Scandinavian Forestry Equipment's Oneida Co. facility 'structurally unsound' after fireSubmitted: 01/14/2020
Story By Stephen Goin

Scandinavian Forestry Equipment's Oneida Co. facility 'structurally unsound' after fire
TOWN OF CRESCENT - Following a fire Tuesday morning, the service warehouse at Scandinavian Forestry Equipment's Crescent facility has been deemed structurally unsound. 

Shortly before 7:30 am, multiple crews responded to an employee report of fire at the Oneida Co. branch of the logging equipment supplier.

"When we got on scene the roof was already partially collapsed already, so there already had been fire there for quite some time," said Sgt. Scott Rathbun with the Rhinelander Fire Department.

Rathbun said the fire was contained and extinguished is less than three hours with just water. Firefighting foam was used to cover the debris. The facility sustained a majority of damage to its roof and the contents inside the facility.

Assistant Manager Laurie Kent told Newswatch 12 the warehouse was filled with valuable equipment.

"There was a piece of logging equipment inside, and then just a bunch of stuff for their shop with tools and waste oil," said Rathbun.

No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is still unknown. 

Fire departments from Rhinelander, Crescent, Pelican and Newbold responded to the incident. The Oneida Co. Sheriff's Office and county ambulance also responded along with Wisconsin Public Service. 

According to Kent, employees will continue to work at the Oneida Co. facility but not in the warehouse. Kent said several local business have offered to let Scandinavian Forestry Equipment use their shops and service centers.

Kent also told Newswatch 12 the equipment supplier planned to move to a new building in the Village of Maine this summer. 

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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.

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Hodag Lanes Closing Submitted: 08/14/2020

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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. 

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MADISON - The state Assembly's chief clerk released records of a legislative aide's sexual harassment complaint against a freshman Democratic lawmaker, months after news organizations sued to gain access to them.

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MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has received the 2019 test results from the second year of the ruffed grouse West Nile virus (WNV) surveillance project.

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- The Rhinelander school district announced today a blended reopening plan for the 2020-21 academic year. The blended option will include high school and middle school students attending in-person classes twice a week, with the remainder of the week being online. Meanwhile, K-5th will have a four day school week, with Wednesdays off for a school-wide cleaning. Despite the district's decision to offer partly online classes, not all parents are ready for their students to return back to the school hallways.

"We have to put health in front of money. we have to put health in front of other important things to make sure everybody is okay to continue to enjoy the things we like so much. and if this is just one way we can keep her safe and the family safe,..again we just decided as a family that's the best route for us," Rhinelander parent, Kate Bauman said.

For parents wanting an alternative option, they can sign up for the districts online option by tomorrow night, August 9th, 2020. 

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MADISON - The grandmother of an 11-year-old girl shot in Madison said Wednesday the girl will be taken off life support.

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NEW ORLEANS - A federal appeals court in New Orleans upheld the constitutionality of the all-male military draft system Thursday, citing a 1981 U.S. Supreme Court decision.

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