Oneida County's Board of Supervisors Vote Against State's Budget Cut
Story By Ryan Abney
ONEIDA COUNTY - In a tourist driven economy---our lakes might be the Northwood's most valuable resource. Wisconsin's Conservation fund helps the area protect its waterways.
But this year--the state budget cut the same fund by over a million dollars. Oneida County's Board of Supervisors has voted to send the state a resolution.
They're asking to restore the old 9.3-million dollar budget. Conservationist Jean Hansen knows what's at stake if the right steps aren't taken.
"We have a concentration of lakes that are really unique to the country. Not only to tourism but to the local people as well and if we didn't have the clean water, that would affect a lot of things. That would trickle down to the lake itself."
Conservation Chair Tom Rudolph was in favor of the board's resolution. Some people think protecting the waterways is a personal responsibility. But he thinks such a big issue takes a group effort.
"It's imperative that we protect the common good. And the lakes for example are part of the natural resources that belong to all of us, and we need to look at it from that stand point."
The final vote came out to be 14-5 in favor of the resolution.
PHILLIPS - The Price County Sheriff's Office wants to find out what it needs to do to get a K-9 officer. Sheriff Brian Schmidt believes a new dog would improve the office's ability to find drugs.
The county doesn't have its own K-9 officer. However, they do turn to other departments for help.
"What we would utilize is surrounding counties, and it is at their discretion," Schmidt said. "Like Rhinelander, we utilize their dog on occasion, maybe once or twice a year. But again, it is their dog, so they have their needs come first. So if we have our own equipment, our needs are met with our equipment."
WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling received a record number of phone calls to the helpline in 2014â€"14,731 to be exact. This is a 5.6 percent increase from calls received in 2013.
Some of the callers reported having to file for bankruptcy or having thoughts of suicide. The report from the Council also calculated $47,000 as the average gambling debt of callers in 2014, and $20,000 as the median debt.
VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County finally got what it wanted. For fifteen years, the county had needed someone to act as a full-time Recreational Officer--someone to monitor public safety on the snowmobile and ATV trails as well as the lakes and rivers. Now, Vilas County Deputy Sheriff Randy Schneider will fill that role.
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