Local Antigo Headlines

School Board Approves Budget; Honors Business Services Director

On Tuesday evening the Antigo School board met for their monthly meeting and approved the 2014-15 budget, and heard from business services director Mary Jo Filbrandt for the final time before she retires at the end of the month. The final budget is expected to decrease local property taxes by just under 3%. According to Filbrandt, a big chunk of money was transferred from the operational side to the instructional side, and teachers were able to purchase classroom materials with those funds. She also made the board aware that roughly $245,000 of expenditures over what was in the adopted budget in October brings the district within less than 0.8% of the budgeted funds.

Filbrandt was honored at the end of the evening with a "roast" from Buildings and Grounds director Tim Prunty, detailing numbers of her 29 year career.

Read more: WACD

Hip Pocket rocks the park bandstand

The Hip Pocket Band rocked the south side of Antigo Monday night.

The popular band, with a big sound, was on stage at 6:30 p.m. for the Music in the Park program, sponsored by Aspirus Langlade Hospital, with a big crowd on hand. About an hour later the rains came, and members of the band were scurrying to move their valuable lights and musical equipment.

But before the rain came, it was quite a show.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Preliminary budget to be aired at school meeting

The Antigo school board Tuesday is expected to give preliminary approval to a 2015-16 budget that trims the tax levy by 2.95 percent.

Action will come at the board’s regular June session, slated for 7 p.m. in the media tech room at the high school.

Finances and personnel are the main focus of the session, not uncommon on summertime agendas as districts move from one fiscal and school year to another.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Antigo chamber honors top fathers

Chloe honored her dad, Andrew, while Taketa sang the praises of his father, Bill to take top honors in the Antigo/Langlade County Chamber of Commerce Father of the Year contest.

The annual event, with winners announced on Father’s Day weekend, brought runners-up honors to Angelina and Charlie and Breanna and Jeffrey.

Taking top honors in the kindergarten through fifth grade division, Chloe wrote about her dad Andrew, calling him “the greatest.”

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Monday's Music In The Park Features Talented Classic Rock Band

Tonight's Music in the Park will have a rock feel as Hip Pocket takes the stage. Langlade Hospital is the sponsor for tonight's concert, and will be in charge of distributing the pies, custard, sandwiches and Optimist Cheese Curds. Hip Pocket is a 10 piece band that has a Classic Rock and R&B type sound. Music in the Park takes place every Monday and Wednesday starting at 5:30 PM.

Read more: WACD

Man Causes Car Wreck Over Jealousy Of Female In Former Friend's Car

On Friday, an anonymous call reported an accident on Flack Road in Langlade County, a mile away from Highway 64. Two vehicles were involved. According to deputies, the two drivers used to be friends, but it deteriorated over their affection for the same female. A 30 year old Bryant man saw the female in the 28 year old Townsend man's car and sped after them to confront them. He was unable to slow down and hit the other vehicle in the rear, causing it to lose control and roll. There were no serious injuries. Both were cited for speeding, and the Bryant man was also charged with reckless driving causing bodily harm.

At 11:21 PM on Friday, an anonymous call alerted deputies of a man who drove his vehicle into the ditch on Highway 45 near County Road A.

Read more: WACD

Wisconsin Dairy Production Continues To Grow

Wisconsin's milk production continues to grow by leaps and bounds. New figures from the U-S-D-A show that the Badger State raised its output by more than three times the national increase in May. Wisconsin cows pumped out two-and-a-half billion pounds of milk last month, four-point-four percent more than the same month a year ago. The state remains second in milk production behind California, where a massive drought continues to hurt dairy producers. The Golden State made two-point-nine percent less milk in May, at three-point-six billion pounds. California's dairy herd remained steady, but its output per cow dropped by 60 pounds to two-thousand-50 per animal. Wisconsin added nine-thousand cows in May, making its new total one-million 278-thousand.

Read more: WACD

13 Year Old Boy Dies In Merrill Drowning

A dive team has recovered the body of a 13-year-old boy in the Wisconsin River in Merrill Sunday evening.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's office received the call at 3:27 p.m. that the boy went under water, and didn't resurface.

The Merrill Fire Department Chief Dave Savone says the boy was found by a dive team around 7:15- 7:30 p.m. about 15 feet from where he was last seen.

When search teams arrived at Ott's Park just after the call, they were able to pull three other people from the water, according to Mark Heckendorf of the Merrill Police Department.

Those three, along with the 13-year-old were swimming mid channel, just south of the boat landing at Ott's Park.

Search teams were focused primarily on the area just south of the Ott's Park boat landing.

Read more: WACD

Regional museum created new passports to trace steps, get data

This summer, while travelling throughout northern and north-eastern Wisconsin, travelers should be sure to take along their passports—their museum passort that is.

Museums in the region have adopted a plan to encourage people to learn the cultural and environmental history of the region and have fun in the process. Both the Langlade County Historical Society’s museum in Antigo and the White Lake Area Historocail Society’s depot and historical center in White Lake are participating, along with sites in six other counties in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Visitors will be able to obtain a “passport” that contains instructions, a photo of the participating museums or venues, information about the sites, and a place where the site will stamp acknowledgement of a visit.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Pickerel Fire Department adds thermal imaging camera to resources

Firefighting in the Pickerel area is going high-tech.

The department received a $2,000 grant through Wisconsin Public Service Foundation which, combined with money from fund-raisers, was used to purchase a Thermal Imaging Camera. This camera can be used to look for people in structure fires, look for hidden areas of flames, and aid in the search for missing campers, hunters, childern, and boaters.

Through its continued working relationship with the Department of Natural Resources, the department was also able to expand and upgrade its fleet with the acquisition of two surplus brush trucks. Both trucks are identical and replace a single older brush truck which was based out of the department's town of Nashville fire station. This acquisition gives the department a pair of identical trucks with one each in its town of Nashville fire station and its town of Ainsworth fire station, greatly increasing the ease of training and decreasing response time to certain incidents in the western portion of its jurisdiction.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

New Restaurant To Try It's Luck In Downtown Antigo Through City Grant Program

Last night the Antigo Finance Personnel and Legislative committee received their first request for the Downtown Entrepreneurial Grant Program. Belle's Smokehouse will be located at 800 5th Avenue, the location of the former Michael's Family Restaurant. The eatery will be a year round carry out only restaurant to serve slow cooked/smoked brisket of beef, pork ribs and grilled Filipion pork barbeque on a stick. The anticipated open date is August 1st of this year but may be sooner.

The program is a partnership between the city, county, economic development, and CoVantage Credit Union. Funds may be awarded for up to 25% of eligible expenses up to a grant maximum of $15,000.00. Reimbursements will not be made until the business is open to the public and all paid receipts for eligible expenses are submitted.

Read more: WACD

County Board Hears Presentation From Company Head About Possible Drone Use In Antigo

As the Langlade County Board of Supervisors meeting was winding down, the supervisors heard from Don Bintz, an Antigo resident who is CEO of Unmanned Systems Incorporated, a company that provides drone services for the United States military.

Josh and Amanda Walker who currently run the airport will be moving to Indiana shortly and the facility will be without a tenant. Bentz approached the county board about allowing his company to use the airport for training of his employees. The company is licensed to go only one mile from the launch sight.

Bintz also mentioned their ability to help law enforcement in some circumstances, as well as radar detection to tell farmers where specifically to spray chemicals or find other problems in the fields.

County board members mentioned some citizens might feel uneasy about a drone flying overhead, fearing their privacy might be invaded. Bentz tried assuring them by saying, "Some of the stuff you hear. That's not us. We work directly with the federal government. We're out there trying to get bad guys. We don't have the time to be spying on people."

Bintz said the timetable might be two years, but he estimated they would hire 80 individuals in Antigo to run the operation.

Read more: WACD

City eyes option to the warning sirens

City of Antigo aldermen are tilting toward a new 24-hour warning system to replace the city’s silenced weather sirens.

At a meeting of the Finance, Personnel & Legislative Committee Wednesday, Emergency Government Director Brad Henricks reviewed a program known as Nixle 360, which distributes emergency weather and other alerts directly to both cellular telephones and land lines, theoretically reaching every home and business in the community.

A joint city-county system would cost about $5,000—or $2,500 each—annually, Henricks indicated.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Mishap sparks a fuel blaze

Smoke rose from the platform of the Cenex service station at Fourth Avenue and Superior Street moments after 1 p.m. Wednesday after a motorist hit two gasoline pumps. One was knocked over and subsequently started to burn.

The pump was equipped with fuel shutoff equipment and the blaze was put out when the Antigo Fire Department arrived, but it was quite a sight before the water hit.

With the station situated along busy Highway 45, crowds gathered to watch after the 92-year-old motorist exited the auto bay at a swift clip and struck the pumps. Officials said his vehicle was stopped by the pump’s protective post, keeping his automobile from, perhaps, further traveling across the lot and into traffic.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Discussion On Weather Sirens Dominate City Meeting

On Wednesday evening the Antigo Finance Personnel and Legislative Committee met and heavily discussed the subject of weather sirens, and whether or not to bring them back. Alderperson Glen Bugni brought the topic back to the committee after hearing several concerns from citizens. Bugni presented 20 letters written from Antigo residents asking that the sirens be turned back on, with many saying they did not have access to a cellphone or other technology like weather radios, and rely on the siren to know storms are approaching.

Antigo Mayor Bill Brandt said they could not guarantee the entire city would hear the sirens, studies show 65% of Antigo was in the sound range if there was no wind, and the sirens give people a false sense of security, because people don't act until the siren is activated.

Emergency Management Coordinator Brad Hendricks addressed the committee and gave them another option. A mass notification system called, NIXLE. In case of a severe weather emergency or an Amber Alert, NIXLE automatically sends a phone call to every land line or cellular device in that warning's area. No subscriptions are needed. It also sends warnings via e-mail, text messaging, and various social media outlets.

Read more: WACD

High-speed driver arrested, didn't have license

An unlicensed driver clocked at speeds of over 90 miles per hour found himself in handcuffs Tuesday afternoon.

The 19-year-old male was arrested after being stopped in the lot of the Wagner Shell parking lot on Antigo’s far south side.

A sheriff’s deputy noted that he had the Lincoln paced at 90 mph-plus and his cruiser “wasn’t catching up” when the vehicle was first spotted traveling west on Forrest Ave. The section is marked as a 35 mph zone.

Read more: Antigo Daily Journal

Arbor Day celebrated with trees here

City Park, along with some street boulevards, received some green love Tuesday, as Antigo celebrated Arbor Day.

The celebration, moved to summertime instead of the traditional April 24 in order to enhance opportunities for planting, took place at City Park.

After Mayor Bill Brandt read a proclamation in front of a corps of volunteers, who included youngsters from the Boys & Girls Club of Langlade County, other local residents, and Jayne Vanderlin, a representative of American Transmission Company, which donated funds for the planting.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Music week continues with concert at Elcho

A week filled with outdoor music continued Tuesday and this time the venue was the White Lake Area Historical Society depot.

Under perfect conditions, the band The Reason Why performed on the depot platform before a nice crowd, who munched on pizza, pies and Culver’s frozen custard served by museum volunteers and members of the Evergreen 4-H Club.

The group includes Scott Skodinski, whose grandparents, Stanley and Emma (Klimoski) Skodinski lived and raised their family in the Langlade area. Skodinski and friends Larry Wossow and Andy Huettl make up the band.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

County Board OK proposal to refinance

The Langlade County Board of Supervisors approved a refinance agreement and welcomed Brian Braun, the new highway commissioner Tuesday.

It was also the first test for the new voting system that does away with the “ayes and nays” and allows supervisors to use computer pads to make their selections.

A major piece of business was quietly handled with approval of the refinance agreement.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Judge sets bail in range of cases

Reserve Judge Fred Kawalski took the local bench Monday, setting bail and accepting pleas in a number of criminal cases.

Paul R. Zeise, 30, of Bryant entered a plea of not guilty to a third offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant. The arrest stemmed from a June 13 traffic stop. Bail was set at $150 cash and the case was adjourned for a status conference on July 13.

Bail was also established in other cases. Included were as follows:

—$1,000 cash bond for Chelsea D. Fleischman, 22, 720 Center St., on two misdemeanor counts of bail jumping. She is accused of violating a court order which prevents her from consuming alcohol while awaiting prosecution in other cases. She will return to court later this week.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Something must be done: Board eyes elementary plan

The Antigo board of education may be ready to try again on a school consolidation plan.

Meeting in an informal committee of the whole session Monday, board members signaled a willingness to discuss everything from reconfiguring grade configurations at the elementary, middle and high school levels to closing existing building and perhaps building new.

And their time frame is an ambitious one—have a plan ready for action by voters, if needed, in April, 2016.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Antigo School Board Delves Into Facilties Discussion At Meeting

More detail about a facilities plan was discussed at last night's Antigo School Board meeting. In the public comment section, Tom Zatlokal, who ran for school board earlier this spring but was not elected, gave the board a proposal he had put together, which would included closing both rural and city schools, and moving 7th and 8th grade students to the Antigo High School. That's an aspect that board member Tim Fuller believes is not being talked about enough. Fuller stated that the decision at the Middle and High School would create a domino effect for the elementary schools, so that's where the discussion should start.

District Administrator Dr. Don Childs said that any proposal would likely need a re-drawing of district boundaries, and parents might not have the choice of which school their child goes to because of enrollment difficulties. Childs also brought up the quality of the classrooms, citing the CESA 10 study that said the rooms were in 1960s standards of learning. That is an added cost that could complicate things.

The board will choose from four firms vying to become the school's consultant for the project. Interviews will be conducted on June 30th.

Read more: WACD

Langlade County Board Hires Local Man To Run Highway Department

This morning the Langlade County Board of Supervisors selected the replacement for Tim Rusch as highway commissioner. The position will be given to Brian Braun to the four year term beginning in July. Braun has an extensive background, he is an Antigo native and has a degree in soils from UW-Stevens Point. He was a Material Specialist with Duffek Sand and Gravel out of college, and then spent time working as a sales rep for a road maintenance company selling sealers. Braun's starting salary will be $68,265, the third highest pay allowed under the county's matrix system.

The board also approved the sale of $1,075,000 in general obligation refunding bonds, which saves the county over $30,000.

Read more: WACD

Law Enforcement Deals With Heavily Intoxicated Individuals Monday Night

Local authorities dealt with two heavily intoxicated individuals Monday evening. Around 5:30 PM, a woman called the Antigo Police Department, saying that a woman who was out on bond was at a downtown bar and very intoxicated. The woman had told her she had been drinking since 5:30 PM on Sunday. Police arrested her as she was riding her bike to another bar. The woman blew a .19 on a PBT test.

Shortly after 10:30 PM, a woman residing on County Road S called Langlade County Sheriff's Deputies to report that a man was sitting in the roadway. When officers arrived, they found the 56 year old man with just one shoe, his pants soaking wet and smelling strongly of alcohol. The man, who was on medications for several different ailments told deputies he had been drinking vodka all day, and he rolled his lawn tractor in the ditch.

Read more: WACD

West Nile Virus Back In Wisconsin

Health experts diagnosed the first case of the West Nile Virus this year in Wisconsin. Health officials found a dead bird with the virus in Jefferson County.

The virus is spread by a bite from an infected mosquito.

Doctors say 80 percent of people infected with the virus never experience symptoms. Most of the remaining 20 percent will develop symptoms such as fever, headache and muscle pain.

The best way to cut your risk of infection is to get rid of areas of standing water on your property in which mosquitoes can breed.

Read more: WACD

Area music programs spread across the county

If the notoriously fickle northwoods weather cooperates, there will be opportunities for music-lovers to enjoy four straight days of outdoor concerts across Langlade County starting tonight.

Antigo’s acclaimed Music in the Park series has spawned similar occasional concerts in Elcho and White Lake, and this week all the dates have come together to produce an unusual lineup.

The concerts kick off tonight with the continuing Music in the Park series at the City Park bandstand. Rocker will perform at 6:30 p.m. with pies and Culver’s frozen custard served by United Methodist Church at 5:30 p.m.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal