RHINELANDER - Yesterday, you might have had to go without email, Facebook, and even worse -- wjfw.com!
That's because a Frontier Communications fiber optic line was cut.
It happened in Merrill, where a Wisconsin Public Service crew was working.
The outage affected around 8,000 people. For most of us, it was just an annoyance.
But what about vital services, like police, fire and ambulance?
The Oneida County Sheriff's Office normally relies on Frontier.
IT Services Director Lynn Grube says the outage caused a few problems.
Police couldn't communicate with the sheriff's office software. Instead, they had to do manual data entry.
Deputies had to use their radios to talk to dispatch, and dispatch had to run license checks through Lincoln County.
"Inconvenient for sure. But these guys are professionals, they have these procedures in place," Grube said. "So that kind of ensures safety, knowing there's a fall back in place in case there's a malfunction like this."
The outage caused problems for other county departments, too. But Grube says law enforcement had the most trouble.
"Always, because of safety, we want to make sure they have the tools they need to do their job," Grube said. "So they're always our primary concern whenever there's a computer malfunction. So were they impacted the most? I would say yes, because they use a lot of computers in their day-to-day work."
Grube says this is the third internet outage she's experienced in her 23 years with the county.
Service to the sheriff's department went down around 11:30 a.m., and was back up by 6:30 p.m.
BOULDER JUNCTION - Pilots find very little room for error when they make a landing. Wings, flaps, and landing gear all need to work properly. Then there's the runway itself, which needs to be flat and smooth.
So, when pilots found ruts and divots torn into the grass runway at Boulder Junction's airport, folks were more than upset, they were worried about safe landings. Airfield president Jeff Long thinks someone used a pickup truck to do the damage. It happened right before the airfield's busiest weekend of the year, the Musky Day fly-in.
"To see somebody disregard that, disrespect that, and then again the safety, where somebody could get hurt that we're inviting up here for summer fun, doesn't make you feel very good," Long said.
RHINELANDER - The City of Rhinelander and Oneida County will consider borrowing $15 million to help develop a manufacturer in Rhinelander, according to an Oneida County Economic Development Corporation release Tuesday.
The money would help Rhinelander Coated Products start work inside the former Printpack building on Kemp Street.
EAGLE RIVER - Cities across the Northwoods drop tens of thousands of dollars every winter on crack sealing roads. The Eagle River Airport is no different. The airport spent about $25,000 in 2016 patching up its main runway.
Arguably, that runway is even older than most roads people drive on. The runway was last redone in 1971. On a busy day, the 5,000-foot runway hosts upwards of 80 takeoffs and landings. Airport manager Rob Hom showed Newswatch 12 a number of places where the pavement is buckling and cracked. That can lead to dangerous landings for small planes.
"Relative to a car or a truck [a prop-powered airplane is] pretty light relatively speaking, so having a smooth runway is imperative," Hom said.
KNOWLTON - When you think of Wisconsin, you probably think of the Packers, dairy, and beer. One of the quintessential things that make this state great is its cheese, and you'll find no shortage of that in north central Wisconsin. The largest family-owned cheese factory is right in our own backyard, and it continues to push its limits in the industry
For Bill Mullins, the cheese business is all in the family.
"My other two brothers are in the business," said Bill, Co-Owner of Mullins Cheese. "My brother has four boys in the business full-time. My mom did accounting for us until she was 88."
THREE LAKES - Pollinators play an essential role in the growth of plants, and it's not just bees that help pollinate.
Butterflies, bats, and even mosquitoes are pollinators, but those populations have been in decline in recent years.
"Across the U.S., pollinators have been seeing big declines," said Oneida County Conservationist Michele Sadauskas. "We've been hearing more and more about our honeybee pollinations. The monarch populations have had dramatic decreases. So we're seeing it across the board."
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