New snow clearing rules likely to be approved in Rhinelander
Story By Lane Kimble
RHINELANDER - This winter made it especially tough on homeowners to find places to put all that snow. We got to a point where many were shoveling it into piles higher than their heads, or maybe even onto their neighbor's property.
Department of Public Works Assistant Street Superintendent Tony Gilman saw plenty of that this year.
"This is a recurring problem," Gilman said. "It happens often. But with the amount of snow we had, I would say the complaints this year have doubled or tripled. Occationally we'll get someone really upset, but most people are really decent about it. They just want to know how they can correct it."
Correcting that problem should be even clearer now. The Public Works committee added language to the city ordinance.
Now, it says homeowners can only put snow specifically on their property.
It also reinforces that snow cannot block views for traffic or sidewalks.
Gilman thinks these changes should be nothing new for most people.
"Be courteous to them," Gilman said. "If you put it out, don't put it on their property and then they have to clean it up. I try to get the neighbors to work together. Luckily, they do a pretty good job and we don't have to get involved."
If you're caught breaking this ordinance, you could get slapped with a $50 fine.
If crews have to come clear the snow, you'll be charged a minimum fee of $193.85.
PHILLIPS - The Price County Sheriff's Office wants to find out what it needs to do to get a K-9 officer. Sheriff Brian Schmidt believes a new dog would improve the office's ability to find drugs.
The county doesn't have its own K-9 officer. However, they do turn to other departments for help.
"What we would utilize is surrounding counties, and it is at their discretion," Schmidt said. "Like Rhinelander, we utilize their dog on occasion, maybe once or twice a year. But again, it is their dog, so they have their needs come first. So if we have our own equipment, our needs are met with our equipment."
WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling received a record number of phone calls to the helpline in 2014â€"14,731 to be exact. This is a 5.6 percent increase from calls received in 2013.
Some of the callers reported having to file for bankruptcy or having thoughts of suicide. The report from the Council also calculated $47,000 as the average gambling debt of callers in 2014, and $20,000 as the median debt.
VILAS COUNTY - Many snowmobile trails in Eagle River still need more grooming after all three trail groomers went out of service. The trails didn't get groomed for four days last week because all three of the Sno-Eagles Snowmobile Club's trail groomers need repairs.
The club hasn't had all of their groomers working for a couple of weeks. Sno-Eagles President Ken Storms said the trails took a big hit last week when all three went down. The club says it has made a concerted effort to catch up with trail grooming, and get the trails smoothed out.
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