ST. GERMAIN - A judge ruled Vilas County can build a snowmobile trail on the right of way on a St. Germain couple's property.
Tom and Karen Martens filed a lawsuit last fall to stop the trail from crossing their land. The Martens said the statute allowing for trails on right of ways doesn't apply to their land because it was an easement. They also cited safety concerns.
A judge ruled Tuesday the statute does allow for the trail. That means if the Martens don't appeal within 45 days the county can begin construction.
"By the time we go through the permit process again and renewing the contracts, we're probably looking at some time early this spring. We'll hopefully have the trail in place for the 2013-2014 snowmobile year," says Dale Mayo, Vilas County Recreation Administrator.
Tom Martens says they're disappointed in the decision. He and Karen believe if a snowmobile club member lived in their home, the trail would not be considered in that location.
RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Police Department identified the man who died after a house fire on Friday night as 35-year-old Jeffery J. Becker.
Rhinelander Fire Chief Terry Williams told Newswatch 12 on Monday afternoon that an autopsy indicates Becker died from smoke inhalation, but the autopsy results and further investigation is now in the hands of the state Department of Criminal Investigations.
Crews responded to the house at 320 Rose Street, near Hodag Park, around 7:30 p.m. Friday. Firefighters went inside the house soon after they arrived and found Becker unresponsive on the floor. Firefighters and paramedics tried to revive Becker, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
RHINELANDER - Buying a house takes a lot of planning, timing, and some luck. Something buyers can't control is a home's listing price. Statewide, that number has gone up because more people are looking to buy than sell.
Joe Verich and his wife planned to sell their lakefront home 1 1/2 years ago. However, closing the deal hasn't happened yet.
"We were given pretty good notice when we listed our house. We were expecting that it could be as much as two years to move the home," said Verich.
Verich says he had to lower his price a dozen times. Lucky for him, when he originally bought his house, Verich got a good deal for it.
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