RHINELANDER - The old WPS building near the Oneida County Courthouse will soon have a new owner.
The building has been bought by a Rhinelander company.
Newswatch 12 spoke with Oneida County's Land Information director about the decision.
The old WPS building on Davenport Street in downtown Rhinelander has been empty for at least three years.
But that will soon change.
The Oneida County Board voted unanimously to sell the former building for $185,000 this morning.
That's more than $360,000 less than they wanted.
The buyer, Midwest Lease, LLC, said he couldn't go over his offer.
"He did point out that he was nervous about the situation and felt that $185,000 that he was offering for the building is probably going to be the least expensive part of the entire plan for the building with the renovations he would have to do to it." said Oneida County Land Information director, Mike Romportl.
The board had another offer from Boyd Financial Services that they turned down in January.
Boyd offered to rent 40 percent of the space from the county.
That's if they agreed to remodel the building.
The Oneida County Land Information Director says they went with their second option because there was no strings attached.
"Mr Boyd did have one other option which he would have purchased the building and would have considered leasing it to somebody else," Romportl.
"But that was like number three; low priority. He preferred to lease it back to the county."
The sale is expected to close in 30 days.
We tried to reach out the new owners to see what they have planned for the building, but they were out of town.
STEVENS POINT - A former Portage County doctor could go to prison for sexually assaulting his patients. Wilton Calderon pled guilty to three felonies Friday.
Calderon was a caregiver at the Plover Family Practice until leaving it in 2015. He then moved to Connecticut.
At least seven women accused Calderon of sexually assaulted them during appointments. Some patients said Calderon placed his genitals in their hands and performed unwanted gynecological exams by penetrating them with his fingers.
SUGAR CAMP - Update Feb. 17, 2017 10:20 p.m. -- The woman who runs an Oneida County animal rescue could face animal mistreatment charges.
Oneida County Deputies booked Stephanie Schneider on Thursday. She is due in court on Feb. 27.
Last week, deputies removed 39 dogs from Schneider's "It Matters to One" in Sugar Camp and put them at the Oneida County Humane Society.
Police are recommending charges to the district attorney, which include failing to provide food and water, mistreating animals, and obstructing officers.
People who know Schneider say they can't believe this is happening.
"I'm just heartsick about this, and I'm sick at heart for her," said LynnAnn Thomas, a Sugar Camp resident who says she's friends with Stephanie Schneider.
"Those are her children. She would never, ever , ever mistreat them," Thomas said.
But that's exactly what police believe Schneider did. Last week they removed the dogs from the facility after a weeks-long investigation that was prompted by complaints and concerns from several people.
"People that had worked or volunteered there were concerned about the conditions that the dogs were in and the fact that they were not receiving food or water," said Oneida County Sheriff's Capt. Terri Hook.
Those accusations baffle Thomas.
"I been over there several times, it's always been meticulously clean, happy dogs," Thomas said.
Thomas believes whatever condition the dogs were in, they came to Schneider that way.
"She does get some really, really, really desperate cases, and I imagine that they take a long time to heal," Thomas said.
Thomas added she got her own dog from It Matters To One a few years ago.
"I got my little Hankey, he came in in really bad shape, and she wouldn't let me have him until he was nursed back to health," Thomas said.
Since the dogs were removed, It Matters to One posted certificates of veterinary inspections on its Facebook page for most of the 39 dogs. The Sheriff's Office has seen those and is including them in its investigation, which is ongoing and may not end soon.
"Just to ensure that all the dogs are healed and make sure they've received all the care they need," Hook said.
Newswatch 12 has reached out to It Matters to One and has been communicating with the rescue via email.
The state Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection is helping the sheriff's office with its investigation and will decide if the rescue can keep its license.
Newswatch 12 also reached out to the veterinarian who conducted the inspections for the rescue, but has not yet heard back.
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