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Oneida County won't build business parkSubmitted: 01/14/2014
Story By Kaitlyn Howe

Oneida County won't build business park
RHINELANDER - Towns use industrial and business parks to help attract business to their area.

The county spent more than $500,000 for the land.

But it didn't work out.

Now they're making steps to sell the land.

The land is on Rifle Road next to Northwood golf course.

They bought the it from Wausau Paper.

One Oneida County Board member feels it's in the County's best interests to sell the property.

"There are several problems with the land. Which it surprises me that the County Board went along with it. You can't access it from Highway 8, you can't access it through the Oldenburg property because they won't let us. The only place you can access it is from the Golf Course. To get to the usable portions of the land you have to cross swamp meaning you have to build some type of a bridge," said Jerry Shidell.

Rhinelander City Administrator Blaine Oborn said at the time it made sense to buy the land.

"Given the economy I think they bought it when the economy was doing well and everything was expanding. Now since then we're in a downturn," said Oborn.

They could take action at the next County Board meeting.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

ONEIDA COUNTY -
Many people lost power Thursday night from the storms in the Northwoods.
Wisconsin Public Service was still out repairing lines Friday afternoon.

Wind gusts reached 46 miles per hour Thursday night heading into Friday morning, causing trees and branches to fall on power lines. WPS also reported lightning damage.      

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RHINELANDER - John Mikalauski, the manager at Birchfield Nurseries in Rhinelander, has had a great growing year because of hotter than normal temperatures.

But now he says it's time to get ready for a chill.

"If gets to thirty degrees, I don't care. It's just fine," said Mikalauski.

He thinks you should welcome the new season for the plants in your yard, too.

"A healthy plant makes it through the winter a lot better than a stressed plant," he said. "We want to shut them down so they can prepare themselves for the winter time."

Mikalauski advises that plants must go dormant. Cool and damp soil is key to help them sleep until spring, except for sensitive plants.

"The ones that are going to be touchy is some of your vegetables and definitely your annual flowers," he said. "Those are the ones you are going to want to protect. You're going to want to put some bed sheets over them or something to keep the frost off them."

Mikalauski says as long as gardeners stop the growing phase and let their plants rest, they should make it through the winter just fine.

The National Weather Service issued a frost advisory for Friday.


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RHINELANDER - Social media can serve as a great tool for law enforcement. But at times it can also be a problem.

On Thursday, the Rhinelander Police Department shared a concerning Facebook post in hopes of getting some accurate information. 

The police department became aware of a post made in a page on Facebook. The post describes a suspicious white van patrolling a neighborhood off Driscoll Road. 
 
The author of the original post claimed two men were in the van approaching children.

Police Chief Lloyd Gauthier says any suspicious activity should be reported directly to the police department. 

"We need to be able to have that face-to-face conversation so we can ask those specific questions so that we get facts and not just a bunch of hearsay or rumor mill," said Gauthier. "We really need to know exactly what the information is." 

Gauthier says the department doesn't monitor Facebook 24-seven, and if someone reports suspicious activity over the phone immediately, it allows police to respond to the situation quickly.

"Our mission statement is to work in partnership with our community and we value the fact that people want to share that information with us on social media," said Gauthier. "But again, there's a time and a place about, 'How should I share that?'"

Gauthier added that they did eventually speak with the original author of the post and that police are looking into that situation.


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MADISON - Each year the state recognizes organizations making a difference in education. A Rhinelander group earned a Friend of Education Award for the first time Thursday.

Rhinelander Partners in Education works to connect students with community employers to develop learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom. 

State School Superintendent Tony Evers presented WJFW's Ben Meyer and other PIE members with the award during a ceremony at the capitol.

"It felt great considering that we are [a smaller] school… it's pretty amazing to be recognized as one of the five making a difference in education in the state," said PIE Vice President Teri Maney.

Maney says the award represents the work of the entire community.

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WAUSAU - Tough math and science classes can scare some kids away from exploring those fields in the future.

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TOMAHAWK - The weekend of Fall Ride keeps Tomahawk Police and the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office busy.

Many calls involve motorcycle crashes or alcohol related issues.

But one call sent the Tomahawk Police out to investigate a string of burglaries.

The most valuable items taken were collectible coins, but the men also stole seemingly random things like paint rollers, extension cords, and a box of cancelled checks from the 70s.

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RHINELANDER - In a sea of green and purple, the gold and black of a bumblebee tickled Baerbel Ehrig pink.

"It's really exciting," Ehrig said.

Thursday morning, the Oneida County pollinator coordinator happily walked through her nearly finished garden, dodging raindrops while spotting at least two bees and a monarch butterfly.

"There's a lot of food and shelter," Ehrig said.

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