Zoning CommitteeTakes More Time on Helicopter Hangar Permit
Story By Lyndsey Stemm
WOODRUFF - People live in the Northwoods for the peace and quiet it provides. But some important services create plenty of noise. Services like the Ministry Spirit 2 helicopter, which needs a new home.
It's currently housed at the Rhinelander Airport, but the hangar is for sale. Ministry proposed moving it to the Howard Young Medical Center, but some people in Woodruff don't want it there.
Tonight the Oneida County Zoning Committee had an opportunity to decide whether they'd approve the move.
Ministry says housing the chopper at the hospital will help them reach the majority of their patients in the quickest amount of time.
Doctors from the hospital told committee members it would cut down on critical time for heart attack, major traumatic injury and stroke patients.
"If they have a life-threatening problem having the helicopter at Howard Young will offer them a better, higher level of care," says Ministry Medical Group President Stewart Watson.
"I've had a heart attack. When I have my next one I want to be able to call 911, say, 'I'm on my way over. Get it running'," says Woodruff resident Corky Sheppard.
But plenty of people who live nearby object. One reason is noise; but many say it goes way beyond that.
"Several things we as a board had asked for, or questions we had put to the Howard Young Ministry staff simply were not acknowledged or answered," says Woodruff Town Supervisor Judy Allen.
Woodruff residents were given the chance to speak to the committee. Some voiced support for the hangar location. Others said they didn't oppose the helicopter moving to Woodruff, but rather the use of the land for housing and maintaining it right on hospital property.
"The reason that we're here is a land use issue. We're just opposed to how it's going. We would like to see some compromise and some common sense," says Woodruff resident Todd Albano.
Other people also said they wanted a compromise on the location of the hangar in the Woodruff Area.
The committee decided to pay a visit to the proposed site before they'll make a decision on the conditional use permit.
WABENO - People went out to Wabeno this weekend for its first ever Art and Music Fest. Musicians performed in the band shell while local artists spread out to show their products.
There were food and drinks as well as workshops for people to learn more about art.
"This year we've had about 20 musicians performing on three stages," said Friends of Wabeno Chairperson Mary Beck. "And we've had maybe ten artists doing demonstrations, showing people what they can do and what they can buy."
The rain Sunday didn't stop people from having a good time. Volunteers hope to make this an annual event.
ARBOR VITAE - The Arbor Vitae Fire Department hosted its 39th Fireman's Picnic and Summerfest this weekend.
Thousands of people came out to benefit the fire department while having a good time. The fire department held the crowd favorite lawnmower races again this year.
They also had a volleyball tournament and games for kids. The fire chief says all the proceeds help the department pay for equipment.
"When we purchased our new fire truck, the fire department funded a good portion of the money, the fundraiser money, to help keep the tax dollars down so the tax payers didn't have to foot the whole bill for the truck," said Arbor Vitae Fire Department Chief Mike Van Meter. "And we also use it to buy turnout gear throughout the year, new air packs. Anything we can do to keep it off the tax roll."
ST. GERMAIN - The last day of Pig in the Pines wrapped up Saturday. People were able to watch the rib eating contest in the afternoon.
Newswatch 12 got to help judge ribs from this year's four rib vendors. One of the big events happened on the main stage Saturday evening.
"We have entertainment all day long," said St. Germain Chamber President Bruce Weber. "We have the Wise Guys on our main stage. We have Laura Ernst on the aerial platform here. She also does juggling. On our major stage, we have One Ping Only, and we also have Molly Hatchet, our lead act tonight."
WISCONSIN - Anyone who loves hunting and fishing will need to apply for a license. The deadline for some hunting and fishing licenses is August 1 at 11:59 p.m.
Hunters, trappers and spearers can go on the DNR website to apply.
"This is the time of year where not a lot of people are thinking about hunting, but that August 1 date is that date for applying for a bobcat, fisher or otter tag, sharp-tail grouse, or sturgeon spearing or fall turkey," said DNR Warden Supervisor David Walz.
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