ANTIGO - The city of Antigo doesn't want to run an ambulance service anymore. It's just too expensive. Instead, the city's new hospital may take over.
"We have a great ambulance service now and that's our biggest concern here is being able to maintain that... As with a lot of people our problem is financial," said City of Antigo's Mayor, Bill Brandt.
Each year it costs around 2 million dollars to run the ambulance service for Antigo and 10 surrounding townships.
About half of that is paid by the city and county through taxes... The other half is paid by the user fees.
The challenge is, those costs keep rising.
"It's a very costly service because the costs go up every year. Ambulances get more expensive, supply costs go up, gas prices rise in terms of transportation, so prices rise every year," said Dave Schneider, Executive Director of Langlade Hospital.
Schneider says, if no other provider steps forward, the hospital could take over service. They would be able to provide the same level of care without additional cost to taxpayers.
If the hospital does take over service the city of Antigo has a lot of changes to consider, including the future of the fire department. Right now the fire department runs the ambulance service, if the hospital takes over, they would become a volunteer fire department.
RHINELANDER - Cracked concrete, twisted rebar, and overgrown trees and bushes don't paint the most ideal picture for a park. But a Rhinelander alderman sees the perfect chance for a peaceful place to enjoy nature.
Alderman Alex Young hopes to turn an old snow dumping dock site into a "pocket park." The site sits where Norway Street runs into the Wisconsin River behind Ripco Credit Union and the DNR Service Center building.
RHINELANDER - People lived through detours, dust, and demolition throughout most of 2016 in downtown Rhinelander. Residents won't see that kind of work in 2017, but the city is planning more closures and road work to finish up the Streetscape Project.
Crews will start with the Davenport Street Bridge shutting down for a month in starting April 17. Public Works Director Tim Kingman says some sections of concrete, sidewalk, and asphalt pavement shifted, settled and cracked over the winter.
WAUSAU - A contractor fell from a ladder and died at the construction site of the new Hilton Garden Inn in Wausau last week. Now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death.
Marathon County Sheriff's Captain Dale Wisnewski said Shane J. Cash, 45, of Wisconsin Rapids was drilling holes in the ceiling on Thursday when he fell from his ladder and died on scene.
TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk High School sporting events got an attendance boost this winter. At the same time, local charities benefited from the community's generosity.
The school's Varsity Club sponsored six nights of special events, one for each winter sport. The Varsity Club gave out T-shirts printed with team rosters. Meanwhile, fans brought donations for local charities.
"Each kid would walk in and they'd put on their T-shirt," said Varsity Club member Jackie Elliott. "When we got our student section going, they were all together, and you just had this block of white. It was awesome."
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