Local Antigo Headlines

New furniture store opens on city's north side

Decades of furniture experience are converging on Antigo’s north side.

Lakeland Furniture & Mattress, owned by Rich and Melissa Biller, has opened its doors in the North Town Centre, offering an amazing array of items in every price range.

The Billers, together with manager Kory Walters, bring dozens and dozens of years of experience to the Antigo location and it shows in the facility’s layout and selection.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Judicial and school candidates to meet

Candidates for Langlade County Circuit Court Judge and Antigo school board will participate in back-to-back forums on Thursday evening in Antigo High School’s Volm Theater.

Langlade County District Attorney Ralph Uttke and local attorney John Rhode will square off at 6 p.m. in the judge’s forum sponsored by the Langlade County Bar Association.

The event is expected to last under an hour and will include opening and closing statements and several questions.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Measure Introduced By Tiffany; Rep. Kulp Could Increase Property Taxes By 80 Dollars

The average Wisconsin homeowner could pay up to 80-dollars more each year in property taxes, under a G-O-P plan to end taxes on certain business equipment. Hazelhurst Senator Tom Tiffany and Stratford Representative Bob Kulp have asked their colleagues to sign onto their measure. The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau said it would give businesses a statewide tax break of 270-million dollars a year -- which homeowners would have to pick up unless government services are cut. The Fiscal Bureau also said it would put the percentage of local property taxes paid by homeowners to above 70-percent. It's now just over 68-percent. Supporters say the increase would not be that drastic -- under the assumption that fewer taxes would result in more business growth, and therefore more business tax revenues to off-set the homeowners' burden. Kulp tells the Wisconsin State Journal the equipment tax is an extra cost on businesses, in part because an extra set of books is needed to keep track of taxable property.

Read more: WACD

Antigo School Board Will Be Busy Tuesday Evening

The Antigo School Board will meet for their monthly meeting Tuesday evening at the Antigo High School Media Tech Room. The board will first hear a presentation from the firm that conducted a study for the district on all of the school's heating systems. Many of those reports end with the phrase, "A decision must be made on whether or not an investment in the heating systems can be justified." If the district does all of the projects, costs could total over $2.4 million.

The Board will also hear recommendations from district leadership about ways to cut down the $1.4 million budget deficit for next year.

Read more: WACD

White Lake voters keen for information

A crowd hungry for information packed the White Lake School cafeteria Saturday, 17 days in advance of a spending referendum that will shape the future of the district for years to come.

The meeting was organized by the district’s ad hoc referendum committee, in hopes of informing voters on the details of the $300,000, five-year funding plan that officials say is key to the district’s continued operations.

“I’m elated this many people would show up on a Saturday morning to discuss this important issue,” Bill Fisher, the district’s administrator, said.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Facilities, budget top board agenda

The Antigo school board will be facing some tough decisions Tuesday, reviewing a proposal for hundreds of thousands of dollars in needed facility updates at the district’s seven elementary schools.

The board will convene for its regular March meeting at 7 p.m. in the media tech room located on the second floor of the high school.

Leading the agenda will be a presentation by Randy All, an engineer with Fredericksen Engineering, summarizing recommended improvements to the heating and ventilation systems for the district’s seven elementary schools.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

At Johnson Electric Coil, employees are key

Johnson Electric Coil Company started in 1934 in the basement of Lawrence Johnson’s home in Elmwood Park Ill. While expansion and relocation has occurred, they remain a family owned business doing about $11 million in business per year. They currently employ about 75 people.

Johnson Electric Coil manufactures custom transformers and inductors for industrial equipment. The largest customer is Miller Electric which produces welding products and according to President Bill Bockes, “our biggest market is power protection.”

“The most exciting thing at Johnson Electric Coil is the empowerment of people and the constant changes they must make to stay current and viable,” Bockes said.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Schools facing huge cuts in Walker budget

With urging from local district officials, a state lawmaker is suggesting that Gov. Scott Walker’s plans for school funding may undergo some revisions.

In his 2015-17 budget, the Republican governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate is proposing to eliminate an already-enacted $150-per-student increase in state aid and freeze overall school revenues, cutting a promised $75 per pupil increase there as well.

That has school officials across the region crying foul and state lawmakers are noticing.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Two Teens Charged With Possession Of Marijuana

An Antigo Police officer doing patrol around 2AM Saturday morning came across a car parked in the Antigo High School parking lot, with the windows fogged up. He approached the car and spoke with a passenger who he described as having droopy eyelids and blood shot eyes. He admitted to the officer he had smoked marijuana earlier in the day. Another passenger also admitted to smoking, and proceeded to give the officer a pill bottle that contained marijuana. More weed was discovered in the car which belonged to the first passenger.

Read more: WACD

February A Productive Dairy Month For Wisconsin

Wisconsin dairy cows had a busy February. The state produced four-point-three percent more milk last month than in February a year ago. That's about two-and-a-half times the national increase, while the nation's top producer -- California -- saw its milk output drop by almost four-percent. The U-S-D-A said Wisconsin made two-point-two billion pounds of milk in February -- more than one-eighth of the nation's milk production of 16-point-two billion pounds. The national increase was one-point-seven percent -- the same increase as the 23 major dairy states had.

Read more: WACD

Three People Charged After Drug Raid In Lincoln County

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office believes a house southeast of Merrill was being used as a drug trafficking home. Now, three people face drug charges after a police raid Thursday.

The raid happened at W5096 River View Rd., where police found marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and an AK-47-style assault rifle. The rifle also had a fully loaded extended magazine, according to a Lincoln County Sheriff's Office release.

Eric Welch, 26, Alyssa Olund, 21, and Jacob Cooper, 21, all from Merrill, appeared in Lincoln County court on Friday to face charges.

Read more: WACD

First in decade: Uttke, Rhode in race April 7 for judge

Langlade County will name a new circuit court judge when voters go to the polls on Tuesday, April 7.

District Attorney Ralph Uttke, who has served as the county’s lead prosecutor for the past 24 years, and John Rhode, a private attorney with the Sommer, Olk & Payant Law Firm, are both seeking the non-partisan post which was left open with the retirement of Judge Fred Kawalski.

With the winner not officially beginning his six-year term in office until August, the position will continue to be filled by a slate of reserve judges and court commissioners.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Spring arrives, Riverview course opens

Just a few hours before the formal arrival of spring late this afternoon, golfers were out on the Riverview links west of Antigo.

Joe Kretz, who operates the course, explained the March 20 opening is about five weeks earlier than a year ago, four weeks ahead of two years ago and a little behind four years back.

“That was on St. Patrick’s Day,” he said.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Wausau Holds Community Meeting Amid Teen Stabbing Death

About 70 people attended a forum in Wausau last night on keeping kids safe in the wake of a gang-related stabbing death three weeks ago. Police and school officials spelled out what they do to protect young people -- but they said parents must do their part, as well. Police said the incident began when rival gang members argued with each other on Facebook -- and a 19-year-old woman then drove seven boys to a fight where a 15-year-old boy was waiting with a knife. Thirteen-year-old Isaiah Powell was killed. At last night's community forum, parents were told to get involved with their children's lives by knowing what they do -- who they associate with -- and what they post online. Officials said parents do their kids no favors by giving their children too much privacy and independence at such a young age.

Read more: WACD

Warm Weather Provides Recreational Activities In Antigo

The weather is finally bearable and more people are enjoying the cities trails and parks. The Antigo Police Department would like to remind the community members that the cities parks can be enjoyed for the majority of the day, but do close at night. Most of the cities 18 parks have hours, and are open to the public from 7 a.m. until dusk. This includes the bike trail on Dump Road, and the unlit portions of the Spring Brook Trail in the city. The bathrooms at the parks that have them are un-locked from 7 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. even though the park may remain open until dusk. A full list of all the parks and their amenities can be viewed at the city's website.

Read more: WACD

Guilty verdict triggers courtroom outburst

A Gleason man was taken into custody while awaiting an April 20 sentencing Wednesday after being found guilty of four criminal charges at conclusion of a jury trial in Langlade County Circuit Court.

The ruling against 43-year-old Roger Stein triggered a verbal outburst by the defendant who showed signs of irritation throughout the hearing including at one point, a request that his attorney, Thomas Roley, be dismissed from the case.

Deliberation by the jury was brief with a verdict of guilt delivered on counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, failure to obey a traffic officer, resisting arrest and battery.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Van stolen here is recovered, shot gun found

A Chevrolet Astro van stolen from a Mayking Road residence on Saturday has been recovered in Outagamie County.

Langlade County Sheriff Bill Greening said the vehicle, one of four allegedly stolen here by suspects in a multi-county and possibly, multi-state crime ring, is currently in impound and is being inventoried for evidence.

Among the items it contained was a sawed-off shot gun confirmed stolen from Marinette County.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Final performances of 'Camelot' begin tonight, closes Saturday

“Camelot” returns to Antigo High School’s Volm Theater for three final performances.

The Loewe and Lerner classic musical will be staged at 7:30 p.m. tonight, Friday and Saturday. Tickets are priced at $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 10 and under, and will be sold one hour before curtain depending on availability.

The show tells the story of a King Arthur, his bride, Guenevere, the knight Lancelot, and the rise and spectacular fall of Camelot due in part to the cunning and evil Mordred, Arthur’s son.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

White Lake works to get word out on upcoming school vote

Promoters of a White Lake spending referendum they say is vital to long-term financial stability are using a mix of old-fashioned and very modern methods to get the word out.

The referendum calls for exceeding state-imposed revenue limits by $300,000 annually for the next five years. Estimated cost to taxpayers will be $1.55 per $1,000 of equalized valuation, or $155 in additional school taxes for the owner of a $100,000 home.

The vote will coincide with the regular spring election and will be held on April 7, one year after the first of two failed referendum tries in the district.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Event Saturday Will Help United Way Affiliates In Langlade County

This Saturday at North Star Lanes in Antigo, the United Way will be hosting a fundraiser, Taste of the Town, to help benefit the organization's affiliates. The benefit will feature local restaurants and businesses

There is no admittance fee and food tickets are available at the door.

Live Music by Brad Emanuel will be performed later.

Read more: WACD

Sheriff's Deputies Assist Langlade County Mother With Troubled Son

On Wednesday morning, the Langlade County Sheriff's Office received a complaint from a Schofield man saying that a black pickup truck with Wisconsin license plates cut him off as the lanes merge on Highway 45 south of Antigo. The man added that had he not slowed down, he would have been struck. Deputies called the person the vehicle was listed to and warned him of his driving behaviors.

Later in the afternoon, a Langlade County woman phoned deputies for assistance in dealing with her 12 year old son who constantly threatens to kill her.

Read more: WACD

City Denies Hard Liquor License To Antigo Gas Station

Wednesday afternoon the Fairgrounds Promotional committee met for their monthly meeting. The committee discussed possibly storing the Red Robin transit buses at the fairgrounds to cut costs. There are four buses in play, and they would be parked in the commercial building in the winter and near the maintenance building in the summer. The building would have to be ventilated at a cost of $15,000. Finance Director Gary Olsen also went through the committees budget. Water and Sewer costs jumped significantly as well as liability insurance. There will be enough money to make repairs to the school house and have a dump station. They also discussed ways to shorten the race track to get more events, and the future of the horse barn.

The Antigo FPL committee also met Wednesday evening. The committee denied a class A liquor license request from Kwik Trip in Antigo. A manager for the gas station attended the meeting and said they werent trying to sell hard liquor, but wine and hard cider.

Read more: WACD

Former Basketball Coach Convicted Of Sex Charge Will Get New Trial

A state appeals court says a former central Wisconsin girls' basketball coach should get a new trial on a charge of using a computer device to facilitate a sex crime. The Third District Appellate Court in Wausau threw out a jury conviction yesterday against 58-year-old Rory McKellips. He was charged after a girls' player at Athens High School told police he had sexual contact with her in 2011 at his Mosinee home. A Marathon County jury found McKellips innocent of sexual assault and exposure, but convicted him of using a computer for a sex crime. He was later sentenced to ten years in prison. McKellips denied the girl's sexual assault allegations in his trial testimony, but admitted buying a pre-paid cellphone for the girl to use. The appellate court said the trial judge should have not asked jurors to determine whether the flip-phone was a legal computer device. Instead, the court said Judge Mike Moran should have asked jurors whether the alleged uses of the flip-phone constituted communications through a computerized system.

Read more: WACD

Woman charged in assault of teen boys

Bail was set at $10,000 cash Tuesday for an Antigo woman accused of having sexual contact with two teen boys during a drinking party in December.

Carissa L. Drake, 31, of 323 Deresch St. stands charged in Langlade County Circuit Court with four felony offenses — two for the sexual assault of a child under the age of 16 and two for exposing intimate parts.

The sex counts each carry a maximum prison term of 40 years with the exposure charges adding another seven years to the tally.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Dog n Suds sign leaves Antigo for Missouri

The neon Dog n Suds sign at Northern Advertising north of Antigo, that brought back memories of the 1960s and 1970s to thousands, is gone today.

Dean Blazek, who has operated the firm that specializes in billboards and business signs, like the one what graced a Marshfield Dog n Suds until about 25 years ago, sold it to a Missouri car collector to be part of his display.

Apparently that 1960s sign goes well with his classics.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Student art show opening Thursday

Antigo school district art teachers are putting the finishing touches on the district art show, with an opening reception Thursday at The Blue Awning.

The reception will run from 3:30 to 6 p.m. There will be root beer floats and a photo booth available. There will also be an unusual opportunities for photos as the Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa or Edvard’s Munch's Scream.

The exhibit, which will showcase student artwork from throughout the district, will remain on view through April 8.

Read more: Antigo Daily Journal

With strings, board votes to fill key highway posts

The Langlade County Board of Supervisors approved filling two soon-vacant positions at the highway department at its Tuesday meeting, but did it with a twist.

On a unanimous vote, supervisors backed the decision to fill the posts, but on an amendment by Michael Klimoski, added language that give applicants from outside this area an edge in the hiring.

Two of the department’s key employees, Tim Rusch, the commissioner, and Kenneth Washatko, the patrol superintendent, are retiring in May and June. Approval at the Tuesday meeting allows the advertising and interview process to get underway.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

$25,000 bail for man jailed in sex crime

A California man who allegedly flew to Wisconsin to engage in sexual activity with a local teen whom he had met online has been ordered jailed on a $25,000 cash bond.

Omar I. Luera, 23, stands accused in Langlade County Circuit Court with three felony counts — two for the use of a computer to fascilitate a child sex crime and sexual assault of a child under the age of 16.

All three carry a maximum prison term of 40 years upon conviction with the computer counts carring a minimum bifrucated sentence of at least five years of initial confinement plus a term of supervision.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Couple wanted after local counterfeit, chase case caught

When Lisa Patten and Colton Hancock rolled through the Antigo McDonald’s drive-thru Saturday afternoon, little did they know that it would be a start to an end to an inter-state crime spree which raced from Iowa and Illinois and across the Wisconsin border.

Patten, 37, and Hancock, 21, were nabbed Monday afternoon near Montello and are currently housed in a Marquette County jail after a high-speed chase, at least their second with law officers in a matter of days, ended with their capture following a crash with another vehicle.

“They are in custody,” Langlade County Sheriff Bill Greening said following the pair’s arrest, citing the Crime Alert Network, a system which allows the transfer of crime-based information between law enforcement agencies as well as businesses and the general public, as key in their discovery.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal