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Rhinelander Leader Bucks Governor to Fight for Local ControlSubmitted: 04/18/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Rhinelander Leader Bucks Governor to Fight for Local Control
RHINELANDER - Rhinelander requires its police officers and firefighters to live within 20 minutes of town.

That's to make sure they can respond quickly to a safety problem.

The city is one of more than 125 cities and villages in Wisconsin to have similar rules.

For example, Milwaukee requires all city employees and school teachers to live within city limits.

But Gov. Walker's budget bill would to prohibit cities and towns from enforcing so-called "residency rules".

One Rhinelander leader is fighting that legislation - city council member Alex Young.

"It's really an issue, as far as I'm concerned, of local control, and the city being allowed to make its own decisions. There's bipartisan opposition to this. There have been some Republican lawmakers that have been fairly vocal opposing this," says Young.

Walker has said he wants cities to hire people based on merit, not on where they live.

Young says that might work in dense urban areas, but creates problems in the rural Northwoods.

"If we aren't able to have employees that can respond fast, trying to call them in from another neighboring municipality is going to add some time and decrease public safety," he says.

If Walker's proposed law change passes, it would trump the local proposal by Young.

Whether the Governor's rule change will go into law should be decided by this summer.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/16/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll update you on a fire at Dolhun Field in Lake Tomahawk last night that required eight different fire departments and destroyed a storage hangar.

We talk to a council member of a Merrill church about their pastor who was seriously injured in a semi-truck/pickup truck accident on Highway 8 near Rhinelander Friday afternoon, and we'll update you on the pastor's condition.

And the Town of Presque Isle is now grooming their cross country ski trails that they hope will bring more people into town.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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VILAS COUNTY - All but 11 counties in Wisconsin filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies for contributing to the opioid crisis.

The lawsuit says certain companies use "deceptive marking" and have "created a false perception of the safety of opioids."

Vilas County is one of the 11 that hasn't joined yet. 

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MERRILL - Pastor James Weiland of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church remains in critical condition after a crash with a semi-truck on Friday afternoon, near Rhinelander.

After the crash, medics took Pastor Weiland in an ambulance and later flew him to Aspirus Hospital in Wausau, where he is now.

The Pastor's truck and the semi crashed a few miles west of Rhinelander on Highway 8. The semi-truck driver wasn't injured.

Weiland has lead the congregation at Christ Evangelical for more than 20 years and is a large part of the entire Northwoods community. 

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MERRILL - Lincoln County Sheriff Jeff Jaeger will retire.

Jaeger announced Thursday morning he will not run for re-election, and will step down at the end of this year.

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - A fire in Lake Tomahawk's Dolhun Field Monday night left a storage hangar destroyed. About eight different fire departments worked for hours to put out the flames.

Lake Tomahawk Fire Chief Doug Rehm says the department was called to the fire just before 8 p.m.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Oneida County loggers saw a spike in sales this past year.

Local loggers say that record came as a surprise.

Enterprise Forest Products owner Dennis Schoeneck has been logging for more than 40 years.

"I've been through a lot of ups and downs," said Schoeneck.

One of those downs happened to be last year.
"It rained. It rained so much. [There was] so much rain we couldn't get a break," said Schoeneck.

But to Dennis's surprise, Oneida County broke a two-year-old timber sales record in 2017.

"We're just trying to do the best we can," said Schoeneck.

Oneida County Forestry Director John Bilogan says the record was half a million dollars more than their average annual sales.

"We brought in $1,925,000 worth of timber revenue," said Bilogan.

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PHILLIPS - The Price County Sheriff's Office released the names of two snowmobilers killed in a crash over the weekend.

Garrett Peterson, 37, of Wausau and Adam Wolf, 33, of Spencer died when their snowmobile apparently crashed into the shoreline.  Their bodies were found on the southern end of Long Lake in the township of Elk.

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