggers Hotline on 8-11
Published on 08/12/2022 under News One call can make a difference. That was the message Wisconsin Public Service and other utility partners shared Thursday. Yesterday was August 11, or 8-11. That also serves as the phone number of Digger's Hotline. Public utility groups use the date as a reminder for homeowners to have their properties marked for any late summer or fall projects. Last year, WPS says their crews responded to nearly 60 incidents where underground lines were damaged because someone didn't call 811 before digging. They note that incidents like these can lead to service interruptions, costly repairs and serious injuries. Projects large and small should be marked from laying a patio to installing a mailbox. In addition to dialing 8-11 for the free service, you can also go online to schedule an appointment at www.diggershotline.com.
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Hwy 32 Detour Between Crandon and Three Lakes Starts Monday
Published on 08/12/2022 under News Earlier this summer construction crew began a major culvert replacement project on Highway 32 in Oneida and Forest Counties. As they progress on the work, they do have a detour starting next week. As crews work on the culvert at Scott Creek they'll close 32 between Crandon and Three Lakes. Traffic will be detoured via US 45 South to US 8 East to WIS 32 North. That detour is scheduled to run through August 30._____ This is part of a much larger project that includes 7 other culverts for which the road will remain open with single lane closures. Construction, with the exception of the culvert Julia Creek, is scheduled for completion in late October. Crews will be back next spring for the Julia Creek work.
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