ST. GERMAIN - Plans for a snowmobile trail in St. Germain have some residents upset with Vilas County.
Tom and Karen Martens have filed a lawsuit to stop the county from building a snowmobile trail that would cross their right of way on Highway 155.
Normally the county can use the right of way for highway purposes. But in 1937 when that right was granted to the highway department for the Martens' land it was through an easement.
The Martens say that means they're the ones who have to give permission for a snowmobile trail to cross their land.
"This is an easement for highway purposes as long as so used. The question is, is a snowmobile trail on the easement a highway purpose? That's what this lawsuit is about. We're in no way trying to stop the snowmobile trail. All we're trying to do is stop the trail from being on our property," says Tom Martens.
The Martens say they're also concerned about safety. President-elect of the Bo-Boen Snowmobile Club, Tom Christensen, says the DOT and Vilas County have deemed it safe.
He also says a snowmobile trail is proper highway use.
"Vilas County and the Department of Transportation have both agreed that the right of way along 155 is a right of way that allows for snowmobile traffic, snowmobile trail system to be placed along the side of Highway 155," says Christensen.
The Martens and other residents have also sent a petition to St. Germain to prevent the trail from crossing private land down the road. The town hasn't made a decision about the petition yet because the ordinance isn't specific about snowmobile trails.
There should be a ruling on the lawsuit December 18th.
MADISON - The start of a new short-term loan program that wasn't slated to begin until July has been moved up in an effort to help businesses hurt by recent cutbacks at Oshkosh Corp.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the state's chief jobs agency, voted this week to start the pilot program earlier. It will provide loans or loan guarantees of up to $250,000 to companies for projects or expenses that may not be eligible for traditional financing.
The board says it was starting the program earlier in light of news that Oshkosh was cutting 760 jobs from its defense division because of budget cuts being made by the U.S. Department of Defense.
The loan program this year will only target businesses in Oshkosh Corp.'s supply chain
RHINELANDER - It won't be much longer before the Hodag water show gears up for the summer, but right now they need to make repairs to their building. Rod Olson says it may cost between $15,000 and $20,000 to make repairs to the building. To watch the video click on the video link.
RHINELANDER - There was no severe weather Thursday, but sirens across the Northwoods were blaring at about 1:45 pm on Thursday.
That's because the National Weather Service held a statewide tornado drill.
It was part of their severe weather awareness week, and Oneida County took part in the drill.
"The sirens are only set off for warnings, in the city of Rhinelander, it's only going to be a Severe Thunderstorm Warning that is affecting the city area," said Oneida County Emergency Management Director Ken Kortenhof. "It's also going to be set off for a Tornado Warning affecting the area."
ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Railroads give businesses a chance to move loads of material for a low cost. Loggers could use rail as an alternative to trucking material, but many businesses donít get that opportunity in the Northwoods anymore.
Canadian National bought rail in the Northwoods about a decade ago. They have cut back service drastically since then.
Some counties haven't seen train travel in years, which hurts business. Now, those businesses want to reestablish rail service.
In response, a group of counties in Northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan formed the Northwoods Rail Transit Commission.
ACROSS THE U.S. - A new proposal from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would expand regulation on tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, not regulated already by the agency.
The proposal, which was released Thursday, would regulate hookahs, nicotine gels, cigars and e-cigarettes. The FDA currently only regulates cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco.
Some smokers turn to e-cigarettes to try to stop smoking. Medical experts donít know the full health impact of e-cigarettes yet. Leaders at the FDA want to get ahead of the trend.
The proposal would make e-cigarette producers register their products and show their ingredients to the agency.
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