RHINELANDER - Conservationist wardens help keep you safe while hunting or ice fishing.
"Most of what we do, and most of the rules that we regulate, are surrounded by safety rules," says James Yung, conservationist warden for the Department of Natural Resources.
Safety may not be what you'd think wardens are solely focused on, but for James Yung it is.
Yung has met hunters unwilling to follow the rules, but hunters like Michael Baran, think wardens and the rules they enforce are necessary.
"Wardens aren't as bad as most people think. I mean, they're doing their job, so we appreciate it," says Baran.
Baran has been hunting for most of his life. His family had hunted at the same camp for three generations.
They've always believed wardens help protect the hunting tradition.
"It's very important. We do our part to make sure that we're not breaking any laws. And if we see other people that are, that's what wardens are there for," says Baran. "We'll send in a tip if something doesn't seem right to us, but it's very important to us to keep everyone able to hunt."
Wardens don't just stick to the woods to make sure people are following the rules. They also patrol the lakes to ensure ice fisherman are following safety rules.
Warden Yung believes people who aren't following the rules don't know the rules. He encourages everyone hunting or fishing to educate themselves.
"It doesn't pay to take a risk, to maybe harvest a fish, or harvest a deer, that could potentially be a danger to somebody else," says Yung.
The rules are what prevents those risks. People who want to see changes in the rules, can make them.
"They have opportunities to come to our public hearings to have input. The rules are really rules that aren't just made up in Madison. The public does have a role in those rules," says Yung.
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.
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.
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