Phelps

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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.

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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....."

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.

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. 

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.

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: 

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.