Vilas County

Less Money Makes For Tough Choices On VC Roads

Jun 22, 2016
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Staff cutbacks combined with a reduction in road work, budgets, and what level of service should be provided on 200 miles of Vilas County highways was discussed by the county highway committee Tuesday.

Highway Commissioner Nick Scholtes said due to staff shortages mowing and crack sealing has been put off, only three miles of new pavement will be done this year, and the county could lose some discretionary state funds for work of state highways.

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A Phelps woman has been found dead on a trail in Phelps and the Vilas County Sheriff's Department is calling the death 'suspicious'.

Sheriff Joe Fath reports a 9-1-1 caller reported finding the body on a trail behind apartments in Phelps. The body was identified at 47 year old Luann Beckman. She was last seen riding her bicycle Sunday afternoon about 4;30 p.m. Fath says state experts were called in to examine the scene and report a suspicious death.

Fath says the Sheriff's office, Coroner, District Attorney and Wisconsin Department of Justice are investigating.

Vilas County Tourism and Publicity

Travelers and others using mobile media devices will note a new Vilas County tourism website that has been redesigned with a number of new features.

Vilas County Director of Tourism and Publicity Cindy Burzinski says to stay in front of changing traveler needs, they wanted a new tourism website...

".....we found out that in the past year, over 50 percent of users to our site were using mobile devices. In order to make visitors at the website an impressive experience, we upgraded it to mobile-friendly and make it more eye catching...."

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A limited number of Oneida county state-funded snowmobile trails will open for the season this Saturday morning.

Officials say several trails will remain closed until further notice, including all Three Lakes trails, all Hodag/Rhinelander area trails, portions of the Willow region,and portions of the Minocqua Forest Riders Area. All lake trails in Oneida County remain closed and will stay that way until a local snowmobile club marks the lake trail as safe. Trails remain in rough condition. Vilas county trails opened this week.

Remember that old MasterCard commercial, asserting that that value of some things are priceless? What about clean water? Emily Bright brings us a new Vilas County study that puts an economic value on its surface water—and it might be higher than you think.

"Are you really going out today?"

"Oh, yeah. I surf all winter in New York so, it’s all good."

Wisconsin DNR

 

The Vilas County Board voted Tuesday to allow ATVs to ride on defined sections of county trunk highways as part of a larger ATV route that spans Eagle River, Conover, Lincoln, and Phelps. ATVs will be allowed to run on the road where signage permits, but they must stay as far to the side as practicable. There is no set date for when those signs will go up, though ATV riders are hopeful that they can start this spring.

Meanwhile, Vilas, Forest and Oneida counties could be joining forces to provide public transportation to some of its residents.

Two Fatal Accidents Claim Lives in Vilas County

Jan 12, 2015

A 34-year-old Pewaukee man was killed in a snowmobile accident Saturday in Plum Lake Township --off of Birch Spring Road near Sayner.

Vilas County investigators say Jason Ringle fell off a snowmobile and was struck by another snowmobile in his group.

It was the first snowmobile-related death recorded in Wisconsin this year.  

The accident remains under investigation by Vilas County authorities and the DNR.

Wisconsin recorded three snowmobile-related deaths in December.  

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A program to develop the next generation of leaders in Vilas county is looking for candidates.
Since it's inception in 2003, Vilas Vision has graduated more than 100 candidates. It is a cooperative arrangement between Vilas County UW-Extension and the Lac du Flambeau band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

UW-Extension agent Chris Stark says the program hopes to help people build a better future for themselves and the community...

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Vilas County is likely to see ATVs on some stretches of county property.

The Vilas county board voted 14-5 last night to approve an ordinance which will allow the town of Phelps to use a section of County Highway A to extend town ATV trails.  The decision effectively overturns a 2004 referendum vote in which a majority wanted no county ATV trails, as well as a subsequent county board resolution banning ATVs on county properties and roads.

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A Vilas County Circuit Court judge laid out the case last week that the county board should lobby for a second judgeship there.

At the county board meeting, Judge Neal Nielsen said though a core of the balanced government between legislative, administrative and judicial, the entire court system in Wisconsin takes up a small percentage of the state tax dollar…

“that figure is astonishingly low. Most people wouldn’t recognize it. As I said, that’s 85 cents of every 100 dollars of state tax revenue goes to the courts…”

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The Vilas county board voted 15-4 last night to amend the county's land use plan to allow motorized trails on county land and roads. The vote is a victory for those seeking to overturn a 2004 referendum vote where a majority wanted no county ATV trails and a subsequent county board resolution banning ATV's on county properties and roads.

A woman and child have been hospitalized after nearly drowning in Star Lake in Vilas County Tuesday. 

Shortly before one o’clock Tuesday, the Vilas County Sheriff’s office received a 911 call reporting two adult women were trying to rescue three children swimming in Star Lake. 

The women apparently rescued two of the children without incident, but when rescuing the third child, one of the women went under the water, along with the child.  A family friend arrived on a boat to pull them out of the water. 

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A Presque Isle resident  has called upon others to help stop a possible change in Vilas county ATV policy.

In 2004, voters in Vilas county passed  by a 63 to 37 percent margin an advisory referendum not to allow ATV's on county roads and property. The county board followed up with a resolution affirming the advisory referendum.

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Vilas County says a new silent sports trail map is getting a warm reception.

The map released last month combines details of more than 60 paddling, hiking, biking and ski trails in the county.    

Cindy Burzinski, Director of Vilas County Tourism and Publicity, says in the first two weeks that the map was available, they distributed 5000 copies. 

en.wikipedia.org Ian McKenzie

A state economist says Vilas county reflects changing demographics in the north. Those demographic changes could reflect a big change in the workforce.

Scott Hodek says if you look at Vilas county's demographics, in 2010, about 25 percent of the workforce was over 65 years old and likely retired....

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