MEDFORD - For the first time ever, policemen checked Medford students with metal detectors and pat-downs Friday.
A threat at Medford Area Senior High Thursday sent the district and law enforcement into high alert.
Police won't tell us yet just what the threatening message said. Medford high school staff found it in a girls bathroom at the end of the school day Thursday.
Police and sheriff's deputies worked hard to make sure the school was completely safe.
"Every locker, every classroom, every closet, every nook and cranny was clear of any weapons or anything that could potentially harm students or staff," Medford Police Chief Ken Coyer said.
The district gave parents the option to keep their kids home today.
Only about a quarter of enrolled students at the high school were there today. They were met by a strong police presence.
"We felt it a credible threat, because of the nature of it," District Administrator Pat Sullivan said. "We knew that we had to secure the building for the next day. We felt we could. We really felt we could make the building safe the next day for school."
Even so, Medford wanted to give parents a choice.
Sullivan said he expects school to be back to normal Monday.
Police have what they're calling "persons of interest" right now.
HARSHAW - Oneida County sheriff's deputies found three runaway sisters, ages 14, 14, and 12, in the woods in Harshaw just after 1 p.m. on Monday.
The sisters had been reported missing by their parents Monday morning. The parents had gone to wake the girls up for school, but instead found a note saying they had gone on an "adventure."
The missing girls triggered a search from the Oneida County Sheriff's Office Special Response Unit, Newbold Fire Department Search and Rescue, Minocqua Fire Department, Lake Tomahawk Fire Department, and Little Rice Fire Department.
RHINELANDER - The Oneida-Vilas Transit Commission will get its long-awaited federal funding installment by October 4.
The timing means no Northwoods Transit Connections drivers will have to voluntarily furlough their pay, but the requirement of 24-hour advance notice for rides will stay in place.
Transit Commission Chair Erv Teichmiller learned the news over the weekend.
The commission is waiting on an expected payment of $300,000 from the federal government. In 2016, that money came in early September. As of last Friday, the commission wasn't expecting the payment until as late as November.
MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker has selected a former legislator to run the state Department of Natural Resources.
Walker's office announced Monday that he has chosen former Republican state Rep. Dan Meyer to serve as DNR secretary. He replaces Cathy Stepp, who resigned in August to take a position in President Donald Trump's administration.
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander factory that makes smoke flavoring caught fire early Monday morning.
Shortly before 6:00 a.m., Rhinelander, Crescent and Newbold Fire Departments responded to a fire at Red Arrow Products on Rhinelander's west side.
An employee says there were about eight workers inside at the time.
No one was injured.
"Flames were coming out of a conveyor area as high as the roof. We made an interior attack and knocked that flame down. Came in from the other side of the partition wall, then made another interior attack and knocked that down," says Chief Terry Williams.
As of 7:30 a.m. Monday morning, firefighters were still working to make sure the flames were out.
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