MINOCQUA - Across the state, police say one drug is their biggest challenge- Heroin.
This year, the Department of Justice will target the drug statewide. The Lakeland area is working on its own campaign.
In Minocqua, the Lakeland Prescription Drug Task Force made it harder to sell and abuse prescription drugs. The problem is, those people who used those drugs are still ADDICTED, and heroin is usually the easiest fix to find. Drug prevention specialist Bob Kovar says we need to prevent addiction in the first place.
"Somebody that's addicted to opiates needs to fulfill that addiction however they can... Typically we're pretty reactive. We kinda don't throw resources at people until we have to. So we end up spending a lot of money on prisons and then our justice system," said Kovar.
The state's campaign will officially start later this summer or early fall. The focus IS on prevention and awareness, but leaders hope it will go further.
"It can't just be an awareness campaign. I think there has to be a real push towards policy change... Healthcare, law enforcement, justice, our schools, we all need to be working together. I think when we work together and we implement programs that are proven to work, yes we can make a difference," says Kovar.
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.
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.
HARSHAW - Oneida County sheriff's deputies found three runaway sisters, ages 14, 14, and 12, in the woods in Harshaw just after 1 p.m. on Monday.
The sisters had been reported missing by their parents Monday morning. The parents had gone to wake the girls up for school, but instead found a note saying they had gone on an "adventure."
The missing girls triggered a search from the Oneida County Sheriff's Office Special Response Unit, Newbold Fire Department Search and Rescue, Minocqua Fire Department, Lake Tomahawk Fire Department, and Little Rice Fire Department.
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander factory that makes smoke flavoring caught fire early Monday morning.
Shortly before 6:00 a.m., Rhinelander, Crescent and Newbold Fire Departments responded to a fire at Red Arrow Products on Rhinelander's west side.
An employee says there were about eight workers inside at the time.
No one was injured.
"Flames were coming out of a conveyor area as high as the roof. We made an interior attack and knocked that flame down. Came in from the other side of the partition wall, then made another interior attack and knocked that down," says Chief Terry Williams.
As of 7:30 a.m. Monday morning, firefighters were still working to make sure the flames were out.
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