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Rhinelander-Oneida Co. Airport director to retire, RHS grad will take over position Submitted: 03/20/2018
Story By Allie Herrera

Rhinelander-Oneida Co. Airport director to retire, RHS grad will take over position
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. 


"You look at it and say, 'What a great story to bring the prodigal son back home,'" said Brauer. 

"Going from airport kid to director in 25 years I think is a great chronology," said Matthew Leitner, the man who will take over for Brauer as airport director in May. 

Leitner, who graduated from Rhinelander High School in 1997, grew up riding his bike to the airport.

"[I] worked at Rhinelander flying service. I would do whatever it took to get an airplane ride or an hour of flight instruction," said Leitner during a phone interview with Newswatch 12. 

Leitner solo piloted on his 16th birthday even before getting his driver's license. Even being blind in his left eye couldn't stop his passion. 

"It's just always been an integral part of who I am and a white hot passion. It's just something I live for," said Leitner. 
 
Now, Leitner is getting ready to leave his position as airport director in California and fill the shoes of a man he knew growing up in the Northwoods. Brauer says he's confident Leitner will exceed his work as airport director.
 
"Just continue to see Rhinelander being that shining star that's out there with what we've accomplished and what Matt will accomplish in the future," said Brauer. 

Leitner will take over for Brauer on May 7. Brauer will officially retire later in May, the day after his birthday, at the age of 67. Brauer wants to thank everyone in the community for their support over the years.    


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 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander man could face prison time after police arrested him in an online underage sex sting.  Oneida County prosecutors charged Adam Van Roy with three felonies on Monday.

A Wisconsin Department of Justice Special Agent working with the Oneida County Sheriff's Office posed as a 19-year-old woman named 'Julia G' on several social media applications March 13-15.  Van Roy, 36, started talking with 'Julia' during that time.  

'Julia' soon told Van Roy she was actually only 15 years old.

The agent's notes show Van Roy asked 'Julia' for pictures, including nude images, and asked her "what do you like in the bedroom?"

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VILLAGE OF HEWITT - Monday around 7 A.M. Wood County police responded to a man who was run over by a dump truck in the Village of Hewitt.

When the police arrived they were informed by emergency responders that the man's injuries were fatal.

The victim of the accident was 77-years-old.

Police have ruled the death as an accident, and it was determined that the subjects involved were performing maintenance on the dump truck when the accident happened.

The Wood County Sheriff's Department, Hewitt EMS, Marshfield Ambulance, and the Wood County Coroner's Office all responded to the accident.

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CRANDON -
(Suspects identified clockwise, beginning with upper-left: Robert Daniels, Andrew Phillips, Richard Harris, Geraldine Dubray, Allyssa Wamego, Tammy Mann)

A report of a noisy house party and fight near Crandon led to six drug-related arrests earlier this month.  Officers eventually found heroin, cocaine, and guns along with other drug items inside, but getting there took some extra work.

According to a release from the Forest County Sheriff's Office, police responded to a home at 7840 Love Knot Lane in the Town of Lincoln, which is east of Crandon, on March 7 around 7:15 p.m.

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CRANDON - Recently, flooding closed roads and frustrated communities from Rhinelander to Plover. A bad combination of rain and melting snow led to days of flood warnings. As those warnings go away, a related risk could do a lot more than frustrate you - it could make you sick. Flooding can cause contamination in wells, but the Northwoods is lucky to have a world-class water testing facility.

RT Krueger's Northern Lake Service in Crandon has about 50 specialized machines that test drinking water for half of the municipalities in Wisconsin. Krueger tests Rhinelander's water three times a week. Every year 65,000 water samples flow in and out of this lab.

"The safe drinking water testing for the city of Madison is being performed up in little tiny Crandon," said Krueger.

Many people have their own wells, which are not tested regularly like municipal water. If your well is submerged due to flooding, filtered groundwater mixes with potentially harmful surface water.

"You're introducing the bacteria and all the compounds and organisms that are normally above the water that you're drawing," said Krueger.

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MILWAUKEE - Officials say a man shot by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee police on campus is hospitalized in stable condition.

University Police Chief Joe LeMire said at a news conference Tuesday two officers found the man, armed with a gun, sleeping on a bench in the Fine Arts Complex building around 7 a.m., an altercation occurred and he was shot. The police officers were treated for minor injuries.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 03/19/2019

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:


We talk to a snowplow driver in Lincoln County who says he was attacked with a baseball bat after accidently knocking down a mailbox.

We'll take you to the ribbon cutting for a new utility garage in Stevens Point and show you some sustainable design features that are part of the facility including the largest solar array in Central Wisconsin.

And we'll speak with a water testing specialist in Crandon to go over the importance of testing groundwater especially after there has been flooding in the area.


We'll bring you this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MERRILL - The Merrill Area Public School District will need to replace its school board's vice president.

Eric Geiss emailed his resignation to Board President Kevin Blake, announcing he would step down immediately.  Geiss cited personal reasons for his decision.

"I regret any inconvenience that my resignation may cause," Geiss said in his email, which was relayed to Newswatch 12 through the MAPS Administrative Office. "I have enjoyed the experience and am honored to have worked with you in service of the students and the district, helping transform the board's reputation and community relationships. I do believe we have done very good things for our kids, the future of the district and the community."

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