CRANDON - Police officers can always use more help keeping drugs out of their communities. The Forest County Sheriff's Department has a new member, who will do just that. But this officer works on four legs.
Buster joined the department last winter. He and his K-9 handler Bill Hujet trained for months to work together. They've been teammates since the beginning of the year. Hujet says Buster has already been a big help.
"In a lot of traffic stops when I talk to the people they will tell me right out if they have drugs or not in the car, where before that wouldn't happen. But because I have the dog they will hand stuff over that they wouldn't have told (me about). Or in a lot of cases I have had him search cars and he has found a lot of drugs," says Hujet.
Hujet says people in town have been welcoming and enthusiastic about the new officer.
Buster is a patrol and drug dog. That means he can help find most drugs, search for people, and chase suspects.
The Sheriff's Department is holding a fundraising golf-scramble August 17. The entire K-9 Unit has been funded by a grant and community support.
RHINELANDER - The City of Rhinelander and Oneida County will consider borrowing $15 million to help develop a manufacturer in Rhinelander, according to an Oneida County Economic Development Corporation release Tuesday.
The money would help Rhinelander Coated Products start work inside the former Printpack building on Kemp Street.
BOULDER JUNCTION - Pilots find very little room for error when they make a landing. Wings, flaps, and landing gear all need to work properly. Then there's the runway itself, which needs to be flat and smooth.
So, when pilots found ruts and divots torn into the grass runway at Boulder Junction's airport, folks were more than upset, they were worried about safe landings. Airfield president Jeff Long thinks someone used a pickup truck to do the damage. It happened right before the airfield's busiest weekend of the year, the Musky Day fly-in.
"To see somebody disregard that, disrespect that, and then again the safety, where somebody could get hurt that we're inviting up here for summer fun, doesn't make you feel very good," Long said.
THREE LAKES - Pollinators play an essential role in the growth of plants, and it's not just bees that help pollinate.
Butterflies, bats, and even mosquitoes are pollinators, but those populations have been in decline in recent years.
"Across the U.S., pollinators have been seeing big declines," said Oneida County Conservationist Michele Sadauskas. "We've been hearing more and more about our honeybee pollinations. The monarch populations have had dramatic decreases. So we're seeing it across the board."
EAGLE RIVER - Cities across the Northwoods drop tens of thousands of dollars every winter on crack sealing roads. The Eagle River Airport is no different. The airport spent about $25,000 in 2016 patching up its main runway.
Arguably, that runway is even older than most roads people drive on. The runway was last redone in 1971. On a busy day, the 5,000-foot runway hosts upwards of 80 takeoffs and landings. Airport manager Rob Hom showed Newswatch 12 a number of places where the pavement is buckling and cracked. That can lead to dangerous landings for small planes.
"Relative to a car or a truck [a prop-powered airplane is] pretty light relatively speaking, so having a smooth runway is imperative," Hom said.
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