GREEN BAY - There are plenty of caveats for judging this early in training camp whether the Green Bay Packers significantly upgraded their running game in this year's NFL draft.
The team has practiced only once in pads, and even in that setting there's no tackling, which eliminates the crucial tackle-breaking element of running back play.
Still, it was hard not to notice Johnathan Franklin in the Packers' first padded workout Sunday. The rookie stood out most at a position that general manager Ted Thompson augmented with two of his first five draft picks this year.
"From what I've seen so far, it looks like (Franklin) is going to be a pretty decent player," said Josh Sitton, the Packers' left guard. "Haven't seen a whole lot yet, but he's a shifty little son of a gun."
Coach Mike McCarthy has vowed that the Packers will run the ball better this year than they have under his stewardship, and Franklin and Eddie Lacy are a huge part of that plan.
Lacy, a second-round pick, had an uneventful first day in pads, in large part because he had little running room on his three carries during 11-on-11 periods. His strengths as a runner also don't show up as much as Franklin's on the practice field. At 5-feet-11 and 230 pounds, Lacy is a power back who, if his abilities translate well to the NFL, will push piles and either run through or spin off tackles, which he can't do because there's no tackling.
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.
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 - 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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