RHINELANDER - On Tuesday, Oneida County decided against buying the Petco property on Rhinelander's west side.
Its buildings have been mostly empty since the business, once owned by Drs. Foster and Smith, closed last month and laid off almost 300 employees.
The county was considering using part of the massive warehouse as a new highway shop. That idea fell through, but there's still interest from other buyers for the $4 million property.
"It's very important, and we're going to be here to work with any interested party to help facilitate the information," said Stacey Johnson, the executive director of the Oneida Co. Economic Development Corporation.
Johnson briefly served on a committee considering whether the county should buy the property and use it as a new highway shop.
This week, the county disbanded the group after only a few weeks in existence. But Oneida Co. could still have a role to play.
"We've seen it with other buildings, so there's no reason that this building would be any different," Johnson said.
In 2016, Oneida Co. approved a $15 million loan for paper producer Expera, now Ahlstrom Munksjo, to move into Rhinelander's old Printpack building on Kemp St. The company opened new paper lines in a building that had been vacant for two years.
"Bringing jobs, improving the economy, and make use of a building that was literally a dinosaur," Oneida Co. Board Chair Dave Hintz said at the time.
We're still a ways away from something like that for the Petco property. But Johnson is confident there's a business use for the complex.
"I don't think anyone wants to see that building sit empty," she said.
Petco representatives in San Diego didn't respond to a message Friday seeking to learn more about interest the company has gotten in the property.
RHINELANDER - A man died near the entrance of Nicolet College in Rhinelander on Thursday afternoon.
Neither the campus nor the public were in danger, according to the Oneida Co. Sheriff's Office. Due to the circumstances of the man's death, Newswatch 12 is not releasing more information, but there appears to be nothing suspicious about the death.
Police got a report at 3:55 p.m. about a man lying face down near the entry drive to Nicolet College. Emergency responders took him to St. Mary's Hospital, but he died.
The Oneida Co. Sheriff's Office, Rhinelander Fire Department, Pelican First Responders, and Oneida Co. Medical Examiner's Office were involved in the response.
The Oneida County Beekeepers Association promotes beekeeping in the Northwoods.
It does its part to save the bees, and wants to encourage to do the same. It works to recruit new beekeepers, as well as teach people the importance of honeybees in our everyday lives.
"Bees are essential for our food supply," said Oneida County Beekeepers Association member, John Bigley. "If we lose the bees, we lose most of the food supply. So, we got to keep them healthy. We have to ensure that they are pollinating not only the flowers, but the fruit trees and vegetable gardens."
The organization is holding a class on June 1st for anyone who is interested in learning how to become a beekeeper.
It's also an advanced class for beekeepers to learn more about bee tips and tricks.
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