One Injured, Residents Displaced in Minocqua Apartment Fire Published on 01/23/2023 under News
One person was injured and several others displaced following a fire at an apartment building in Minocqua over the weekend.

According to the Minocqua Fire Department, crews were dispatched to a fire at the Coach House Apartments on Oneida Street on Saturday evening at around 9pm.

While residents were able to safely evacuate prior to firefighters arrival, one person sustained undisclosed injuries. No update was provided. The American Red Cross is providing assistance in temporary shelter for the residents of the 10 unit complex.

Nearly a dozen agencies provided mutual support during the response, crews were on the scene for approximately 4 hours.

The cause of fire remains under investigation, but officials say it does not appear suspicious.

In Other News

Fatal Snowmobile/Vehicle Collision in Oneida County; 2nd Fatal Northwoods Snowmobile Crash in 2 Weeks
Published on 01/27/2023 under News One person is dead following a crash involving a snowmobile and a vehicle in Oneida County. According to the Sheriff's Office, that crash happened Thursday evening just north of Rhinelander. Responders were paged to Hwy 47 near Bridge Road in the town of Newbold. The initial investigation shows a group of snowmobiles were crossing Highway 47 traveling from east to west. The last snowmobile in the group to cross was struck by a southbound vehicle on Highway 47. The Sheriff's Office says the 57 year old operator of that snowmobile was pronounced dead at the scene. That individual's name has not been released. The vehicle driver was treated for minor injuries on the scene. Highway 47 was detoured for several hours last night. The crash remains under investigation. _____ Man Dies in Injuries Sustained in Vilas County Snowmobile Crash on Jan. 17 This is actually the second snowmobile related death in the Northwoods this week. According to the DNR's snowmobile incident report, a 68 year old Vilas County man died over the weekend as a result of injuries sustained in a crash last Tuesday. The accident summary says the man struck a tree on private property. Statewide, there have been 4 fatal snowmobile crashes in January and 6 this riding season.
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Northwoods Snowmobile Tour Raises Funds for Multiple Sclerosis; 40th Year
Published on 01/27/2023 under News A group of snowmobilers are hitting trails in the Northwoods this weekend for a good cause. Lac du Flambeau is playing host to the 40th annual Northwoods MS Snowmobile tour in support of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. In a typical year, some 200 riders take part, raising around $350,000 each year. In fact, over the previous 39 events, organizers say the MS Snowmobile Tour has raised nearly $10 million. Those funds go to a number of causes related to multiple sclerosis including research into a cure as well as in supporting those who have been diagnosed. Approximately 11,000 Wisconsinites are living with MS. Rob Multerer is president of the Wisconsin Chapter of the National MS Society. He says, "This event captures the spirit and culture of our state as we aim to help make the lives of people living with MS, here in Wisconsin, a little better." He added, "Each year, we are awe-inspired by the dedication and support from our participants and the trails they blaze in the fight against MS." The ride kicked off yesterday and will continue through Saturday. To get involved, learn more, or donate, you can visit their website.
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Road Crews Improve Salt Efficiency through Brine or Pre-Wetting Road Salts
Published on 01/27/2023 under News Throughout Wisconsin Salt Awareness Week, we've been sharing information and tips to help use road salt more effectively. Much of that information was focused on the damage excess salt can cause to infrastructure and the environment. But using salt more efficiently can also help save tax dollars. One method some road crews use to ensure more salt stays on the road is through the use of liquid brine. This is a mixture of salt and water that can be applied directly on road surfaces. The Department of Transportation recently shared some statistics on the cost savings through using brine, which more than doubles the amount of roads that can be treated. They say that $1,000 worth of granular or traditional road salts will clear approximately 80 lane miles of road. However when that same amount is mixed into liquid brine, it can clear 209 lane miles. They estimate that Wisconsin's state highway plow operations helped to save the state 236 million pounds of salt last winter through salt management and liquid de-icing strategies. A report released this spring by UW-Madison and the Traffic Operations and Safety Lab found liquid brine also works faster and provides better friction. That was based on a 10 county study. In addition to liquid brines, various road crews are experimenting with other salt delivery methods such as pre-wetting salt which studies have found allows granular salt to better stick to roads.
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Antigo Man Receives 10 Year Federal Prison Sentence for Child Pornography
Published on 01/27/2023 under News An Antigo man found guilty of possessing child pornography was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. The US Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin announced the sentencing of Kelly M. Schultz early this week. The 45 year old pleaded guilty in August. The charge was the result of an investigation in 2017. Investigators learned Schultz was posing as a teen girl online in attempt to get a teen boy to send sexually explicit images. A subsequent search of Schultz's home turned up numerous images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. In addition to the 10 years of prison, Schultz was also sentenced to 20 years of supervised release. According to the sentencing announcement, Judge James Peterson based the lengthy sentence on Schultz's previous pattern of offenses against children, which included a previous conviction for sexual assault.
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Update: DoT Accepting Feedback on Proposed Hwy 51 Project in Minocqua
Published on 01/27/2023 under News Update: The Department of Transportation continues to plan future projects here in the Northwoods. On Thursday, officials from the DoT held an informational meeting on a Highway 51 project in downtown Minocqua. That project is currently on the construction calendar for 2026. The proposed work zone runs from the Minocqua Bridge, north to Front Street on both directions of the one-way streets. According to the DoT's description, the purpose of the project is to maintain concrete pavement joints. They also hope to address some of the pedestrian curb ramps, and spot repair sidewalk, curb and gutter. The construction is planned for the spring of 2026. A busy summer tourism stretch, the plan to complete southbound 51 work prior to Memorial Day and the entire project by mid June. During construction, the roadway will be open under staged single lane closure. Interested parties can review the project plan on the DoT's website. They are accepting feedback through February 16. _____ The DoT is holding a public involvement meeting to discuss proposed options for US 51 between the Minocqua Lake bridge and Front Street in Minocqua, Oneida County. The meeting is scheduled for this evening, from 4 to 6 pm, in the Torpy Room at the Minocqua Town Hall located at 415 Menominee St, Minocqua. A brief presentation is scheduled to begin at 4 pm followed by an open house where citizens can ask questions. Information can also be found on the project website. Construction is set to begin in 2026.
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Marshfield Clinic Research Study Shows Increase in Household Flu Transmission Post-Pandemic
Published on 01/26/2023 under News A recent Marshfield Clinic Research Institute Study found the household spread of flu following the pandemic was double the previous years. The CDC published the study this week based on research from partners including Marshfiled Clinic. They looked at household flu transmission in the two flu seasons prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021-22 flu season. They found that 50% of household contacts with a flu patient became sick, compared to 20% in those years prior. Potential reasons theorized in the study include a drop in flu antibodies due to lower levels of flu transmission during the pandemic; a drop in people receiving their annual flu shot, particularly among children; and a change in social interaction patterns with people spending more time at their homes. The study involved households in four states including Wisconsin.
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Tomahawk School District Hosting Public Meeting on Social and Emotional Learning Review
Published on 01/26/2023 under News The Tomahawk School District periodically reviews aspects of their curriculum. Coming up this evening, the Tomahawk School District will be hosting a public meeting to begin the process on Social and Emotional Learning. We were recently joined by Wendy Simonis, the district Director of Pupil Services, to discuss S-E-L. She referred to Social and Emotional Learning curriculum as 'soft skills;' those that also allow students to become successful members of the community. Examples she provided include areas like communication and interpersonal relationships. The lessons are age-appropriate, sometime stand-alone or incorporated into other lessons. Simonis again shared examples such as sharing for students at a young age to communication and interview skills for older students. SEL falls into the district's strategic plan under their 'Whole Student' pillar. As part of the review, the district will feature community involvement starting with tonight's informational meeting. District Staff will provide a brief introduction to SEL, as well as present information on timeline and process of the review. They hope to incorporate parents, staff, school board members, and community members moving forward. For those that would like to learn more, the meeting will be at 5:30pm in the district auditorium. You can hear that entire conversation with Wendy in the WJJQ audio center.
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Salt Awareness Week: Using Road Salt Wisely at Home
Published on 01/26/2023 under News Throughout the week, various partners have been working together to reduce the amount of salt being used on roadways through more effective usage. As we've previously covered, it's Wisconsin Salt Awareness week. The effort is led by Wisconsin Salt Wise with other collaborators including the DNR, the DoT, and county and municipal road crews. The DNR has highlighted the impacts that excess salt has on the environment, specifically waterways. The DoT has emphasized the corrosion of roads, bridges, and even vehicles. Residents can do their part at home by using salt on driveways and sidewalks more efficiently. As part of their outreach, the DNR has provided a few tips for home use. First, before reaching for the salt, shovel as much snow off the surface as possible. They note that the more snow removed, the less salt will be needed and the more effective it will be. It's also important to scatter the salt allowing space between the granules. The DNR says a 12-ounce coffee mug of salt should be enough to treat a 20 foot driveway or around 10 sidewalk squares. Finally read the instructions on the salt bag. Road salts lose effectiveness as the temperature drops and typically stop working when the pavement dips below 15 degrees. In these instances sand is better for traction, though some types of ice melt may be formulated for use at lower temperatures. You can visit WiSaltWise.com for more information, tips, and educational videos throughout the week.
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DNR Schedules Online Listening Session for Wolf Management Plan
Published on 01/26/2023 under News As part of their public review and comment period on the State's Wolf Management plan, the DNR has scheduled a virtual public listening session early next month. The online hearing will take place on February 7. According to the announcement, the DNR staff will give a brief overview of the plan, and the public comment period will immediately follow. Staff do not plan to address any of the public comments during the meeting, but they will be included into the review process. Those wishing to provide comment must register and participate via Zoom. Those who simply wish to view can watch via the DNR's YouTube Channel. Back in November, the DNR released their first new wolf management plan in almost 25 years. It's posted on the DNR website. The DNR initially planned to take comments through January 10, but extended the deadline through the end of February. That includes the February 7 virtual hearing.
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Local Groups Share $34,000 from Rondele Ranch Christmas Wonderland
Published on 01/26/2023 under News A number of local clubs and organizations are benefiting from their volunteer work over the holiday season. Throughout the month of December, Rondele Ranch in Harshaw was lit up with festive Christmas displays, viewed by thousands of visitors. To help make Christmas Wonderland work, they invite local groups to pitch in during the nine dates for viewing. Earlier this week, those groups were rewarded as Rondele Ranch and their staff presented more than $34,000 to those groups. With the grounds located between Tomahawk, Rhinelander and Minocqua, the groups from all three communities were represented. For the Tomahawk-based organizations: Redeemer Church received $5,000 while Tomahawk High School FCCLA club received $2,000. The Oneida/Vilas County Salvation Army was the biggest beneficiary, receiving $20,000. Other local recipients include: the Rhinelander Band $2,500; Oneida County Humane Society-$2,000; Dragon Warrior Boats-$1,500; Lakeland Youth Hockey-$750; and Lakeland Basketball-$500.
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