WASHBURN - Marine Lance Cpl. Merlin Raye Allen was just 20 when his life ended in Vietnam.
Forty-six years later, he's finally back in his beloved Bayfield County of northern Wisconsin.
An enemy rocket brought down the helicopter Allen was in over Hue Province.
His remains were not discovered until a joint U.S.-Vietnamese recovery team excavated the wreck site last year.
The Ashland Daily Press reports his sister Marilyn Allen Neff and other relatives were overwhelmed by the welcome when they motored into Washburn on Wednesday from Minneapolis, where the family received the casket holding Allen's remains.
They arrived in town with an escort from the Patriot Guard Riders.
Visitation will be Friday at the Bratley Funeral Home in Washburn. His funeral is Saturday at the Bayfield High School gymnasium.
MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker has selected a former legislator to run the state Department of Natural Resources.
Walker's office announced Monday that he has chosen former Republican state Rep. Dan Meyer to serve as DNR secretary. He replaces Cathy Stepp, who resigned in August to take a position in President Donald Trump's administration.
RHINELANDER - A large open lot on Rhinelander's east side could soon fill in with a chain restaurant.
Cory Moritz-Hoffmann and her husband hope to build a Pizza Ranch next to Kwik Trip on Eisenhower Parkway. The pair of former Pine Lake firefighters got the idea about six years ago when they first went to a Pizza Ranch in Iowa.
They considered pursing a franchise then, but it was more than they could afford at the time. About two years ago, the Hoffmanns contacted an investor and saw an opportunity to turn their dream into a reality.
RHINELANDER - The Oneida-Vilas Transit Commission will get its long-awaited federal funding installment by October 4.
The timing means no Northwoods Transit Connections drivers will have to voluntarily furlough their pay, but the requirement of 24-hour advance notice for rides will stay in place.
Transit Commission Chair Erv Teichmiller learned the news over the weekend.
The commission is waiting on an expected payment of $300,000 from the federal government. In 2016, that money came in early September. As of last Friday, the commission wasn't expecting the payment until as late as November.
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