RHINELANDER - Many people visit the Northwoods as a place to get away from cell phones, emails, and constant connection.
But people who live here need those options for home and business.
Development leaders say Oneida County is a poorly connected place in terms of technology.
Doing business or personal work through broadband IN the city of Rhinelander works pretty well.
Just about anywhere else in Oneida County, though, can be a struggle.
Having broadband is no longer just a nice perk for people who like technology or who live in the city.
"Internet access is like electricity. It's like getting water to your house. It's critical. They call it the information superhighway, but the internet really is as important as a road when it comes to doing business," says Oneida County Community Resource Development Agent Tim Brown.
Only a few areas have the top level of service in Oneida County.
That leaves smaller communities and rural areas lacking.
Development leaders want county and town governments to work to improve broadband.
But the government can't provide the service.
That would be illegal.
So instead, they need to convince providers to come here.
"There is demand here, that there is money to be made here, and we encourage you to invest in building more connections in our community," Brown says.
You can help the effort.
Follow the link below to take a survey on broadband needs in your area.
WAUSAU - The Wausau School District will use a large grant to renovate the school's planetarium. The current Wausau School District planetarium was built in the late 1960s, and it needs some upgrades.
The school just received a $230 thousand grant to complete the project. It is expected to take two years to complete.
"The first year is running the software, showing it, using it in our classrooms in our curriculum," said planetarium director Chris Janssen. "Finding out, 'is this going to work 100% of the time?' Year two then is going to be the actual, physical structure upgrades. The dome will get replaced, seats, cement contractors will come in and tilt the floor and so-on."
The planetarium can hold 54 people, and organizers are hoping to keep it that way.
"For curricular needs, when you have two classes come in, and the classes are about 26 kids each, you gotta have that sweet spot of about 50-54 seats. When you tilt the floor, you lose some space, so I really want to try and keep it at about 50 seats."
WESCOTT - The body of a man who jumped in a Shawano County lake to rescue his 10-year-son has been recovered.
The body was found after authorities resumed a search of Shawano Lake early Thursday.
Shawano County Sheriff Adam Bieber says the boy was tubing on the lake without a lifejacket Wednesday and lost his grip while trying to get back on a pontoon boat. Bieber says the boy's father jumped in the water, and the boat carrying the boy's grandfather and 9-year-old brother drifted away.
Sheriff's officials found the 10-year-old boy in the water near a buoy.
RHINELANDER - A Norther Lights Tour scientist explained Rhinelander's role in potato breeding and genetic studies on Wednesday night.
Every year about 50,000 varieties of potato are tested to see if they could be commercially sold.
Only about one in a 100,000 will become a named potato variety.
"The Rhinelander agriculture research station on Highway C is really where that process starts by making the cross pollination, raising those plants for the first time in a greenhouse and then evaluating them in the fields there for a couple years," said UW- Madison Assistant Professor of Horticulture Jeffry Endelman.
MADISON - A convicted sex offender from Rhinelander can keep pictures of children he cut out of magazines.
A state appeals court dismissed new charges against Albert Chagnon Thursday.
Prosecutors charged the 33-year-old last year with 23 counts of intentionally photographing a minor without consent. Chagnon was about to be released from prison when a guard discovered a notebook in his pants containing photographs of fully-clothed young girls cut out of magazines or newspapers, including the Lakeland Times.
Chagnon argued that the charges should be dismissed because he didn't take the photographs. The 4th District Court of Appeals agreed with him Thursday, saying state law doesn't cover Chagnon's conduct.
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