Phelps Chamber of Commerce

For one Vilas county community it's an opportunity to put a spark into the economy during what is traditionally a slow time for visitors.

The 7th annual Phelps Maple Syrup Fest is set for Saturday.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Celeste Hendrickson says the event helps the community..... 

Parents Pass Petition Calling For Removal Of Phelps Superintendent

Dec 4, 2017

Three parents of students in the Phelps School District are circulating petitions calling for the removal of the superintendent.  They are challenging Doctor Delnice Hill's leadership. 

The trouble started last summer when Hill's son, Kevin Hill, pawned two laptops belonging to the district for 450 dollars.  He was director of technology for the system at the time.  The parents say that money was turned over to the school only after Hill was confronted and his mother told police the district didn't want to pursue charges. 

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Two persons were injured Friday morning(1/6/17) after an explosion at a foundry in Phelps.

Officials say the explosion was at Phelps Cast, operated by Berntsen Brass and Aluminum Foundry based in Madison. Reports at the scene say a furnace exploded. A worker near the furnace was injured in the blast.

Vilas County Sheriff Joe Fath says that worker...a 31 year old man from Eagle River... was taken by helicopter to the burn unit of a Madison hospital.

Autopsy Shows Beckman Strangled

Dec 16, 2016
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The autopsy report has been released for Luann Beckman, 47, of Phelps found dead last May 17 according to Vilas County Sheriff Joe Fath.

"The official autopsy report says that Beckman died of asphixyia due to ligature strangulation and smothering," Fath said. "In other words there was an item or items around her neck that led to her death."

The Sheriff's department continues to work the case and has involved the FBI and state forensic experts and have talked to about 15 persons.

Authorities Sift Through Evidence In Phelps Death

Jun 1, 2016

The apparent homicide investigation of Luann Beckman, 47, of Phelps, continues with authorities waiting for autopsy and laboratory reports on evidence collected.

According to Vilas County coroner Paul Tirpe, while there is a preliminary cause of death, no information will be released until all tissue samples have been analyzed.

“I expect the process will take at least six weeks,” Tirpe said when contacted.

Meanwhile, Vilas County Sheriff Joe Fath indicated the investigation by his department is proceeding.

In 2004, Vilas county voters said they did not want the county to allow ATV trails on county lands and forests. Two years ago, the town of Phelps approved an ordinance allowing the ATV's on town roads, but needed approval by Vilas county to use county road "A", a key route. The county board rejected Phelps' request then.  Recently the town board approved a similar request as the one two years ago and again forwarded it to Vilas county.

One of two Vilas county committees has approved the town's request and sent it onto the other.

The Phelps town board has asked Vilas county for one more chance to open town and county roads to ATV's.

The board recently approved an ordinance allowing ATV traffic for a two-year trial period. The ordinance would need the approval of the Vilas county board.

Phelps town chair Colin Snook says the ordinance is largely the same proposal that the county board rejected two years ago.

"...basically what we're looking to do is make some connections as proposed to get us out on(county)_"A" and hookup with other trails in connecting counties....."

New Trail In the Works Near Phelps, Conover

Nov 19, 2013

A biking and walking trail planned between Phelps and Conover is getting a financial boost.  Great Headwaters Trails has gotten 90-thousand dollars to begin work on a 5 mile section between Phelps and Conover.  Half of that is coming from the DNR.  It’s being matched by money from state snowmobiling funds and Great Headwaters Trails. 

But Great Headwaters Trails President Jeff Curry says trail construction is still not fully funded.

Phelps Broadband Tower Goes to Referendum

Nov 13, 2013
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. 

Scarecrows Descend on Phelps Festival

Sep 16, 2013
Jessica Samuelson / WXPR News

The town of Phelps hosted its annual Scarecrow Fest over the weekend.  

In addition to a pumpkin tossing and hayrides, the event featured dozens of scarecrows, each with its own personality.  WXPR contributor Jessica Samuelson brings us some sounds of the festival.

Seney Natural History Association

A conversation with writer and storyteller Bill Jamerson, who will be performing in the Northwoods this weekend with a show about the Civillian Conservation Corps. 

WXPR Contributor Bill Wilkinson gave him a call to find out more about the colorful history of the CCC in northern Wisconsin.

Hear more of our conversation with Bill Jamerson:

Jamerson will perform his show “Dollar a Day Boys” at the Phelps Historical Museum Open House: Sunday September 1st in downtown Phelps.

Phelps "Phestival" Earns JEM Grant

Jul 2, 2013
Bill Wilkinson / WXPR News

The state Department of Tourism is lending a hand to a local event this summer.  

The Joint Effort Marketing program has awarded more than two thousand dollars to the Phelps Phly in and Pholk Music Phestival. 

Event organizer Bill Wilkinson is a contributor to WXPR News.  He spoke with Sarah Klavas from the Department of Tourism.  Klavas explains that grant readers are always looking for things that set a grant apart…and in this case it was the unusual spelling of the title of the Pholk Phestival…which does not use any “F”s: 

Nursing Facility Officially Opens New Location

Jun 18, 2013
Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

A new assisted living center has opened in Rhinelander.  The Rennes Health and Rehab Center held a ribbon cutting ceremony today.

A few dozen staff members, community leaders and patients gathered at the new nursing facility to celebrate its opening.  But the Rennes Health and Rehab Center has actually been taking care of patients since March 1st.  That’s when the group closed its location in Phelps and moved 33 patients to the new Rhinelander facility.