MOSINEE - Only drivers in Illinois and Connecticut have to suffer on worse roads than drivers here in Wisconsin. Seventy-one percent of Wisconsin's roads are in mediocre or poor shape, according to a survey by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
People in northcentral Wisconsin feel the pain.
Price County Highway Commissioner Don Grande says less than 10 percent of his road system is rated "good" or better. But he doesn't have the money from the federal, state, or county government to make major repairs.
At current funding levels, Price County can only replace its road system every 200 years.
"It's extremely frustrating that we can't keep up with the economic demand in Price County," Grande said. "Our system is in such poor shape that we're just throwing anything we can at it just to glue it together."
Grande and dozens of others met in Mosinee on Wednesday to discuss poor roads and funding challenges.
Other communities face similar frustrations. The City of Marshfield will ask residents to raise their own taxes in August to pay for roadwork.
"Oftentimes, when we talk about improving parks or other services, the public will say, 'That's great, but before you do that, what about the streets in my neighborhood? When are they going to be upgraded? When are they going to be maintained more?'" said Marshfield City Administrator Steve Barg.
Marshfield hopes to raise $6.8 million through the property tax referendum to make long-term fixes to roads.
"The long-term success is whether or not you can provide a good long-term surface 30, 40, or 50 years out that's going to be durable," Barg said. "That's the bigger issue, as opposed to just keeping up on the filling of cracks and the potholes."
Many people at the Mosinee meeting, which was hosted by the Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin, complained that last year's state budget did little to help transportation funding for northern Wisconsin.
"Some of the similarities we've heard is, one is, frustration. It shouldn't be this hard," said TDA Executive Director Craig Thompson. "Other states are figuring out a way to fund their transportation system. Wisconsin hasn't been able to yet."
Wisconsin legislators delayed budget talks for four weeks last year while debating the transportation budget. They ended up cutting millions from what Gov. Scott Walker first wanted to spend.
Even so, hundreds of millions will go to repairing the Zoo Interchange in the Milwaukee area.
EAGLE RIVER - Professional snowmobilers took to the racetrack in Eagle River this weekend. However, they weren't the only ones riding on some top-of-the line sleds.
Arctic Cat was at the derby offering demo rides on their 2021 models. People got a chance to try out the different machines, and put money down on a model of their choice.
Sales director Joe Klosterman said it's important for people to try before they buy.
"We do it to give an experience to the consumer," said Klosterman. "You wouldn't buy a car without driving it. We've also got a new model this year that I think is going to bring a lot of new people into the industry."
Demo workers took guests out on a 10-mile loop to experience some of the best trails in the Northwoods. Those trails featured curbs, some fresh powder, and lots of bumps to test the machines' suspension.
Klosterman said Arctic Cat sold lots of sleds over the weekend thanks to the promotion.
OSHKOSH, WIS. (AP) - A Wisconsin teenager who was shot and wounded when he stabbed a school resource officer has been ordered to stand trial.
Grant Fuhrman, 17, is charged as an adult with attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the Dec. 3 attack at Oshkosh West High School.
Fuhrman is accused of stabbing Mike Wissink multiple times with a barbecue fork. Court documents say the officer was unable to reach his stun gun so he shot Fuhrman twice. Neither was seriously injured.
The school was evacuated and classes were cancelled for two days.
IRON COUNTY - One person died in a snowmobiling incident in Iron County early Sunday morning. The victim was identified as a 47-year-old female.
According to a press release by the Iron County Sheriff's Department, dispatch received a call at 1:52 a.m. reporting a snowmobile crashed on Trail 17 just outside Hurley and the operator was unresponsive.
First responders arrived at 2:04 a.m. and began taking life saving measures. The driver was then transported by rescue sled to Beacon ambulance and then to Aspirus GVH in Ironwood, MI.
After continued life-saving measures, the 47-year-old female was pronounced dead at Aspirus Hospital.
MADISON - Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced Sunday he wants state lawmakers to pass a package of bills aimed at curbing youth vaping and educating the public about vaping's potential dangers.
The bills Evers, a Democrat, is requesting would ban vaping and vapor products on K-12 campuses and expand the definition of public health emergencies. Another bill would fund a public health campaign to address youth vaping in the state and a fourth proposal would expand the enforcement capacity of the Departments of Revenue and Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection to prevent vaping products from being sold to minors.
The governor's office outlined his proposals in a press release Sunday.
"As a parent, grandparent, and lifelong educator, I am deeply concerned about the health and well-being of our kids," Evers said in a statement. "Vaping is a serious public health epidemic and it is time to take action."
The governor's office said vaping products pose serious health risks to young users because the nicotine contained in e-cigarettes can harm parts of the brain that control attention and learning.
ARBOR VITAE - This year the Arbor Vitae Fire Department hosted the Firefighter chili cook-off.
The event was being held at the Little Rice Fire Department the previous two years.
Arbor Vitae firefighter Ashely Roach said she loves having a job that lets her serve her community.
"Our fire department is very proud of the things we get to do for the community," said Roach. "Our picnic is something we have been doing for over 40 years and being able to use those same skills to put on events for other organizations feels good."
All proceeds from the fundraiser go to Vilas County Sheriff's Office K9 Stitch, money raised will cover the dog's training and vet bills.
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