NEWS STORIES

Oneida County begins internet access surveySubmitted: 04/05/2013

RHINELANDER - Losing internet and cell phone service can be frustrating. It happens to some people every day, especially those who live in rural areas.

Oneida County is working to turn that trend around.

The board's Technology Committee started polling people about their internet service all across the county.

Crescent is the latest town to get its results in and the numbers aren't good. One in three people had no service at all. Fifteen percent of people with service weren't satisfied.

County Board Supervisor Bob Martini lives in Crescent. He knows limited access is a problem all across the Northwoods.

"I think most of the county would have similar numbers," Martini said. "The point is, we want to make sure people have the option to have better service so that we can increase entrepreneurship, increase jobs, improve students ability to interact with their schools at the K-12 level, improve the general life of people."

The Tech Committee plans to present its survey results to the full county board next month.

They'll then work with the board to see how the county can help to improve internet access. Martini wants to make it clear: the internet is important to everyone, whether you use it or not.

"This is the 21st century equivalent of the railroad back in the 1880s," Martini said. "It's absolutely essential, it's not an option, it's not a frill, it's important for everybody. And it'll be more important in the future."

The county can only help so much. There are state statutes that prevent counties and towns from serving as providers.

But Martini knows there are changes the board can make that will help. He suggests the county work on building towers and include laying fiber optic cables when new roads get paved.

Story By: Lane Kimble

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WAUSAU - UPDATE: 5:52pm 4/24/2014

Police believe they made the right choice handling a report of gunmen near a high school in Wausau Tuesday night.

They found out the gunmen were actually six kids playing a game with toy Nerf guns.

Police eventually ended up giving the high school seniors disorderly conduct tickets.

Some people thought the tickets were excessive, but in a press release in released Thursday by the Wausau Police Department said they "believed there was a serious, potentially life threatening situation".

Someone called the Wausau police around 9:45 p.m. Tuesday.

The person said there were people pointing guns at other people in a car.

Police say they handled the situation different than a traffic stop because of the seriousness of the call.

After police got all the seniors out of the car, they saw the nerf guns.

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Leaders at Wausau West High School said in a statement that there's "potential in a game like this for negative consequences."

Some of the students have also been placed on athletic probation.

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Six kids got tickets after a battle using toy Nerf guns in Wausau.

Police issued disorderly conduct citations to the high school seniors.

Some residents of Wausau called police when they saw the young people pointing a gun at a car Tuesday night.

But, it was only a toy Nerf gun that shoots foam bullets.

Wausau West High School officials have also placed some students on athletic probation.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)

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