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Kemp Street construction pushed back to July 8Submitted: 06/18/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


RHINELANDER - Independence Day always brings a flood of visitors to the Northwoods.

Closing one of Rhinelander's major streets could create a big headache.

But we learned today that major construction on Kemp Street won't start until after July 4th.

The city and contractors decided today to start the Kemp Street part of their sewer project during the week of July 8th.

"Kemp Street will be closed for about three to four months as sewer progresses up through town on Moen Street, Park Street, behind Trig's Oneida Mall complex, up to Davenport Street," said Water & Wastewater Superintendent Tim Kingman.

The city started with construction on Bruner Street.

Workers have used a lot of patience to dig and replace sewers so far.

"One thing that people don't realize about the construction of the sewer is there's a great deal of water underground," Kingman said. "If you don't remove that water, work becomes really problematic."

People in Rhinelander have an easy option to stay updated on the construction.

The city's website has a link with current and planned road closures.

It also shares what each project is looking to accomplish.

Related Weblinks:
Construction Updates

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Just over a week ago more than 10 different agencies rushed out to rural western Oneida County for a man threatening to blow up his house.

When crews got there, 60-year-old Kenneth Welsh was sitting on his porch with a long gun, for three hours he held police up in a standoff.

Last week he was charged with attempted first degree homicide among other felonies.

Welsh appeared in court Friday to hear the judge's decision if there's enough evidence in the case against him to move forward.

Ultimately Judge Michael Bloom did decide to move it forward, but not without hearing testimony.

Welsh didn't waive his preliminary hearing because his public defender said there was information she wanted to get on the record.

"He has a right to a preliminary hearing and this is a very serious charge and I wasn't going to waive that," said Welsh's public defender Mary Roth Burns.

For instance, Roth Burns asked Detective Sergeant Chad Wanta, who testified, about Welsh's medical condition during the standoff, since he had been shot in the shoulder. She also asked about Welsh's wife, Mary Butler, who changed her story multiple times. In the criminal complaint, Butler made inconsistent statements about Welsh was drinking and if he pointed a gun at her before she shot him, which investigators concluded was in self defense.

"The wife said he wasn't going to go down without a fight and made it sound like he was really violent," Roth Burns said. "And he basically went down, he never shot, fired a shot anyone, he never made a threat at anyone."

When asked if she thought Welsh went down without a fight, Roth Burns responded, "absolutely."

In the search warrant investigators found several guns, a few loaded, and one semi automatic shotgun. Roth Burns asked if Welsh ever shot at police during the standoff. The detective testifying said no.

The detective also said when crews shot the bean bag rounds at him to try to arrest him, Welsh said, "Just kill me, just kill me, just shoot me."

Roth Burns said there's other evidence she still needs to see. For instance, police flew a drone over the Welsh home. The detective said Welsh aimed at the drone, but not at police.

"There was a drone, I'd like to see video of the drone if that shows him sitting on the steps waiting for law enforcement to arrive," Roth Burns said. "That's not threatening anyone."

She said it's still early, but they are considering defense strategies—not excluding a possible competency examination.

Welsh will be back in court on May 16 for an arraignment. 

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