RHINELANDER - The Oneida County Health Department told people to stay away from a popular freshwater spring this week after tests showed high levels of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the water.
The Crescent Spring on South River Road joins the nearby Rhinelander municipal Well 7 with high PFAS levels.
The Health Department and DNR don't know where the contamination is coming from.
"Especially when we're talking about the Crescent Spring and the sheer number of people that get their water from the Crescent Spring, we definitely wanted to be proactive [in keeping people away from it]," said Todd Troskey, an environmental health specialist with the Health Department.
Test results on that water came back last week. They showed high levels of PFHxS, a compound in the PFAS family of chemicals.
Those man-made chemicals, when inside humans, may be linked to higher cholesterol levels, a higher risk of thyroid disease, and lower female fertility.
The PFHxS levels at Crescent Spring were above 90 parts per trillion. Wisconsin doesn't have proposed limits for PFHxS, but other states do, and the concentration led the Health Department to tell people not to drink the spring water.
"Even though the state isn't currently looking at those to regulate, we knew that there was a good potential that they would be looked at in the future, and probably in the near future," Troskey said.
The Crescent Spring is near Rhinelander's Well 7, which was shut down in June after testing showed high levels of a different type of PFAS.
But no one knows the source of the PFAS. Troskey isn't even sure the two are related.
"Just because there is PFAS contamination in the Crescent Spring doesn't mean it's necessarily the same PFAS issue that was in Well No. 7," he said.
The Health Department will work with the DNR to identify a source, which could take up to a year.
Until then, Troskey says people in the area could get their private well water tested, but he admits that's expensive.
Instead, he recommends a simpler approach.
"Rely on the general condition, how they feel, asking their doctor if there's any concerns," he said.
Rhinelander's Well 7 remains shut down. The city and health department say municipal water is safe to drink.
RHINELANDER - After over 50 years of staying open, Hodag Lanes in Rhinelander has officially closed its doors.
"I mean COVID has hit the bowling business really, really hard no matter where your bowling center is," said Sharon Cline, bowling manager at Hodag Lanes.
And with the construction on Stevens Street, the bowling alley was in a tough situation.
"The construction was also a big play for us because with all the construction out here it was tough for anybody to get through," Cline said.
A lot of memories were created in the bowling alley for various citizens in the city.
"I probably started bowling in the early '80s on the Wednesday night women's league," said Sherri Schilleman, Rhinelander resident. "We had the 9 o'clock slot I believe back then."
For her and many families in Rhinelander, bowling was very popular.
"Bowling is actually a big sport in Rhinelander," said Schilleman. "And I think in the last couple of years bowling was actually starting to make another comeback. So it's sad because people are gonna have to find something else to do."
But Cline is hoping that this won't be the end for Hodag Lanes.
"It is costly to have a bowling center but we're just hoping again that we can get up and running again," said Cline.
MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee's former police chief, who was demoted to captain in part for using tear gas against protesters demonstrating over George Floyd's death, has chosen to retire instead of staying with the department.
The city's Fire and Police Commission voted unanimously last week to demote Chief Alfonso Morales.
Commissioners criticized how Morales handled multiple incidents involving Black people, including the arrest of Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown.
Speaking Wednesday on WTMJ-AM, Morales said he's retiring because if he returned as a captain it would be at a reduced salary and would negatively impact his pension payments.
Morales also defended his record as chief.
His attorney says he and Morales are exploring a range of legal action, including filing a claim for damages.
KINGSTON, MO - Attorneys for a Missouri man accused of killing two brothers from Wisconsin are seeking to have two charges of abandoning a corpse dismissed in the case.
Garland Nelson, of Braymer, is facing the death penalty in the deaths of 24-year-old Justin Diemel and 35-year-old Nicholas Diemel, of Shawano County, Wisconsin. They disappeared after visiting Nelson's farm in July 2019 and their burned remains were later found in Missouri and Nebraska.
KENOSHA - A Kenosha police officer wounded in a shootout last week while investigating a vehicle break-in has been released from a hospital, Wisconsin Department of Justice officials said Friday.
A release by the department's Division of Criminal Investigation identified the officer as Justin Pruett, who has been with the Kenosha police force for two years. He suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen, the Kenosha News reported.
MADISON - The University of Wisconsin-Madison has received less than 1% of the money that Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group pledged to it two years ago amid the electronics giant's expansion plans in Wisconsin.
In August 2018, Foxconn committed $100 million to the university to help fund an engineering building and for company-related research. It gave the school $700,000 in the first year of a 5-year agreement and records show the school has received no additional money over the past year.
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