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High Speed Access Plan Gets Pushback
3:30 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Phelps Broadband Tower Goes to Referendum

The town of Phelps has little high-speed internet access outside of downtown.
Credit Bill Wilkinson / WXPR News

Voters in Phelps will have a referendum next spring on whether to go ahead with a plan for a new wireless internet tower.  

A town meeting vote narrowly defeated a proposal for buying a property slated for tower construction.  But a margin of just five votes prompted the town board this week to approve a referendum.

Phelps Town Chair Colin Snook says better high speed access would boost the economy. 

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New one at Highways 8 & 47
3:22 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

More Digital Boards For Rhinelander?

Digital billboard examples
Credit en.wikipedia.orgShare

Rhinelander  will soon have its second digital billboard but some on the city council think it could set a precedent.

The Laska brothers would like to open an auction house at the corner of Highways 8 and 47 on Rhinelander's west side at the site currently being used as a recycling center.

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Social Program Feels the Pinch
2:24 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Sequester Cuts Impacting Meals For Seniors

Diane Jacobson
Credit LinkedIn

Much was debated in Congress about mandatory across the board  budget cuts called sequestration. The impacts the federal sequester made in areas such as air traffic controllers and military bands were widely reported,  but the  cuts are having an impact on meals delivered to senior citizens.  

Ken Krall talks with Dianne Jacobson, the Director of the Oneida County Department on Aging about tough times for the Senior Nutrition Program.

Oneida County Department on Aging Director Dianne Jacobson. More information is available at the office in Rhinelander.

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Going Against the Grain
4:51 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Study Reveals Nuances of Aquatic Invasive Behavior

Invasive species like eurasian water milfoil can be a big problem.
Credit BerndH via Wikimedia Commons

We usually think of an invasive species as taking over its environment, at the expense its native counterparts.  

But a new study from the University of Wisconsin Madison’s Center for Limnology challenges that assumption.  It compiled survey data from a variety of studies on aquatic species, and finds that most of the time aquatic invasives keep a pretty low profile.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski sat down with Gretchen Hansen, lead author on the study.  

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Hoping for Tourism Dollars
4:34 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Wolf River Scenic Byway Plan Moves Forward

A proposed scenic byway would skirt parts of the Wolf River.
Credit Royalbroil via Wikimedia Commons

A plan for a Scenic Byway in Forest County is just one step away from becoming a reality.  

The Wolf River Heritage Corridor would follow Highway 55, north from Langlade to Nelma near Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. 

The more than one hundred mile route bisects the Mole Lake Sokaogon Chippewa Community.  It also includes a loop near Three Lakes. 

Forest County Economic Development Director Jim Schuessler says getting the scenic byway designation is a rigorous process. 

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Oneida County Treasurer's Report
4:33 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Tax Delinquencies Down, But Foreclosures Up

Oneida county foreclosures up
Credit commons.wikimedia.org

The mixed economic news reflects on figures given to the Oneida county board on delinquent taxes and foreclosures.

County Treasurer Kris Osterman said the number of tax delinquencies last year were down which usually shows people have enough money to pay their taxes. But other parts of her report showed tough times...

"....we had the same foreclosures this year as we had last year. We finished foreclosing on 24 properties which is a record ever since I've been here, we've never had that many properties...."

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Levy up 2.4%
4:18 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

OC Budget: Lots Of Debate, Cuts Mostly Restored

Credit en.wikimedia.org

  

 

As money gets tighter at the local level, governments are wrestling with balancing their budgets. The Oneida County Board passed a 2014 budget that saw an unexpected windfall give some space to reduce budget cuts.

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Heated exchange at meeting
7:55 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Rhinelander Council Ok's Mayor Meeting Pay

Mayor Dick Johns at Rhinelander Brewing event
Credit rhinelanderbrewery.com

The Rhinelander city council last night fixed a loophole regarding the mayor's pay. It got a little heated.

The mayor gets a thousand dollars a month, plus paid for committee meetings. But a loophole in the pay regimen found the mayor runs the city council meetings, but doesn't get paid for them.

Three of eight councilmembers voted not to allow the extra pay including Alex Young, saying other employees have been asked to sacrifice...

 

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Proposed Changes to DNR Review Process
3:57 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

High Capacity Wells Bill Moves to Senate

Some groups worry proposed rule changes could lead to an increase in high capacity wells.
Credit John Poyser

A bill changing the approval process for high capacity wells has passed a Senate committee.  Some environmental groups are up in arms.  

 The bill limits the DNR’s powers in reviewing commercial wells that pump over 100,000 gallons per day.  For example a property with a well on it could be sold without having to get a new well permit.  And applications not acted upon within 65 days would get approved by default. 

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Career Development Focus
3:46 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

High School Jobs Program Lands Grant

AT&T presented the $30,000 check to students and teachers at Rhinelander High School.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Rhinelander High School is getting a grant to fund a career training program.  

AT&T is donating $30,000 to fund the Jobs for America’s Graduates – or JAG—program. 

Regional JAG coordinator Sandy Sobek Leslie says it’s a national career development program, aimed especially at students who are at risk for not graduating.

“We try to integrate right into the school day, so the kids are in our classrooms as part of their curriculum that they’re already involved in. So we find our way into homerooms, or advisories.”

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