Small schools in rural Wisconsin have been in a budget pinch but the Department of Public Instruction has released more than $7 million to help schools meet the high cost of bussing. Several of the schools getting transportation money are in the Northwoods.

128 schools qualified for the aid says DPI spokesperson Tom McCarthy says the aid is directed for districts with above-average school transportation costs....

The city of Rhinelander has hired the firm that did a comprehensive study on Oneida County's employee compensation.

Monday, the city council hired Carlson-Dettman Consulting of Middleton to do a study for the city of Rhinelander. The firm consults for public, private, for profit and not-for-profit organizations.

Rhinelander Finance Chair Mark Pelletier asked the full council to approve the study, which it did. The council approved a $6,580 dollar figure for the study.

July 31 is the deadline to pay your real estate taxes or face a penalty and interest charge.

Oneida County Treasurer Kris Ostermann says pay them early...

"'ll want to have your taxes paid by July 31. We suggest mail early. We found much of our post office mail has been taking longer. We have to have the payments postmarked by July 31 and in our hands by August 5 or they would be considered delinquent...."


The public was asked last week to choose a new look for a soon-to-be-upgraded downtown Rhinelander intersection and the city council made a choice Monday night.

One person was seriously injured and state Highway 47 north of Rhinelander was closed for several hours Thursday afternoon after a three-vehicle crash.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Department reports a call came in shortly after 4 p.m. of a head-on crash on Highway 47 south of Fox Road in Lake Tomahawk, with one person trapped in a vehicle. A car driven by an unidentified woman was northbound when the vehicle crossed the centerline and struck a pickup truck head-on. The car then struck a trailer of a vehicle that was following the pickup.


The owner of a Lakeland area taxi service has made an offer to be emergency backup in case the Oneida-Vilas County Transit Commission buses are not available.

Matt Daily of DisCab Minocqua Taxi last month expressed concern to the Commission that the growing bus service started by the two county boards would adversely affect his customer base. The bus service is known as Northwoods Transit Connections. Daily said last month his business is growing, but said he was competing against a tax-funded service. He said last month the Lac du Flambeau bus service has cut into his business.

A change will need to take place in the plans for one of the main intersections under construction in downtown Rhinelander as part of the "Streetscape" project.

Your input is requested to reconfigure the current plans, but you have to act soon. City Administrator Kristina Aschenbrenner says the plans for the Brown and Davenport Street intersection need to be changed....

Trees Coming Down On Dr. Pink Drive

Jul 7, 2016
Dean S. Acheson photo

A rebid to remove trees for a Minocqua road project saved the town a bundle of cash. Minocqua supervisors Tuesday approved a bid of $12,500 by Foley Tree Service of Tomahawk to remove 20 trees along the road in advance of it being repaved. The only other new bid was by Custom Caretaking & Landscaping of Arbor Vitae for $16,500. The board also approved the $118,625 bid of Pitlik & Wick of Eagle River to repave Dr. Pink Drive. Their original bid include a subcontract bid of nearly $22,000 to remove those trees deemed too close to the pavement for safe snowplowing.

Earlier this week, Governor Scott Walker announced a new initiative called the Broadband Forward Community Certification Program. A state spokesperson says the program will help communities pave the way for improved broadband coverage.

Public Service Commission of Wisconsin spokesperson Elise Nelson says the program makes it easier for communities to get through the application process....

The group Forward Rhinelander is going out to meet the public as it continues to work toward growing Rhinelander in a positive way. The group formed 18 months ago with a mission to set a vision for the Rhinelander area over the next 20 years so that it stays a competitive, vibrant, and enjoyable place to live for all community members.

One of the co-organizers is Melinda Childs. She says they've held meetings with individuals and groups with a focus on positive assets within the city...

Deer, Coyotes On The Lakeland Runway Cause Problems

Jul 6, 2016

The Lakeland Airport has a problem that many Northwoods homeowners can relate to – how to keep deer off its property. But in the case of the Arbor Vitae airport, the consequences can be far deadlier than having flowers devoured.

Report Recommends Three New VC Deputies

Jul 6, 2016

A draft staffing report on the Vilas County Sheriff's department presented Thursday to the county law enforcement committee had 14 recommendations and called for an increase in deputies, cross training, changes in management communications, and changes in jail staff work hours.

The report, prepared by the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety, recommends adding three patrol deputies and two jail staff.


Lakeland area residents will have a chance to talk to a local UW-Extension agent about what they want to see here in the future.

Community, Natural Resources and Economic Development Educator Miles Alexander says he will be at the Minocqua Farmers Market Friday to hear from the public...

"...what are the best things? What do they want to perpetuate from the past? What has been grand and glorious that gives us clues about what we can build on to make a sustainable future? What are the things people don't want to lose as change continues to happen...."

The Town of Boulder Junction has joined a state program to help revitalize its downtown.

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation's Connect Communities Program recently told the town they were accepted into the program. Connect Communities Program is similar to the better-known Main Street program.

President of the Boulder Junction Community Foundation, Barbara Boston, says several volunteers organized a group and with the help of the town board were recently approved by the WEDC. Boston says some empty stores prompted the group to take action...

Winter Park Chalet Project Now at $3.3 million

Jul 5, 2016

The latest estimate to build a 17,000-square-foot chalet at Winter Park & Nordic Center in Minocqua pegs the cost at $3.3 million.

Chalet proponents hope to pay for it through donations and benefactors’ gifts. Melody Hamlin, an architect from Wausau office of Becher Hoppe Associates, presented the updated costs Tuesday, June 28 to a working group comprised of the Lakeland Ski Touring Foundation representatives, who oversee Winter Park operations, and Minocqua Public Works Director Mark Pertile.