RHINELANDER - Any given day in Rhinelander you'll see between two to four Rapid Cabs taking people where they need to go.
The service costs you less than five dollars within city limits, that's thanks to grant money from the state and federal government. But demand is going up.
Owner Gregg Bruso knows he needs more drivers on the roads at peak hours to meet that demand, but doesn't want to charge you more.
Bruso sent a proposal to the city to ask for more grant funding.
That would mean getting you where you need to go faster, while maintaining the same cost. City Manager Blaine Oborn hopes to keep it that way.
"A lot of other mass programs, the general fund of the city is supplementing," Oborn said. "This program we're managing to do it just between the grants from the state and federal government and the fare box. So, they're doing a really good job here. It's a win-win for the community."
The city council approved Bruso's propsal this month. It mainly would increase drivers at the beginning and end of the month.
It would also add drivers during the service's peak times 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. Oborn knows how valuable the service is to the city.
"Usually I only hear things when there's bad news and I don't hear anything," Oborn said. "So that means it's going really well, so I think a lot of people really appreciate the service out there and they're doing an excellent job."
The addtional funding Rapid Cab needs from the state and feds is just shy of $47,000. The next step is getting state approval, which could take several months.
CRANDON - Forest County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Justice was justified in shooting and killing 31-year-old Brandon Cude on Jan. 4, Forest County District Attorney Chuck Simono ruled Friday.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice released the results of its investigation in the case, and Simono's decision, Friday afternoon.
The DOJ documents detail how Cude swung a shotgun at Justice at close range. The deputy had just learned Cude had felony warrants against him, and Justice was trying to arrest Cude. Justice fired four shots on the scene, a rural road south of Crandon.
"He didn't get a shot off?" a fellow officer asked Justice after the shooting.
"No. He tried, though. Pulled that sucker out and pointed it right at me," Justice replied in an exchange recorded on a body camera.
EAGLE RIVER - Vilas County officers can now respond to active shooter calls better prepared.
All deputies and patrol offices now have access to steel-plated body armor, something only the Vilas County SWAT Team had before.
"We want to make sure our staff are fully protected," said Vilas County Sheriff's Office Captain Gerard Ritter. "I never want to see anything happen to any one of my staff. And we should outfit them with the protection they need."
Before the new body armor, Ritter said officers and deputies only had access to soft body armor.
"The weave material is designed to stop or slow down a projectile," said Ritter.
Officers will still wear the soft-bodied armor every day, but in active shooter situations, officers can now essentially double up on protection, protection once only offered to the SWAT Team.
"There has been an increase in active shooter incidences across the United States," said Ritter.
RHINELANDER - Police think an Oneida County man downloaded hundreds of pornographic pictures of young girls using a private chatroom.
During Danial Smith's preliminary hearing Friday, Smith's attorney asked if police had any way of knowing it was his client who downloaded the more than 700 photos.
The state Department of Justice learned a computer near Rhinelander downloaded the pictures in late 2016 thanks to a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The internet protocol (IP) addresses from the downloads were linked to Smith's home on County C in the town of Stella.
MINOCQUA - Only about one-third of students showed up to classes at Lakeland Union High School Friday morning, with many staying home after police verified a shooting threat.
More police officers were on hand at the school Friday morning.
On Thursday evening, Minocqua Police Chief Dave Jaeger confirmed the discovery of shooting threats in the ladies' bathroom near the LUHS auditorium. The threat noted an attack would be similar to Wednesday's school shooting in Parkland, Fla., which killed 17 people.
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