NEWS STORIES

Oneida County Realizes Big Savings From Insurance, Retirement PlansSubmitted: 10/30/2012

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RHINELANDER - Budgets will go in front of county boards across the Northwoods over the next few weeks.

In Oneida County, the budget will reflect significant savings.

The county saved more than $550,000 last year because of changes to collective bargaining and retirement contributions.

Human Resources director Lisa Charbarneau says some of the changes to health care plans were minor - but the changes resulted in big savings.

"We increased the employees contribution level," Charbarneau said.

"The employees are paying an additional 3 percent towards that premium. We have seen good renewal numbers for 2013 and with some negotiating with our health insurance company and changes to deductibles we're hoping to hold that increase down to less than six percent."

She also said it gives local government a chance to look at multiple options.

"It does give us some more flexibility in order to look at those plan designs and that we can change them more often," Charbarneau said.

"With the contracts in place as they were, we used to have to bargain those changes with each individual union with the county. With if there's six, you could have six different health plans."

The county has also completed work on next year's budget.

It's now heading to the county board for possible amendments.

Charbarneau says this year's budget is even more promising.

"The final budget that is being submitted to the county board is actually below a zero percent tax levy increase," Charbarneau said.

"They've worked very hard to get it to that number. Certainly there can be additional amendments and changes made."

The county board will review the budget next month.

Story By: Matt Doyle

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 IN OTHER NEWS
364 days until Tax DaySubmitted: 04/16/2014

RHINELANDER - Many people probably won't think about filing tax returns for at least another 9 months.

But you should start planning now to make filing your tax returns easier next year.

The IRS expected about 12 million taxpayers to file for 6 month extensions.

To avoid that next year, you should gather the documents you'll need throughout the year.

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Meth bust in town of Pine LakeSubmitted: 04/16/2014

RHINELANDER - Police arrested four people in a meth bust near Rhinelander.

The Oneida County Sheriff’s Department says the bust went down yesterday in the town of Pine Lake.

Arrested were 38 year old Gerry Frederick, 55 year old Thomas Franz, 40 year old Scott Dumpprope and 46 year old Carrie Steinmetz.

Potential charges include conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house.

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Students could move to high school earlier Submitted: 04/16/2014

EAGLE RIVER - A Northwoods school district could move students to middle and high school earlier than usual.

The Northland Pines school district is considering moving 5th graders to the middle school.

They might also move 7th and 8th graders to the high school.

If passed, the plan would take place in two phases over the next two school years.

The first phase would move 5th graders from Land O' Lakes and St. Germain Elementary schools to Eagle River Elementary starting during the 2014-2015 school year.

The school hopes this would improve students' education.

5th graders at Land O' Lakes and St. Germain Elementary schools have one 5th grader teacher teaching all subjects.

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Northwoods landfill increases recyclingSubmitted: 04/16/2014

RHINELANDER - A landfill near Rhinelander saw more recycling last year.

The Oneida County Solid Waste Department had an increase in recycled materials in 2013.

People might be buying more because of an improving economy, but that's not the only reason for the increase.

The contracts from disposal companies also play a major role.

"The contract for the city of Rhinelander had come up and it was re-bid," said Oneida County Solid Waste Superintendent Brian Dutcher. "Northern Waste at the time was awarded that bid or that contract. All of the materials that they picked up for the city came out here."

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Meet Minocqua's newly appointed Chief of Police Submitted: 04/16/2014

MINOCQUA - The Minocqua police department could have a new police chief in early May. David Jeager has been the acting chief of police since October.

He will undergo a background check, drug screening, and psychological exam before he is named the current chief of police. He would be replacing former Police Chief Andy Gee. Jeager is excited about what the future may bring.

"I'm extremely excited," says Minocqua acting Police Chief David Jeager. "I believe that this department has great potential and we have a great group of people working for this department,” says Jeager.

“We have great officers, we have great dispatchers, we have great administration.I feel that we can really provide a service to this community that's second to none,” says Jeager.

Jeager has worked in law enforcement for more than 20 years. He's worked at the Minocqua Police Department for 6 years.

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Four arrested in meth lab drug bust Submitted: 04/16/2014

RHINELANDER - Police busted four people cooking meth in a Northwoods home Tuesday.

Oneida County Sheriff's Office say they found them in a home yesterday just northwest of Rhinelander.

Sheriffs deputies arrested Gerry Frederick, Thomas Franz, Scott Dumpprope and Carrie Steinmetz.

It happened on Trails End Road in the town of Pine Lake.

They found meth, weed and a meth lab in the house.

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House demolished to make way for new construction project Submitted: 04/16/2014

MINOCQUA - Imagine seeing the home you grew up in being torn down to make way for a construction project. That's exactly what happened to one family in Minocqua. Here's a look today as they began tearing down the house.
(Click the link to watch the video)

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