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NEWS STORIES

Rhinelander ready for Kemp Street sewer project, some homeowners wishing for more noticeSubmitted: 05/20/2013
Story By Lane Kimble


RHINELANDER - It often feels like there are two seasons in Wisconsin: Winter and Construction.

Drivers in Rhinelander will head into summer with a brand new construction-related headache to deal with on a major roadway.

"We're hopeful, and we'll work our best to get it to where we want it to be," city engineer Tim Kingman said.

Rhinelander city leaders think that's the mindset to take when it comes to a major construction project on busy Kemp Street. Smaller portions of the project will start in early June. That's on Bruner St. and Boyce Drive.

But drivers, get ready. When sewer work starts in the first few weeks of June on Kemp Street, you won't be going anywhere on it.

"When Kemp Street shuts down their work efforts will be focused on that street so it will be shut down for the shortest period of time possible," Kingman said. "Provided good weather and favorable conditions, we'd like to see the street open in three to four months."

Only home and business owners will have access to properties on Kemp Street once the project starts in mid-June. Other drivers will have to go around before the bridge on Sutliff Avenue or Oneida Avenue. The city says it will be well-marked.

Geremiah Young lives on Bruner Street - one of the several roads that will shut down during construction. He understands the 50-year-old sewer needs to be replaced, but he wishes the city had done a better job of notifying people.

"Give everybody letters that just inform them, 'Hey, we've got guys coming, we're going to tear up the street, just to let you know.,'" Young said.

They're walking across my lawn, marking up my yard, which I don't have a problem with, as long as they would have notified me."

City Engineer Tim Kingman thinks the city's done its part.

"We've gone out and had informational meetings and people have attended these things," Kingman said. "We're hopeful we've provided a good understanding to the general public about why and how we're doing this."

The how and why are set, now we'll only have to wait less than two weeks for work to start. Young thinks, despite the lack of communication, the city will handle the $6.3 million project just fine.

"If they learn from their mistakes and if they take care of everything they should, I don't have a problem with it," Young said.

The city plans to update progress on a regular basis. Info will be available online and via an email mailing list. To add your name to that list, please call the Public Works Department at 715-362-2728.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/28/2015

- Railroads across Wisconsin could start fining people who walk along railroad tracks. It's an effort to save lives after one of the most deadly years in the state's travel history. Eight people died in train-involved deaths in 2014. Newswatch 12's Karolina Buczek went to the Tomahawk Railway to find out why there are so many accidents and what can be done to stop them.

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- And find out about the "Snow Days Sweepstakes" put on by the Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce.

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

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Prep your trees this winterSubmitted: 01/28/2015

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Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced the plans for the trail in 2012, and just this week, the trail got its name. It will be called the Iron Belle Trail.

The Michigan DNR held a three-week trail naming contest this past fall. It got nearly 9,000 entries.

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Rhinelander's Chamber of Commerce is running the Snow Day Sweepstakes. Executive Director of Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce, Dana DeMet, said the chamber hopes the sweepstakes will offer another way for people to enjoy winter in the Northwoods. It could also help people stay excited about getting more snow this time of year.

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WASHINGTON, DC - The director of the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Tomah says he had already taken steps to address reports of overmedication of patients before federal officials announced a review of prescription practices at the Wisconsin facility.

Tomah VA director Mario DeSanctis says his staff began looking into the unusually high rate of opiate prescriptions in 2012. In an interview with the La Crosse Tribune (http://bit.ly/1BxJtoY ) this week, DeSanctis says steps to institute solutions to the problem have already been taken.

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TOMAHAWK - Railroads across Wisconsin have started fining people who walk along railroad tracks. The policy changed in an effort to save lives after one of the most deadly years in the state's travel history.

Eight people died in train-involved deaths in 2014, six more than in 2013. And 2015 already saw its first train-related death when a Milwaukee man was hit and killed on January 2.

Railroad experts say many accidents happen because trains can't stop fast enough.

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