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NEWS STORIES

RPD Gets New SergeantSubmitted: 03/28/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


RHINELANDER - An undercover officer will go back to working out in the open in Rhinelander.

This week Chief Mike Steffes made Jake Simkins the new night shift sergeant for the Rhienalnder Police Department. He's been with the Department for five years. But he's been working strictly undercover with the North Central Drug Enforcement Group for the last few years.

"It's something I always wanted to do and I was able to have the opportunity to do it. But I'm looking forward to coming back and working with the officers here and being able to train some of the newer officers and work with the community as well and bring the experience that I have with the police department and the citizens of Rhinelander," says Simkins.

Simkins is also the newest member of the Oneida County SWAT team.

Chief Steffes says the department is in the final stages of hiring another officer. He expects to be fully staffed again by the end of April.

Another officer from RPD will be able to apply to take Sergeant Simkins' place with the NORDEG unit.



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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - A convicted sex offender from Rhinelander can keep pictures of children he cut out of magazines.

A state appeals court dismissed new charges against Albert Chagnon Thursday.

Prosecutors charged the 33-year-old last year with 23 counts of intentionally photographing a minor without consent. Chagnon was about to be released from prison when a guard discovered a notebook in his pants containing photographs of fully-clothed young girls cut out of magazines or newspapers, including the Lakeland Times.

Chagnon argued that the charges should be dismissed because he didn't take the photographs. The 4th District Court of Appeals agreed with him Thursday, saying state law doesn't cover Chagnon's conduct.

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BOULDER JUNCTION - A Vilas County shooting range will get some financial aid thanks to the Wisconsin DNR.

The Boulder Junction Shooting Range got a grant for venue upgrades.

The range also got a grant last year.

It used the money to make its facilities handicap accessible.

Range officials say they will use this year's grant for additions.

Those include making the space more energy efficient.

"[The] money will be used for insulating the clubhouse," says Secretary of the Boulder Junction Shooting Range Pete Drahn. "It'll be used to remove doors and windows that we no longer need, and to replace a window with a more energy efficient window."

The range has gotten grants two years in a row, but it won't happen again next year.

"They've told everybody that received the grants this year that they'll start doing grants only every other year for someone who has received it," says Drahn. "So at the earliest, it would be the year after next."

The range's board members want to make the venue better for shooters, but they say they couldn't have done it without the grant's help.

"These are projects we probably wouldn't do for eons," says Drahn. "We don't receive any money from anybody except the users of the range. So we don't have a lot for our capital needs."

The range also plans to install a new fence to improve the facility's safety.

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MERRILL - We told you earlier in July about the Merrill Citizen's Fire Academy.

People who take the 10 week course this fall will learn more about what firefighters do.

12 people will take the class.

Spots for the course are filling up.

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EAGLE RIVER - Keeping the Northwoods wooded is Trees for Tomorrow's basic goal. This weekend, they'll show people why that goal is important to them, when the organization hosts Forest Fest in Eagle River on Saturday.

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MADISON - A former leader of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says the agency's new reorganization plan won't fix its problems.

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's search for a new city administrator got a little narrower - from nearly two dozen candidates to a handful. Rhinelander has been without a city administrator since the middle of May when Blain Oborn went to Lake Geneva.

The Rhinelander City Council held a meeting last night to go through a list of candidates. At the end of that meeting, they went front from having 22, down to a list of four.

"We have four candidates that we have coming in," said Rhinelander's Mayor Richard Johns. "And the candidates vary, one's from Eau Claire, Antigo, Kewaskum, and Stevens Point. We pretty much have a local area so-to-speak, rather than out of state."

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RHINELANDER - A 77-year-old woman who spends the summer and fall in Sugar Camp can celebrate after earning four medals at the 2015 Senior Olympics earlier this month.

Bev Linnihan-Moye, a frequent swimmer at the YMCA of the Northwoods, says she just feels great in the water, especially after an ankle injury a few years ago.

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