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Oneida Co. Sheriff's Office beefing up St. Pat's patrolsSubmitted: 03/14/2013

Lane Kimble
Assistant News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com


RHINELANDER - Don't expect to get away with drinking and driving this weekend.

On a weekend when everyone's a little Irish, the Oneida County Sheriff's Office wants you to be more than a little smart.

Oneida County will beef up drunk driving and seatbelt enforcement the entire weekend. They're able to do that thanks to a $12,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

Sheriff's Lieutenant Lloyd Gauthier knows the holiday brings out many more people than an average weekend.

"The possibility of people driving while impaired, and that concerns us," Lt. Gauthier said.

"Our motto at the Sheriff's Office is we're committed to our community. And a big commitment is safety. Wanting people to get out and enjoy the time, have a good time. But take advantage of the programs that are out there through the Oneida County Tavern League, including the Safe Ride Home program."

That Safe Ride program is available at any participating Tavern League Bar. All you have to do is ask a bartender for your free ride.

Lt. Gauthier says people seem to be drinking more responsibly the last few years.

But he also points to a disturbing statistic: more than 500 traffic deaths in Wisconsin last year.

"That's why the DOT is so focused on getting these grants out each year," Gauthier said. "They see that there is a positive side to it with additional enforcement that those numbers are coming down."

The DOT gives out the grants based on where they see roadways that could be safer.

This grant is broad. That means Sheriff's Patrols could be on any road, both county and city or town.

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Springtime snow hurts plantsSubmitted: 04/28/2017

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RHINELANDER - Plenty of people felt spring in the air with the warm weather and sunshine just a few days ago.

But anyone trying to start their gardens early saw all their work covered in snow Thursday.

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RHINELANDER - Childhood friends are no business partners thanks to a class project.

Three students used their Three Lakes Fab Lab to make a septic tank screen hose, which helps stops clogs.

They haven't graduated high school yet, but a company in Illinois is already manufacturing their product.

Three Lakes High School students Tom Stuckart, Jack Connelly and Stephen Gensler had the idea of making their screen hose last summer and started making the prototype when school started in September.

"It's amazing what a little bit of hard work can actually get you. The community has been awesome supporting us and things like that.

 Just having the opportunity to come here and speak is awesome," said Stuckart. 

On Thursday their business JTS Waste products became official as an LLC.

They presented their business at the Annual Oneida County Economic Development Committee meeting in Rhinelander today.

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RHINELANDER - A storm spotter class attracted nearly a hundred people to Rhinelander Thursday afternoon.

Attendees of the class learned about cloud formation, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and flash flooding.

However, Emergency Management Program Assistant Dawn Robinson says the main focus was on how to become a certified storm spotter.

"Storm spotters are a valuable resource to us in the community because we have people out there all the time doing all sorts of activities," said Robinson.

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RHINELANDER - For better or worse, drivers in Rhinelander will get an extra week to use the Davenport Street bridge.  The city's contractor for its downtown reconstruction project delayed closing the bridge for repairs to May 8th.

Crews first planned to close the bridge in mid-April, then pushed that back to May 1 due to weather.  Now, weather has further delaying the month-long repairs to the concrete decking.

This is part of a larger project to finish up the downtown reconstruction, which began in March 2016.  The city reconstructed 21 blocks, replacing underground utilities and modernizing the downtown area.

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ANTIGO - Pushups, wall sits, and sit ups may sound like a tough workout for most of us. But dozens of kids from the Boys and Girls Club of Langlade County did that and more as part of a national fitness competition Friday afternoon.

Boys and Girls Clubs from around the country are teaming up to help kids become more active with the Nestlé's National Fitness Competition.

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Bears can cause a lot of damage, especially when they've just woken up from hibernation.

The DNR receives more than 800 nuisance calls for bears each year.

"They're opportunistic, looking for any food sources out there, grills, bird feeders, any garbage cans anything like that," said DNR wildlife damage specialist Brian Koele. 

Koele says it's important bears don't get acclimated to humans.

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MINOCQUA - Police officers often meet people on their worst days: after a death, crime, or other bad situations.  The Minocqua Police Department hopes some unpaid additions to their staff can help victims, families, and officers cope with those situations a little better.

The department is looking to add a team of clergy members to form a chaplain program.  The chaplains would be on call and show up to scenes when needed.  Chief David Jaeger had been considering the idea for a while when he heard about police in Oneida County using the same program.

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