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Oneida County Board passes broadband proposalSubmitted: 08/20/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray


Photos By Shardaa Gray

ONEIDA COUNTY - With 3G and 4G portable devices, you can get online just about everywhere, unless you have a weak signal.

One Oneida County board supervisor wants to make sure signals are strong across the county.

Today the county board passed a resolution to improve broadband internet access.

Now, the Oneida County Economic Development Corporation will review the current situation.

County Board Supervisor Bob Martini says some areas in Oneida County are below average in speed, adoption and capacity.

But not everyone was in favor of of having the government involved.

"Rhinelander is getting another 4G upgrade coming real soon. Not by an impotent government body, no. It's because they know there's a basis for it. There's a way to make some money at it, so they're doing it," said Oneida County Board Supervisor, Jerry Shidell.

"If I heard right I think Minocqua has the same thing becoming a reality. Let's let the free market do it first instead of the government all the time has to be involved. We don't need that."

Martini feels Oneida County residents can't rely on cell phone provider internet access because not all of the county gets good cell coverage.

"We want to make sure the private sector can take care of what they want to do," Martini said.

"Then look at all those areas that are not covered and see if there's anything we can do cooperatively to make sure we have coverage of all our citizens."

The Oneida County Economic Development Corporation will continue to meet every month to discuss how to increase speed and capacity.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

SHAWANO - Health workers want to stop the spread of an infectious disease in the Shawano area.

The Shawano-Menominee County Health Department is investigating an outbreak of a disease called  shigella.

The disease causes flu-like symptoms.

It's been connected to several day care centers in Shawano and Hillcrest Primary School.

Health officers say shigella is very contagious.

Those who become ill should stay home to avoid spreading it.

The disease usually lasts five to seven days.

Washing hands and other hygiene measures can help stop its spread.

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- Keep your eyes open for these area fireworks coming up this weekend!

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PHILLIPS - Having just finished her sophomore year in high school, Park Falls' Allison Michels can barely drive a car legally. But even at a young age, she, like many high schoolers in Price County, is already taking college-level classes at Northcentral Technical College.

Michels is taking advantage of a summer Certified Nursing Assistant class at NTC's Phillips campus.

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RHINELANDER - You can find a lot of signs around downtown Rhinelander this summer. Some say "road closed," others say "detour". But some new, large signs will help you find all the downtown businesses are still open.

Downtown Rhinelander, Inc. printed several laminated signs directing people to those downtown shops and restaurants.  The signs will be placed on Lincoln Street as well as various entry points downtown.

Hext Theater Owner Jim Hext, who serves as DRI's promotions director, says some store owners put signs up in front of their buildings, which made a big difference.

"A lot of traffic flowed to their businesses then because of the signage that they put up," Hext said.  "So this is in hope that people will kind of see that as well too."

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LAONA - This time last year, staff at Camp LeFeber in Laona thought they weren't going to have another season. The Boy Scout Camp was set to close last summer, but with the help of one group and people in the community, it'll stay open this year and perhaps for years to come. 

Camper Erik Norlock has made the trip from Whitefish Bay to Camp LeFeber in Laona since he finished 5th grade. 

"I care a lot about every single scout that we have here," said Norlock. "And being about to do it in such an amazing place is really something that touches home for me."

But the now high school graduate and hundreds more boy scouts who travel to the camp every year almost didn't have a place to go back to. 

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PHILLIPS, TRIPOLI - Heavy rains dumped three or more inches of rain on parts of Price and Lincoln counties over the weekend.

The precipitation has left farmers in the area watchful as to how it will impact their crops.

"The low spots are going to continue to be wet," said Jeremy Pesko, a farm partner at United Pride Dairy in Phillips.

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's July 4th parade will follow a slightly different route this year, due a major downtown reconstruction project.  But the parade organizer says people are as excited as ever for the celebrations.

Instead of going down Brown Street as in years past, the parade will step off right in front of the Oneida County Courthouse on Oneida and Davenport Streets.  The route will then go down Pelham Street, past City Hall, and north up Courtney ending at Young Street.

"We know there's excitement when they're saying, 'Is there going to be a parade? Is there going to be a parade? How are you going to do it,'" parade director Dale Schlieve said.

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