Oneida County pushes broadband connectivity for citizens and businessSubmitted: 06/20/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

Oneida County pushes broadband connectivity for citizens and business
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.

Related Weblinks:
Oneida County Broadband Survey

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ARBOR VITAE - You won't want to wear your best clothes to one race in May.

Minocqua's Color Run Fundraiser is a 3K and 5K race for Arbor Vitae-Woodruff and MJ1 schools.

The race is one of the schools' biggest fundraisers for field trips, additional school supplies and equipment.

The Color Run raised almost $20,000 last year.

"It comes from all of the kids and their fundraising in the community, with the help of grandparents and parents and friends," says AVW Principal Rich Fortier.

The race will be at the Minocqua Park Complex on May 5.

To find out how to register, click below.

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In his 20 years with the Vilas County Jail, administrator Bill Weiss can count on two hands how many times an inmate got out earlier than they should.

"It's pretty rare," Weiss said.

Weiss needed to add to that tally last week.  The jail let Edward Chosa Junior go as a "free" man on March 13, however that wasn't his correct release date.

"It was a clerical mistake," Weiss said.

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RHINELANDER - The older you get the worse your vision can become. But retired or not, vision screening can be expensive.

The Rhinelander Lions Club offered free eye testing for anyone over 40 on Monday.

The screening took place at the Oneida County Department of Aging.

The purpose of the screening was to help people identify if they are at high risk for eye disease or need to see an eye doctor.

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ANTIGO - A crowd gathered in Antigo to talk about drug abuse Monday night, about how it affects all aspects of the community and ways it could possibly be fixed.

One thing that everyone could agree on, is that it's an issue that needs to be resolved.

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NEW LONDON - New London police have sent pieces of candy from a St. Patrick's Day parade to the State Crime Laboratory to see if it's tainted.

Police warned people not to eat candy they got at Saturday's parade over concerns it may be contaminated. They received about 10 complaints about children and others developing temporary numbness or rash since Saturday.

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - Dave Nance's job as a Camp American Legion volunteer means doing a little bit of everything. He's spent the last several years giving back to the place that gave him his life back.

"This is a special place. There's no place like it and it's life changing," said Nance who's from the Tomah-area. 

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VILAS AND ONEIDA COUNTIES - Oneida and Vilas Counties will close their snowmobile trails this week. 

Lincoln County will also close its remaining trails. Zones 2 and 3 are already closed. Zone 1 will close at midnight on Monday, March 19.

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