The first K-12 digital Fab Lab in Wisconsin was honored Wednesday by the Department of Public Instruction.

The Three Lakes Schools project was one of seven awarded by State Superintendent Tony Evers as part of the 'Standing Up For Rural Wisconsin' program. The project provides 3D modeling and 3D printing technology and is said to be a way to bring a new type of manufacturing to a rural area. Evers says the K-12 aspect of FAB LAB is rare and received deep community support...

Republican State Senator Tom Tiffany says says he does not support proposed legislation that would restrict school districts choosing when to hold a referendum.

Speaking Wednesday before the Rhinelander Area Retired Educators Association, Tiffany was asked about a bill by Senator Duey Strobel which would only allow school funding referendums to be held during general elections and no sooner than two years apart...

Dean S. Acheson photo

Jerry Mestek of St. Germain waves to students as they give a standing ovation to the 200 veterans spouses entering Lakeland Union High School fieldhouse in Minocqua for the Veteran's Day program Wednesday. Escorting the 98-year-old U. S. Army veteran is Lori Schmitz, a staff member a the high school.

In contrast to some tough debate in past years, the Oneida County Board Tuesday breezed through approval of a $51 million dollar budget for 2016.

The budget is down 11 percent, or $6.5 million dollars from 2015. Department heads were asked to cut expenditures by 5 percent says Supervisor Ted Cushing, who chaired the Finance committee for several years...

"....I will say this budget, 2016, was the best, and I don't want anybody to misinterpret this term, best orchestrated that has ever come across in my opinion..." 


The Vilas County Board tabled a resolution which would have put a six month moratorium on all land division within areas regulated by shoreland zoning.

The state budget changed local regulation, allowing looser state codes, and taking away tougher county enforcement.

At Tuesday's meeting, Zoning committee chair Ken Anderson asked the resolution be withdrawn. He says they want to look at the subdivision ordinance, including the shoreland regulations, then take them to the public.

Last year he joined us on Veteran's Day and again this year WXPR News Director Ken Krall had a chance to talk to Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary John Scocos. Scocos says the need to help veterans is growing, and reflected on a recent federal decision to place a National Veterans Cemetery in the town of Cassian west of Rhinelander....

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare has taken issue with some statements made by some Republican presidential candidates.

Rhinelander voters will again decide next April whether to  add a half-cent on the dollar tax on certain tourist-related sales to help fund infrastructure.

Voters last April approved an advisory referendum on the Premier Resort Area Tax. The tax is authorized by the Wisconsin Legislature and is administered by the Department of Revenue.

City Attorney Carrie Miljevich says not all businesses are authorized to have the tax, just those businesses with tourist-related sales...

The city of Rhinelander is holding meetings to keep the public informed on next year's Streetscape project downtown.

The city will be redoing underground infrastructure in the downtown and then will be freshening the look on the main streets above ground.

Public Works Director Tim Kingman says last weeks meeting talked about the above ground additions...

".....these things relate to lighting, park benches, curbs and pavement. The things you see out on the top of the street...."

Oneida County Sheriff's Department

A Tomahawk woman has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for her role in the June, 2003 death of Kenneth Wells of Rhinelander.

Wells' body was found floating in the Wisconsin River and the cause of death at that time was not determined.

Earlier this year, 34 year old Latoya Wolf came forward to describe her role in the death, which led to charges against her and her ex-husband Shannon Wolf. Latoya Wolf told police Wells had allegedly been suffocated and dumped in the river, allegedly implicating Shannon Wolf in the death.

Last April, Rhinelander voters approved a half-cent on a dollar sales tax increase to be used strictly for road and infrastructure maintenance.

The Premier Resort Tax referendum was advisory. During the state budget cycle, the Joint Finance Committee said for Rhinelander to implement the tax, a binding referendum would need to be held. The city is moving toward another vote next April.

Governor Walker approved changes in regulating shoreland zoning as part of the budget bill.

Those changes caused an uproar in the lakes-heavy Northwoods as local units of government were forbidden from regulating beyond looser state rules, especially in prohibiting dividing lake lots.

U.S. Forest Service

Students at the Blackwell Job Corps facility in Forest county have applied some classroom studies to real world skills.

Officials say a 40-foot wide gazebo currently under construction near the student dormitories is a legacy that will be shared by classmates many years into the future.

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest spokesperson Hillary Markin says the building had several departments involved...

Forest County Sheriff's Dept.

A Crandon man has agreed to a plea bargain involving the death of a 15 year old and the injury of a 16 yar old near Crandon last year.

19 year old Austin Ginter entered a plea Tuesday to charges of homicide by negligent use of a motor vehicle and 2nd degree recklessly endangering safety. Charges of reckless homicide and other charges were dismissed but some will be considered at sentencing.

The crash happened July 13, 2014 when a vehicle Ginter was driving left Old 8 Road near Crandon and struck several trees. 15 year old Chance Harkus died in the crash.

The state has awarded nearly $195,000 to rehabilitate Runway 18/36 at Lakeland Noble F. Lee Airport in Arbor Vitae. DOT engineer Matt Messina says the runway needed repairs...

" was a microsurface project. Microsurface is a surface course that goes over the existing runway to seal it and protect the entire pavement...."

He says this provides a complete seal over the existing asphalt, preventing water damage and extending the life of the pavement...