MERRILL - Home should be a place you can relax and feel safe. Not a place where you'll find a burglar standing in your living room. That happened in a small community near Merrill on alert last week.
Pine Dells Road sits just southeast of Merrill. It seems like a fairly quiet place. But last week a snowmobiler walked right into Joreen Jaeger's daughter's home. She lives next door.
Joreen's granddaughter was just getting out of the shower when she saw him in the house.
"Our granddaughter said she could smell liquor on him," Joreen said. "She figured he had been drinking. Now, if it had been someone who was unemployed and just looking for gas money for pleasure to ride his snowmobile, or if he was looking for money to buy more alcohol."
The man rode off on his sled, but not before taking two change jars and a carton of cigarettes.
Lincoln County Sheriff's Deputies searched the scene and trails, but still haven't found him.
"We looked at the tracks trying to find, potentially, what kind of snowmobile it may be based on the tracks in the snow," Lt. Tim Fischer said. "We were unsuccessful for that."
Witnesses say the man has short brown hair, is clean shaven with bad teeth and a black snowmobile suit.
But more than a week out, deputies don't have any other leads.
If you know something about this case, please call the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office at 715-536-6272.
BOULDER JUNCTION - Pilots find very little room for error when they make a landing. Wings, flaps, and landing gear all need to work properly. Then there's the runway itself, which needs to be flat and smooth.
So, when pilots found ruts and divots torn into the grass runway at Boulder Junction's airport, folks were more than upset, they were worried about safe landings. Airfield president Jeff Long thinks someone used a pickup truck to do the damage. It happened right before the airfield's busiest weekend of the year, the Musky Day fly-in.
"To see somebody disregard that, disrespect that, and then again the safety, where somebody could get hurt that we're inviting up here for summer fun, doesn't make you feel very good," Long said.
RHINELANDER - The City of Rhinelander and Oneida County will consider borrowing $15 million to help develop a manufacturer in Rhinelander, according to an Oneida County Economic Development Corporation release Tuesday.
The money would help Rhinelander Coated Products start work inside the former Printpack building on Kemp Street.
KNOWLTON - When you think of Wisconsin, you probably think of the Packers, dairy, and beer. One of the quintessential things that make this state great is its cheese, and you'll find no shortage of that in north central Wisconsin. The largest family-owned cheese factory is right in our own backyard, and it continues to push its limits in the industry
For Bill Mullins, the cheese business is all in the family.
"My other two brothers are in the business," said Bill, Co-Owner of Mullins Cheese. "My brother has four boys in the business full-time. My mom did accounting for us until she was 88."
CRANDON - For some Northwoods families, it can be hard to find the money to pay for their kids' school supplies every year, but a back-to-school program in Forest County is giving children the supplies they need to succeed.
EAGLE RIVER - Cities across the Northwoods drop tens of thousands of dollars every winter on crack sealing roads. The Eagle River Airport is no different. The airport spent about $25,000 in 2016 patching up its main runway.
Arguably, that runway is even older than most roads people drive on. The runway was last redone in 1971. On a busy day, the 5,000-foot runway hosts upwards of 80 takeoffs and landings. Airport manager Rob Hom showed Newswatch 12 a number of places where the pavement is buckling and cracked. That can lead to dangerous landings for small planes.
"Relative to a car or a truck [a prop-powered airplane is] pretty light relatively speaking, so having a smooth runway is imperative," Hom said.
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