NEWS STORIES

Minocqua Votes for More Parking, Raises for Chair & ClerkSubmitted: 04/18/2013

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MINOCQUA - Anyone who goes to Minocqua in the summer knows parking can be a hassle, especially during big events like Beef-a-rama and Crazy Days.

The town board wants to help alleviate that problem.

The board put in a $55,000 offer for a piece of property a block and a half from Oneida Street.

They want to put 20 parking spaces where a house and shed currently stand.

Development would put the total cost at $74,000.

Board chairman Mark Hartzheim thinks it will pay off.

"You don't want people to drive into your business district, not find a parking space, and decide it's not worth and go somewhere else," he said. "You want them to spend time in town."

The board asked the town to buy the property at tonight's annual financial meeting.

All five town members who attended voted yes, plus the 12 town officials who have to attend.

Also at that meeting, Tom Handrick asked his fellow Minocqua residents to increase the town chair and town clerk's salaries after their next election.

The positions aren't up for election until April 2015.

Whoever is elected will get a $2,500 raise.

That will put the clerk and chair's salaries at $44,500 each.

Handrick said the chair and clerk currently make less than the town's other 25 full-time employees.

"I believe the two positions I made a motion to raise are two of the most important positions in our town," Handrick said. "They deserve to be paid accordingly."

Politicians and public officials usually face public anger over raises.

But Handrick says the town had an opportunity to vote on this, but only five of its 5,000 year-round residents showed up.

"I'm very active in the community and always believed in the philosophy that if you don't vote, you shouldn't complain about anything," Handrick said.

Hartzheim has been the town chair for two years and hasn't had a raise before.

He does plan to run for re-election.

Story By: Lex Gray

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DNR prepares for trout stocking Submitted: 04/16/2014

MADISON - MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is working to stock 316,000 trout across the state ahead of inland fishing season opener next month.

More than 100,000 trout will be stocked in urban fishing waters, small lakes and ponds. The rest will go into waters where the habitat is marginal and there's no natural reproduction.

DNR officials say lingering ice cover on lakes is delaying some of the stocking, but they still expect to get all the fish in the water by the May 3 season opener.

A complete list of water bodies in line for fish is available on the DNR's website.

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Big bucks to expand nutrition, physical education in Wisconsin schools Submitted: 04/16/2014

WISCONSIN - Seven Wisconsin school districts have been awarded a total of $3.2 million in federal grants to help them expand their nutrition and physical-education programs.

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The largest grant is going to the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District, which will receive about $850,000. The Mukwonago Area School District and Pittsville School District will each get about $445,000.

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Rhinelander man who shot uncle pleads out, may avoid further punishmentSubmitted: 04/15/2014

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- A Rhinelander man admitted to shooting and injuring his uncle last August.

But now, he may get all charges dropped without further punishment.

Marcus Alsteens pleaded guilty to one felony charge Tuesday in Oneida County court.

In a deal, prosecutors dismissed three other charges, including attempted murder.

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Mark Bucki takes stand in murder trialSubmitted: 04/15/2014

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Mark Bucki is on trial for the murder of his wife Anita.

She disappeared about a year ago.

Anita Bucki's body was found a few weeks later in a Taylor County swamp.

She had been strangled and stabbed.

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Jaeger will become Minocqua's new police chiefSubmitted: 04/15/2014

MINOCQUA - Lt. David Jaeger will be Minocqua's new police chief.

Minocqua has been operating without an official police chief since last October.

That's when former chief Andy Gee resigned.

Earlier in the fall, the Town of Minocqua had reached a $100,000 settlement with Gee's former administrative assistant, Julie Mager.

That was after Gee accused Mager of yelling at him so loud it could be heard throughout the department.

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Bringing more art to the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 04/15/2014

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THREE LAKES - A local library wants to bring more art into a Northwoods community.

The Demmer Memorial Library is featuring M.C. Escher's artwork this week.

The exhibit is there to help the public celebrate national library week.

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Police dispatchers honored for workSubmitted: 04/15/2014

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RHINELANDER - Police dispatchers don't know what the day will look like when they get to work.

Oneida County dispatchers respond to everything from downed power lines, fires and domestic disputes.

Dispatchers from around the country are being honored this week. National Public Safety Telecommunicators week is being held April 13-19.

“It just depends on what comes in. You know some days can start out pretty mellow. And just like that, it can be all chaos,” says Oneida County dispatcher Mary Goeldner.

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