Highway 51 Construction Has Minocqua Community Upset
Story By Shardaa Gray
MINOCQUA - Plans for a new highway in Minocqua have been in affect for a while now.
The Department of transportation is hoping that highway 51 will have some new changes that will affect the community in a positive way.
"When we're done we'll have all new pavement. A lot safer. We'll have bicycles facilities on the road and bicycle facilities off the road," said DOT Project Development Supevisor, Robin Stafford.
"We've put sidewalks on both sides so pedestrians will be easier getting up and down the highway. There will be a lot of benefits to the new project."
But Minocqua business owners don't see it that way.
"Being as if there's really only one main artery from south going through the Northwoods in this area and it's right out here in our front door, it's really going to have a negative impact." said Kurts Island Sports Shop Owner, Kurt Justice.
In fact some owners think the process and the finished product will take away some of their profits.
But the DOT seems to be locked in.
"Unfortunately with such a big project like this you can't really appease to everyone," Stafford said.
"And so there is some people up there who aren't happy, but again overall I think the community and the traveling public will be very happy with the product when it's done."
Even though it has been set in stone for Minocqua, residents are hoping DOT will take their opinions into consideration.
"The Minocqua project is scheduled to start this spring and we're hoping that the DOT still has room for modification and changes based on some of the discussions that we had at town hall last Friday." said 34th District Assembly Representative Rob Swearingen.
Now projects in other towns such as Arbor Vitae, Hazelhurst and Woodruff have not been finalized.
Swearingen suggests that if you want to voice your opinions on the project, you should contact your town board and chairman.
WABENO - People went out to Wabeno this weekend for its first ever Art and Music Fest. Musicians performed in the band shell while local artists spread out to show their products.
There were food and drinks as well as workshops for people to learn more about art.
"This year we've had about 20 musicians performing on three stages," said Friends of Wabeno Chairperson Mary Beck. "And we've had maybe ten artists doing demonstrations, showing people what they can do and what they can buy."
The rain Sunday didn't stop people from having a good time. Volunteers hope to make this an annual event.
ARBOR VITAE - The Arbor Vitae Fire Department hosted its 39th Fireman's Picnic and Summerfest this weekend.
Thousands of people came out to benefit the fire department while having a good time. The fire department held the crowd favorite lawnmower races again this year.
They also had a volleyball tournament and games for kids. The fire chief says all the proceeds help the department pay for equipment.
"When we purchased our new fire truck, the fire department funded a good portion of the money, the fundraiser money, to help keep the tax dollars down so the tax payers didn't have to foot the whole bill for the truck," said Arbor Vitae Fire Department Chief Mike Van Meter. "And we also use it to buy turnout gear throughout the year, new air packs. Anything we can do to keep it off the tax roll."
ST. GERMAIN - The last day of Pig in the Pines wrapped up Saturday. People were able to watch the rib eating contest in the afternoon.
Newswatch 12 got to help judge ribs from this year's four rib vendors. One of the big events happened on the main stage Saturday evening.
"We have entertainment all day long," said St. Germain Chamber President Bruce Weber. "We have the Wise Guys on our main stage. We have Laura Ernst on the aerial platform here. She also does juggling. On our major stage, we have One Ping Only, and we also have Molly Hatchet, our lead act tonight."
WISCONSIN - Anyone who loves hunting and fishing will need to apply for a license. The deadline for some hunting and fishing licenses is August 1 at 11:59 p.m.
Hunters, trappers and spearers can go on the DNR website to apply.
"This is the time of year where not a lot of people are thinking about hunting, but that August 1 date is that date for applying for a bobcat, fisher or otter tag, sharp-tail grouse, or sturgeon spearing or fall turkey," said DNR Warden Supervisor David Walz.
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