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Highway 51 Construction Has Minocqua Community UpsetSubmitted: 02/25/2013
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.


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SUGAR CAMP - Update Feb. 17, 2017 10:20 p.m. -- The woman who runs an Oneida County animal rescue could face animal mistreatment charges.

Oneida County Deputies booked Stephanie Schneider on Thursday. She is due in court on Feb. 27.

Last week, deputies removed 39 dogs from Schneider's "It Matters to One" in Sugar Camp and put them at the Oneida County Humane Society.

Police are recommending charges to the district attorney, which include failing to provide food and water, mistreating animals, and obstructing officers.

People who know Schneider say they can't believe this is happening.

"I'm just heartsick about this, and I'm sick at heart for her," said LynnAnn Thomas, a Sugar Camp resident who says she's friends with Stephanie Schneider.

"Those are her children. She would never, ever , ever mistreat them," Thomas said.

But that's exactly what police believe Schneider did. Last week they removed the dogs from the facility after a weeks-long investigation that was prompted by complaints and concerns from several people.

"People that had worked or volunteered there were concerned about the conditions that the dogs were in and the fact that they were not receiving food or water," said Oneida County Sheriff's Capt. Terri Hook.

Those accusations baffle Thomas.

"I been over there several times, it's always been meticulously clean, happy dogs," Thomas said.

Thomas believes whatever condition the dogs were in, they came to Schneider that way.

"She does get some really, really, really desperate cases, and I imagine that they take a long time to heal," Thomas said.

Thomas added she got her own dog from It Matters To One a few years ago.

"I got my little Hankey, he came in in really bad shape, and she wouldn't let me have him until he was nursed back to health," Thomas said.

Since the dogs were removed, It Matters to One posted certificates of veterinary inspections on its
Facebook page for most of the 39 dogs. The Sheriff's Office has seen those and is including them in its investigation, which is ongoing and may not end soon.

"Just to ensure that all the dogs are healed and make sure they've received all the care they need," Hook said.

Newswatch 12 has reached out to It Matters to One and has been communicating with the rescue via email.

The state Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection is helping the sheriff's office with its investigation and will decide if the rescue can keep its license.

Newswatch 12 also reached out to the veterinarian who conducted the inspections for the rescue, but has not yet heard back.




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