Local Antigo Headlines

AHS welders win skills honors, again

For the sixth straight year, Antigo High School students have taken high honors in a regional competition that mixes welding and technical skills with artistic abilities.

Students from Adam Svatek’s Red Robin machining program and David Kuhr’s mechanical drafting program attended Northcentral Technical College’s sixth annual welding and mechanical design competition. This event was attended by numerous schools in the area competing in either the welding or the mechanical design.

The welding competition consist of an artistic and utilitarian categories. The class entered pieces in both categories; with a snowmobile lift, forged and welded fish, a d41 dozer, a buck head, a Titanic sculpture, and a T-Rex. Out of four possible placings, Antigo finished in second.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Friday meth raid figure held on $10,000 cash

Four months after his Antigo home was raided on suspicions linked to the sale of hallucinogenic bath salts, 29-year-old Anthony J. Flasch of 318 North Ave. is back behind bars accused in the production of methamphetamines.

On Monday, Reserve Judge Thomas Grover set bail at $10,000 cash when Flasch, taken into custody as a result of a March 13 raid, made his initial appearance in Langlade County Circuit Court.

The charges are substantial and due to Flasch’s repeater status based on past criminal convictions, the penalties carry the potential of more than 35 years of prison upon conviction.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

County Board Expedites Process For Hiring Workers; Hears Presentation On Juvenile Justice Budget

The Langlade County Board Of Supervisors agreed Tuesday morning to make it easier to hire individuals if there is a vacancy in one of the departments.

The current process in hiring a person results in approval needing to come from three separate committees, along with the 3/4ths majority vote for the County Board. The new format requires only the oversight committee of the hiring body to approve the hire. County attorney Robin Stowe said this would help expedite the process.

The county's governing body also approved heard a presentation by finance director Gary Olsen about the high costs of the Juvenile Justice program, specifically out of home placement.

Read more: WACD

Police: Woman hosts party, has sex with boys

An Antigo woman who was host to a weekend drinking party will face charges on allegations she had sex with two teen revelers.

According to the Antigo Police Department, the 31-year-old is being referred to the district attorney’s office on charges linked to the acts which allegedly occurred after she supplied alcohol to her daughter and several of her friends.

Two boys, ages 13 and 14, were among party’s attendants and it is alleged that the pair had sex with the adult female.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Seek pair accused in crime spree here, across Midwest

There’s been no gun play reported, but a criminal escapade that rolled through Antigo and Langlade County during the weekend has some similarities to the classic gangster tale.

The suspects, identified as 37-year-old Lisa Patten and 21-year-old Colton Hancock, remain on the loose, sparking a manhunt which has crossed state lines.

“We believe they may have been involved in several car thefts and burglaries here and elsewhere,” Sheriff Bill Greening said.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Pickerel area celebrates St. Patrick's

Shades of Irish green were everywhere in Pickerel Saturday afternoon for the 26th annual St. Patrick’s parade, and it has been for all of those years, it was quite an event.

The judging staff, comprised this year of Antigo Mayor Bill Brandt and attorneys Robert Kennedy of Crandon and John Rhode of Antigo, selected the last float in the long line of entries, Singing into Spring, as the best. It was brought to the parade by the Norwegian/Irish Folks Band.

The Pearson-Pickerel Lions Club, one of the traditional parade winners, was second with its colorful entry and there was a tie for third.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Authorities raid home here, find a meth lab

In a highly visible raid Friday afternoon, Antigo and Langlade County authorities arrested two men and will most likely charge a third with the production of methamphetamines.

The agents, as well as those from surrounding counties and the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigations, converged on a home at 318 North Ave., surrounding it with armed law officers who carried out the raid and investigation.

North Avenue, located adjacent to the Langlade County Fairgrounds, was blocked by squad cars, with flashing lights, creating tremendous interest in what was going on at a residence just a few hundred feet east.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Zelazoski Wood Products is mainstay

Antigo’s Zelazoski Wood Products began in 1924 as The Thos. Zelazoski Mfg. Co. and has grown to become a major supplier of everything from brush handles and ukulele necks to baseball bats and ice-fishing rigs.

The original plant was a converted blacksmith shop in the area of Third Avenue and Superior Street in Antigo. Tom and his four employees produced home and farm-related items. In 1928 it began to making wooden blocks for the brush and broom industry. The small company outgrew that shop and moved to new quarters at 103 Edison Street around 1940.

The company incorporated in 1952 by Tom’s sons, Clarence and Bernard, who continued to run the business until their sons, Jim, Ben, Mike, Charlie, Tom and Joe took over in 1986.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Colder Temperatures Coming Back To Northern Wisconsin

You might want to keep that winter coat handy. Forecasters say the spring-like weather we've had for the past week is about to disappear -- even though it won't get below-zero like it was in late February. The National Weather Service says a cold front is moving through Wisconsin this afternoon from north-to-south. Tonight, forecasters expect some light rain over the northern two-thirds of the Badger State -- and then we'll see cooler highs tomorrow in the 30's-and-low-40's.

Read more: WACD

Wisconsin Man Too Drunk To Take Breath Test

Milwaukee County sheriff's deputies say a man driving the wrong way on a major highway was too drunk to take an alcohol breath test.

Authorities say the driver swerved around one squad car Sunday and then pulled over after a police officer positioned his squad to stop him. Authorities say the 33-year-old Milwaukee man was too intoxicated to maintain consciousness'' for the breath test.

Read more: WACD

California Man Charged With Sexual Assault Of Langlade County Teen

On Friday evening a woman came home to her residence in rural Langlade County to find her daughter in her bedroom with a boy claiming to be 17. The woman asked him to stay in the kitchen until law enforcement arrived. The male said he had taken a cab from Wausau to get to the residence. After investigation it was determined the boy was actually 23, and resided in California.

Read more: WACD

Two Suspects Wanted In String Of Burglaries And Car Thefts In Langlade County

The Langlade County Sheriff's Office is investigating a weekend crime spree that included the thefts of two vehicles, one snowmobile and one burglary.

Officers with the Antigo Police Department responded to McDonald's around noon on Saturday for the report of a man and woman trying to pay for items with a counterfeit $20 during a drive-thru visit.

The suspects left the scene, but a short time later an officer located the suspect vehicle and initiated a traffic stop. The vehicle, a black ford Pickup truck fled the scene and a high speed chase began.

Read more: WACD

Students bring complex 'Camelot' story to life

A complex tale of chivalry, deceit and ultimately hope unfolds on the Volm Theater stage beginning tonight, when Antigo High School presents Camelot.

Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 10 and will be available beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Camelot will repeat on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m.; and next Thursday, Friday and Saturday, all at 7:30 p.m.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Kettlebowl closes another great season

Another great season has come to an end at one of Langlade County’s family-friendly gems—Kettlebowl ski hill.

Gordie Schofield, a longtime volunteer with the Langlade County Ski Club, said that after an excellent weekend of spring skiing, the decision was made early this week to close the hill for the season.

“That thaw happened in a hurry,” Schofield said.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

DNR Warns Of Possible Dangers From Ice Fishing

The sudden burst of warmth has authorities concerned about the safety of ice fishing enthusiasts in Wisconsin. The D-N-R requires shanties to be removed by Sunday from all inland waters in about the northern quarter of the state north of Highway 64. That might not be easy. Officials say it's risky to drive pick-up trucks onto the melting ice at a number of locations. Shanties were supposed to be removed by last Sunday south of Highway 64. Marathon County warden Ben Herzfeldt said he didn't know of any problems in getting shanties removed by last weekend's deadline. Colder weather is due in next week, but Herzfeldt warns folks not to wait to get their shanties off the lakes. He says the fines can be around 200-dollars a day for being late. Owners can also be hit with fees if the D-N-R has to remove their shanties.

Read more: WACD

Portage County Man Convicted Of Killing Stepfather With Baseball Bat

A Portage County jury has found a 33-year-old man guilty of in the death of his 77-year-old stepfather. The jury deliberated for more than five hours Thursday.

Andrew Pray is scheduled to be sentenced June 9 for the death of Christopher Bonnstetter. Investigators said Bonnstetter died after he was beaten with a baseball bat by Pray in May 2014.

On May 26, the Plover Police Department responded to a home on the 2800 block of Cedar Drive in Plover around 2 p.m. for the report of an assault. Inside they say they found Bonnstetter, critically injured. When officers arrived on scene they found a neighbor and the suspect, Pray, standing in a garage. According to court documents, Pray responded no comment when asked by an officer what happened.

Read more: WACD

Antigo Drug Kingpin Reaches Plea Deal

An Antigo woman has been sentenced to 6 months in jail for her involvement in a drug ring that was busted in May of last year. Lindsay Hodges pleaded guilty to delivery of marijuana and delivery of methamphetamine. She was identified by prosecutor Ralph Uttke as the kingpin of the operation.

Hodges, who is pregnant, will be allowed to leave custody should she go into labor during the six month term.

Read more: WACD

Antigo Fire Department To Host Fundraiser Broomball Tournament Sunday

This Sunday, the Antigo Fire Department will be holding a fundraising broomball tournament out at Peaceful Valley Park. Broomball is similar to hockey, but is played with an inflated ball and a broomstick. No contact is allowed in this tournament.

There is still time to sign up for the tournament if you'd like. Teams must be a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 10. It is $50 per team. Register by going into the Parks and Rec Office at City Hall, or register online at www.antigo-city.org/rec1. There will be activities for people just willing to watch the action including concessions, raffles and more.

All funds raised will help the fire department purchase a fire extinguisher training system, which is a simulator that projects lasers onto a screen.

Read more: WACD

DOT Announces Weight Restrictions For Northern Wisconsin Highways

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation today announced the seasonal posting of weight limits on area state highways. The weight restrictions are 6 tons gross load for single axle vehicles and 10 tons gross load for tandem axle vehicles. The maximum gross weight is 24 tons.

Weight restrictions will be effective at noon on Monday, March 16, 2015 on the following highways:

Read more: WACD

It's been 161 days since it was 60 degrees here, getting close

It’s been 161 days since Antigo broke 60 degrees.

That could change on Friday.

After predicted highs in the mid-50s today, thermometers in the Antigo area may touch 60 degrees on Friday before a return of cooler, but not bone-chilling, conditions for next week. The last time temperatures were that high here was on Oct. 2, 2014.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

City council passes wage changes on Wednesday

Antigo aldermen were a bit ambivalent on several pay-related issues and two dissented over purchasing a vehicle for City Hall use when the council convened Wednesday.

The meeting was the final regular session for Fifth Ward Alderman Phil Beck, who did not seek re-election. Carol Gottard, who serves the area on the Langlade County Board of Supervisors, will be unopposed on the spring ballot for the seat.

On 6-2 votes, with Beck and Joe Kapusta opposed, aldermen approved two resolutions dealing with employee wages. Tim Kassis was absent.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Drug 'kingpin' to serve six months in jail for 2014 sale

An Antigo woman identified by a prosecutor as the “kingpin” of an illegal drug sale operation shut down by law officers last spring will serve time in jail.

On Wednesday, Reserve Judge Thomas Grover sentenced 31-year-old Lindsay L. Hodges of 537 S. Hudson St. to a six month stay behind bars.

Hodges, who is pregnant, will be allowed her freedom should she go into labor during the time of incarceration. She will remain under supervision of the Department of Probation and Parole for three years.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

County jobless rate up, joins a state trend

Unemployment rates are up in every Wisconsin county and major city, with some counties—including Langlade—posting a full percentage point increase or more in the number of people seeking work.

The state Department of Workforce Development reported the figures for January, and there are few ways to spin the numbers in a positive direction, other than to note improvements from one year ago. They show unemployment increases across the board for the month. The figures are preliminary and subject to significant revision month-to-month.

In Langlade County, the rate climbed from 6.5 percent for December to 7.7 percent for January, a 1.2 percent increase. That rate remains 1.2 percent lower than January, 2014.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Natural gas extending into rural Aniwa this year by local utility

The Public Service Commission has approved a plan to bring natural gas services to the rural areas surrounding the village of Aniwa in northern Shawano County.

Antigo’s City Gas Co. provided gas to the village of Aniwa several years ago and recently filed an application with the commission to continue its expansion into the town of Aniwa.

The service was popular in the village and soon the requests were coming in from those living outside the corporate limits. That sparked a request from George Bornemann, the utility’s executive vice-president.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Mississippi River Still Frozen Despite The Recent Warmup

There's still a lot of ice on the Mississippi River, even with this week's above-normal temperatures. The Army Corps of Engineers took more measurements yesterday on the river's widest Wisconsin point at Lake Pepin -- and it was still 24-inches thick at its deepest spots. That's three-inches below last week's thickest spot. Experts say tow boats won't want to make shipments on the river until the ice is at least a foot thick or less -- a level they can cut through. It was 49-degrees at nearby La Crosse at eleven this morning, with highs expected to rise into the 60's under sunny skies.

Read more: WACD

Accused Murderer Of Wausau Teen Will Stand Trial In Adult Court

A 15-year-old Wausau boy charged with first degree reckless homicide in the Feb. 27 fatal stabbing of a Wausau 8th grader will head to trial. Marathon County judge Jill Falstad made the ruling Thursday during a preliminary hearing for Dylan Yang.

Jay Kronenwetter, Yang's defense attorney had asked Falstad to send the case to juvenile court with a charge of second degree reckless homicide. Falstad disagreed, saying the evidence supported a finding of probable cause and utter disregard for human life. Court documents state 13-year-old Isaiah Powell and Yang were in rival gangs.

Yang told detectives he saw 15 year old Isiah Powell fire a gun, went back inside to the kitchen and retrieved a knife.

Read more: WACD

NTC Wood Technology Program Is Growing

Thanks to a high scale marketing push over the last year, Northcentral Technical College has improved their graduation numbers and may hit their "max-out limit" of 16 students next fall. Head of the program, Travis Allen, said that there was concern for the program when only four people graduated the second year. They enhanced media coverage, as well as getting into the schools to tell incoming students about the program.

Read more: WACD

Winner named in 50 degree guessing

The first of those March weather teasers is here, and it brought readings high enough to win the Antigo/Langlade County Chamber of Commerce gift certificate from the Antigo Daily Journal contest to predict the first day reaching 50 degrees.

On Tuesday, Accuweather, the source selected as the Journal’s official temperature guide, said it reached 50. And that was good enough to get a $25 certificate heading to Pete Miller at his Trillium Lane address east of Antigo.

He had missed the mark by a few days, but certainly not that many.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal