RHINELANDER - Underage drinkers could get slapped with an even bigger fine if state lawmakers pass a new bill.
People cited for underage drinking would have to pay $1,000 to the bar or liquor store they tried to buy from. That's in addition to the citation fees they already get from police.
Oneida County Tavern League Vice President Aaron Schultz owns Big Daddy's in Rhinelander.
He doesn't tolerate any underagers' attempts to drink at his bar.
"If you're going to come in and have a fake ID or you're not going to have a fake ID, you're not going to be able to get away with it," Schultz said. "It's not really a problem here at Big Daddy's. There have been bars in the past that were known for being underage hangouts. And you can have that business. I don't want that business. I want the responsible drinker."
Without this law, bar and liquor store owners only could take the fake ID and wait for police to issue a citation.
The businesses themselves could also face fines and citations for serving those underagers in the first place.
Now, owners think they could have some teeth to fight back. Schultz can't see much of a downside to approving the bill.
"You know, except for the underage drinker who's trying to get away with it," Schultz said. "Ok, now you got caught and now we're going to sue you for a thousand bucks and win. Sorry about your luck, too bad so sad, but you shouldn't have tried in the first place."
The bill unanimously passed a committee vote Tuesday. It will likely go before the assembly later this month.
RHINELANDER - A snow storm caught Hanson's Garden Village in Rhinelander off guard last weekend and collapsed a greenhouse. Now that spring weather is here, Hanson's is ready to move forward by making some adjustments. "We got by for 25 years doing what we were doing," said Hanson's Garden Village Co-owner Brent Hanson. Last weekend's spring snow storm set back Hanson's. "We thought we were ahead of schedule having that greenhouse nice and filled," said Hanson's Manager Beth Hanson.
"One bad storm and there you go. Things happen," said Brent. The storm collapsed a greenhouse holding thousands of plants. "For years we've gotten by with these lighter cheaper green houses," said Brent. "We'll be down a greenhouse for a little bit here," said Beth. Now Hanson's will only use sturdier and solid greenhouses so that collapses don't become a pattern.
RHINELANDER - Oneida County needs more foster care homes. Right now, there are nine licensed foster homes in the area, most of which are full according to the county's social services department.
Foster Care Coordinator Rachel Nelson says that in Oneida County there are 24 children currently living in foster homes. The department participated in a statewide foster care recruitment project last fall, and discovered just how great the need is.
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