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NEWS STORIES

Oneida County Expects Sheriff's Office ChangesSubmitted: 01/23/2013

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RHINELANDER - Deputies think the Oneida County Sheriff's Office is operating smoothly.

But that doesn't mean they'll try to keep everything the same.

The man becoming the county's new sheriff is planning on making some changes to the department.

After more than 30 years on the force, Oneida County Sheriff Jeff Hoffman retired last month.

Within weeks, Lieutenant Jim Wood, who had been around for almost three decades, retired as well.

Chief Deputy John Sweeney worked with them for years.

"Jim had worked in all of the divisions our department has and had a big impact on the training. (There were) a lot of leadership qualities he retired with," says Sweeney. "Much like Jim, Jeff also had an opportunity to serve in a variety of our jobs, in different divisions."

Later this week, Grady Hartman will be sworn in as the new Sheriff.

He was picked by Governor Scott Walker for the job.

A Rhinelander native, Hartman has been with the Oneida County Sheriff's Office since 1999.

"About four or five years ago, I decided that I wanted to eventually become Sheriff of Oneida County, and I set my sights on that," says Hartman.

Veterans like Hartman, Sweeney, Hoffman, and Wood had worked together to lead the office.

That had put Oneida County in a stable place.

But now, two of them are gone and Hartman is running the department.

You can expect some changes with the new lineup.

"We have an organization of very qualified, very quality people. I think we appreciate change as an important part of that. I fully expect that Sheriff Hartman will take some time, review our operations, and I fully expect changes," says Sweeney.

Hartman will be officially sworn in on Friday.

We'll bring you coverage of the ceremony on Newswatch 12.

After that, we should learn even more about just what those changes in Oneida County will look like.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Summer temperatures impact local toy salesSubmitted: 07/25/2014

RHINELANDER AND MINOCQUA - Summer gets us outside playing games on the lake or in the yard, but with cooler temperatures this year, trips to the lake may not be as popular.

That impacts certain businesses in a good way. Imaginuity toys stores in Minocqua and Rhinelander have noticed a difference in the toys they've sold this summer.

"We're definitely getting a lot more traffic with the cooler temperatures. A lot more people in the door, which we're loving. We are seeing a lot more people buying more project based items. They're buying a lot of the active play but not so much the water active," said Jessica Hatch, Store Manager.

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Garden tour Saturday to raise money for hospiceSubmitted: 07/25/2014

RHINELANDER - You can learn how to improve your garden while also supporting a Northwoods hospice provider.

The Master Gardeners of the North and Ministry Hospice will host a garden tour Saturday, July 26th. People will get to tour six gardens in Rhinelander's historic courthouse neighborhood.

Organizers hope the event will raise at least $2,000. That money will go to patients who are unable to pay for their services.

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Wisconsin leads nation in producing mink peltsSubmitted: 07/25/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin leads the nation in the production of mink pelts.

Some of those pelts come from the northwoods, with mink farms in the Tomahawk and Irma areas.

The state accounted for one in three U.S. pelts last year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Wisconsin produced 1.13 million mink pelts last year.

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Briefs piling up in gay marriage rulings appealsSubmitted: 07/24/2014

INDIANAPOLIS - At least 20 friend of the court briefs have been filed in appeals of rulings overturning gay marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin, including one by a group of churches and another by 10 states' attorneys general.

The brief filed by the attorneys general argues that society should decide whether same-sex marriage is acceptable, not the courts.

Another brief filed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and groups representing four other churches argues that marriage between a man and a woman is God's will.

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Wausau business man will spend 11 years in prison for fraud in 5 countiesSubmitted: 07/24/2014

NORTHWOODS - A former Wausau business man will spend 11 years in prison for defrauding more than a million dollars from homeowners and investors.

54-year-old Jay Fischer was found guilty of felonies of racketeering, theft, and fraud. He committed mortgage fraud through his Marathon County business Valley Title. He embezzled about $1million by failing to pay off old mortgages after homeowners got new ones. He did this to people in 5 counties including Vilas, Marathon, and Wood.

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Possible threat to potatoesSubmitted: 07/24/2014

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LANGLADE COUNTY - Farmers in Central Wisconsin need to keep a close eye on their potatoes.

Agricultural leaders from UW-Extension received a report of late blight from a farm in Portage County. Late blight is a disease that can kill potato and tomato crops.

The blight was found last week near Stevens Point, and leaders are worried about it spreading into Langlade County. Late blight can spread out several miles though the wind and the water. Agriculture experts in Langlade say there are certain things that you can do to protect your crops.

"Go out and scout them, look at them, we would like you to also spray protectants," says UW-Extension Agriculture Agent Stephanie Plaster. "Home gardeners should be spraying a copper or chlorothalonil-based spray. There are also organic copper sprays available for folks that would like to remain organic."

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Program focuses on possible climate change in the Northwoods Submitted: 07/24/2014

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NORTHWOODS - A warming climate could challenge many of the plants and animals that live in the Northwoods.

People in Boulder Junction learned about some of those risks at the Community Center Thursday night.

The speaker says even though we've had harsh winters these past two years, the lack of ice in the long term could impact fish, evaporation rate and skiing.

"Winter's kind of the limiting factor of the Northwoods. So when you reduce winter, those species that are adapted to being here in this kind of winter, they're going to move further north and actually follow where the winter is because, it's hard to believe, but a lot of species can't live in warmer temperatures," said Naturalist John Bates.

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