RHINELANDER - Neighbors of a proposed halfway house in Rhinelander packed City Hall this week to oppose the project.
Their advocacy was effective.
A city commission recommended the City Council deny a private agency's ability to set up the house.
It would serve recovering ex-convicts.
But some others point out the good things a halfway house could provide.
Tony Fralick has worked at Community House in Rhinelander for three years.
It's a different kind of halfway house - serving people with mental illnesses instead of ex-convicts with drug and alcohol problems.
But like the proposed house on Phillip Street, there was plenty of skepticism about Community House in the beginning.
People worried about their new neighbors, their own safety, and property values.
That was in the late 1980s.
"A lot of our guys and women in Community House go in the community every day. You wouldn't even know it. We haven't had any problems with the neighbors since. People just accept it. They're like, hey, they do good work there," Fralick says.
Opponents are concerned the new halfway house would be near their homes, a city park, and a school bus stop.
Fralick doesn't live in that neighborhood.
But he thinks the chance for people to do GOOD outweighs their concerns.
"I understand their concerns, and their safety, and their stuff, and their homes, and everything. That's fine. I'd feel the same way. But at the end of the day it's about making a difference. It's about helping people. It's about second chances. We all deserve one," Fralick says.
The city's Planning Commission rejected the idea on Wednesday.
But nothing is decided just yet.
The City Council will have the final say on April 14th.
MADISON - The Wisconsin Senate has unanimously approved an $80 million juvenile justice overhaul plan that would close the troubled Lincoln Hills prison by 2021 and replace it with smaller regional facilities.
The Senate voted without any debate Tuesday to pass the plan, which largely mirrors what the Assembly unanimously approved last month.
RHINELANDER - Looking back on his 28 years as airport director, Joe Brauer says he has a lot to be proud of.
"When we got the disabled passenger lift, the non-motorized one, we were very, very proud of that," said Brauer, who's worked as the airport director for 28 years. He's also been in the airline business for 20 years.
Now, the longtime Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport director will be passing things off to a familiar face.
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