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NEWS STORIES

RPD Gets New SergeantSubmitted: 03/28/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


RHINELANDER - An undercover officer will go back to working out in the open in Rhinelander.

This week Chief Mike Steffes made Jake Simkins the new night shift sergeant for the Rhienalnder Police Department. He's been with the Department for five years. But he's been working strictly undercover with the North Central Drug Enforcement Group for the last few years.

"It's something I always wanted to do and I was able to have the opportunity to do it. But I'm looking forward to coming back and working with the officers here and being able to train some of the newer officers and work with the community as well and bring the experience that I have with the police department and the citizens of Rhinelander," says Simkins.

Simkins is also the newest member of the Oneida County SWAT team.

Chief Steffes says the department is in the final stages of hiring another officer. He expects to be fully staffed again by the end of April.

Another officer from RPD will be able to apply to take Sergeant Simkins' place with the NORDEG unit.



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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's search for a new city administrator got a little narrower - from nearly two dozen candidates to a handful. Rhinelander has been without a city administrator since the middle of May when Blain Oborn went to Lake Geneva.

The Rhinelander City Council held a meeting last night to go through a list of candidates. At the end of that meeting, they went front from having 22, down to a list of four.

"We have four candidates that we have coming in," said Rhinelander's Mayor Richard Johns. "And the candidates vary, one's from Eau Claire, Antigo, Kewaskum, and Stevens Point. We pretty much have a local area so-to-speak, rather than out of state."

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EAGLE RIVER - You may not notice the Northwoods trade school tucked along Highway 17 in Eagle River, but one national organization thinks it deserves more attention. 

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BOULDER JUNCTION - A Vilas County shooting range will get some financial aid thanks to the Wisconsin DNR.

The Boulder Junction Shooting Range got a grant for venue upgrades.

The range also got a grant last year.

It used the money to make its facilities handicap accessible.

Range officials say they will use this year's grant for additions.

Those include making the space more energy efficient.

"[The] money will be used for insulating the clubhouse," says Secretary of the Boulder Junction Shooting Range Pete Drahn. "It'll be used to remove doors and windows that we no longer need, and to replace a window with a more energy efficient window."

The range has gotten grants two years in a row, but it won't happen again next year.

"They've told everybody that received the grants this year that they'll start doing grants only every other year for someone who has received it," says Drahn. "So at the earliest, it would be the year after next."

The range's board members want to make the venue better for shooters, but they say they couldn't have done it without the grant's help.

"These are projects we probably wouldn't do for eons," says Drahn. "We don't receive any money from anybody except the users of the range. So we don't have a lot for our capital needs."

The range also plans to install a new fence to improve the facility's safety.

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