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New internet tower will go to referendumSubmitted: 11/14/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson

PHELPS - You can expect more debate over a new internet tower in Phelps.

Earlier this month, the Phelps town board proposed to build a new $35,000 internet tower.

The tower would cost taxpayers a one time fee of $8 to $16 depending on property value.

It would give internet access to 200 homes in the area.

But opponents believed money could be better spent in the town.

The people of Phelps voted that proposal down at a special meeting 76 to 71.

But the town board decided Monday night to put the proposal to a referendum this April.

"The town clerk and myself had numerous calls from people that wanted to weigh in on it and wanted to absentee ballot vote but by state statute they couldn't. So because it was so close we felt that we ought to put it before the board and see if we could put it as a referendum item in April," says Phelps Town Chairman Colin Snook.

He says the town board heard the concerns of those opposed to the tower.

One is to have the company, not the town, pay for the tower.

That was something Snook opposed before.

"My big concern was, okay what if SonicNet goes out of business? You know, then what? They own the tower. We own the property. It gets to be complicated. So we broached that with SonicNet and they came back and said that they would be happy to in the contract provide the town with the tower should they go out of business," he explains.

Snook says they're working to alter the plan to accommodate those concerns.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/29/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

Teachers at Arbor Vitae-Woodruff Elementary School are learning how to respond if an active shooter comes into the school.

Plus, we'll tell you why Merrill Sheet Metals is giving away a free furnace to someone in the community.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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LINCOLN COUNTY - A Wausau man needed to go to the hospital after an ATV crash in Lincoln County.

Deputies and firefighters were called to the Town of Harrison Saturday afternoon about 1:15.

A 40-year-old Wausau man had been hurt in an ATV crash on County Highway B near Ski Hill Road.

The man was brought to Saint Mary's Hospital in Rhinelander, where he was listed in good condition as of Sunday night.

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MADISON - The University of Wisconsin-Madison is the nation's top party school, again.

The Princeton Review's 2017 edition of the "The Best 381 Colleges" says West Virginia is second, followed by the University of Illinois, which was the top party school last year.

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MCNAUGHTON - After almost seven hours of fighting fire Saturday night, a fire chief calls a house just north of Rhinelander likely a total loss.

Newbold Fire Chief Mark Fetzer said crews got the call around 10:30 p.m. Saturday about a house filling with smoke on Spider Lake Road.

Newbold and Pine Lake Fire Departments were the first to arrive.

According to the Pine Lake Fire Rescue Facebook page, the fire was on the second floor. Firefighters first went in the house to try to put out the fire but had to put it out from the outside because the roof started falling in.  

Fetzer called it a "persistent" and "stubborn" fire because the house had several layers to its roof. 

Crews called in mutual aid from several surrounding fire departments including Crescent, Pelican, Nokomis, Rhinelander , Lake Tomahawk, Minocqua, Woodruff, Little Rice and Cassian. Crews used the Pelican Fire Department ladder truck to help get the fire out. 

Fetzer said no one was hurt, but according to the Pine Lake Fire Rescue Facebook page, two firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion on scene. 

Fetzer said Newbold Fire will investigate the cause of the fire, and as of right now it does not appear to be suspicious.




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LAWRENCE - A 36-year-old Oneida man has died after police say he drove his car the wrong way on Interstate 41 and crashed into two other vehicles near the town of Lawrence.

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TOMAHAWK - For many kids back to school shopping means new books and backpacks for the first day of school.

However, for some parents the money and time spent shopping can add up.

"I'm going to end up all over this entire store just trying to find all the stuff that they need," said mother Deanna Sukow.

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MARATHON COUNTY - One man has died and three others are seriously hurt after a two-car crash in Marathon County late Sunday afternoon.

According to the Marathon County Sheriff's Office, police got a call about a crash at the intersection of County Highway N and County Highway Y in the Town of Norrie.

Crews took the three hurt people to Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

Police will not yet release the names.

The accident reconstruction team will investigate.

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