Local Antigo Headlines

Drought Over After Wet Month of May

Wisconsin's three-month drought has virtually disappeared, thanks to sizable rains in the latter half of May. According to the U-S Drought Monitor, just over 19-and-a-half percent of the state's land area was abnormally dry or worse this week. That's way down from 43-percent a week ago. Much of the northern half of Wisconsin was in a moderate drought as recently as mid-May. However, only the northern parts of Douglas and Bayfield counties have a moderate drought. Only three patches of the state are said to be abnormally dry -- and those territories continue to get smaller. One area covers about five counties in the far northwest. Another dry patch is in the Hudson and Menominee areas.

Read more: WACD

Infant Child Falls Out Of 2nd Floor Window In Antigo

Thursday afternoon, officers with the Antigo Police Department were dispatched to Langlade Hospital for report of a child who had fallen out of a 2nd story window of a Virginia Street residence. The 11 month old was in the living room with his 6 year old brother while his mother went into the kitchen to check on a pizza. When she returned less than a minute later, the baby was gone. She looked out the window and saw him lying in the grass and crying. She rushed him to the hospital and he was flown to Marshfield for precautionary purposes.

Read more: WACD

Busy Weekend For Langlade County Residents

There will be dozens of participants in the city-wide garage sales again this year. The event has something for everyone. Maps of the garage sale locations are available at the Antigo Daily Journal office and at the Chamber of Commerce office. Call the journal at 715-623-4191.

Little Hummers Hideaway will be holding the 4th Annual ATV/UTV Demo Ride on Saturday, June 6, 2015 from 11 am to 3 pm. Helmets and appropriate clothing required to participate in demo rides. Clubs in attendance include
Fuller Sales, Vernes Honda, the Wolf River Riders ATV Club, the Parish Highlanders ATV Club, White Lake ATV Club and the Antigo Area ATV/UTV Club. Krusty Crab's second annual outing will follow. The Polar Project Band Playing from 7pm to 11pm.

Wolf River Chapter of Trout Unlimited Meet & Greet will be on June 6-7 on the Wolf River. Come fish the mighty Wolf River with experienced Wolf River Chapter Anglers. Accommodations available at Bear Paw Outdoor Adventure Resort at 3494 Hwy 55, White Lake, WI 54491.

Read More: WACD

Antigo's popular farm market starts Saturday

The Antigo Farm Market will open for the spring and summer season on Saturday, and favorable spring weather should mean plenty of early-season produce will be available.

The market will run from 8 a.m. to noon in the Country Store parking lot, located at the corner of Superior Street and Fourth Avenue downtown.

“This opener promises to offer far more produce than the market opener in 2014, which was preceded by a very harsh and long winter,” Renate Bromberg said. “Most of our vendors from previous years will be back selling a variety of products, possibly including head and leaf lettuce, radishes, carrots, fresh herbs, spinach, green onions, kohlrabi, rhubarb and asparagus.”

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Ground broken

Members of the Brickners staff posed for a picture with Jerry Brickner and his wife, Jane, center and Jack Kautza the site contractor, left, on Wednesday where the body shop and recreational vehicle service and storage facility to augment the business will be located. The Brickners explained the new facility is a major investment in the future of the automobile and recreational business the Langlade County area.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Tomahawk Volunteer Track Coach Charged With Having Sexual Relationship With 16 Year Old Girl

According to a news release from the Tomahawk Police Department, a volunteer track coach has been arrested, accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old high school student.

The department's investigation revealed Colton J. Chase, 23, had sexual relations on three separate occasions. He's charged with three counts of sexual assault of a child by a person who works or volunteers with children.

He's behind bars on $2,500 cash bond.

Read more: WACD

Antigo man charged with growing marijuana at home

A $2,000 signature bond was continued in Langlade County Circuit Court this week for an Antigo man accused of growing marijuana in his home.

Matthew L. Nickolai, 34, of 824 Graham Ave. stands charged with three counts in connection with the May 27 discovery — the manufacture or delivery of marijuana, possession of marijuana as a second or subsequent offense and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to court documents, a single marijuana plant was found inside a “grow room” constructed in his bedroom. Dried marijuana and growing materials including lamps, fans, soil and a hydration system were seized during execution of a search warrant.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Bus contractor hitting end of the road

In about 24 hours, when the school buses roll out of the Mid-Wisconsin facilities on Forest Avenue, it will be a tough time.

It will mark the end of the school year and Mid-Wisconsin Buses, Inc. Ron and Kathy Nonnemacher, who have been involved in the school bus business here for 50 years, will be done. Kaput — just like that.

“We wanted to retire,” Nonnemacher said, “but not quite like this.”

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

John Rhode prepares to become judge

Veteran Antigo attorney John Rhode is going back to school — but this time, the word judge precedes his name.

Concluding his 20-year career with the Sommer, Olk & Payant law firm just last week, Rhode was formally sworn into office on Monday during a brief ceremony in Eagle River by Vilas County Judge Neal A. Nielsen III, chief judge of the state’s Ninth Judicial District — an area which covers all or part of 12 counties including Langlade.

A day later, Rhode was settling into his new quarters on the third floor of the Langlade County Courthouse, a spot formerly occupied by now Reserve Judge Fred Kawalski. Kawalski retired from the position in November, triggering a spring election, a Rhode victory and a subsequent early appointment to the judicial position by Gov. Scott Walker.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

May Traffic Deaths Increase For Wisconsin Roadways

With 54 traffic fatalities, May was the deadliest month on Wisconsin roads so far this year, according to preliminary statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).

Traffic fatalities last month were six more than May 2014 and five more than the five-year average for the month of May. The deadliest month of May occurred in 1968 with 123 fatalities, and the safest was in 2013 with 32 fatalities.

As of May 31, a total of 207 people have died in Wisconsin traffic crashes this year, including 20 motorcycle operators, two motorcycle passengers, 20 pedestrians, and two bicyclists.

Read more: WACD

Bond stands for man charged in stalking case

Stressing that the matter had “all the hallmarks of a case that is emotionally driven,” which in turn could potentially raise the risk of future trouble, Reserve Judge Mark Mangerson denied a request for reduction in bond today for an Antigo man facing a charge of stalking.

The ruling for 42-year-old Jeffrey Marciniak of Antigo came following completion of a preliminary hearing at which the defendant was bound over for trial on the felony count plus two additional charges — intimidation of both a victim and a witness. He has pleaded not guilty to all three counts.

Marciniak is accused of sending harassing and threatening text messages to a female acquaintance, including after law officers warned him to discontinue contact. He is also accused of insinuating a threat against a sheriff’s deputy.

Read more: Antigo Daily Journal

Scout honors, job in entertainment gig for AHS graduate

Isaac Cuellar has had quite a spring.

Cuellar graduated from Antigo High School, where he was president of the senior class, and is preparing to tour with the Kids From Wisconsin this summer.

And he recently attained the highest rank in Boy Scouts, Eagle Scout.

Cuellar recited the Eagle Scout Oath at his Eagle Scout Court of Honor, becoming the latest member of Antigo’s Boy Scout Troop 644 to attain the rank.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Music Season

Antigo’s summer Music in the Park season got off to an outstanding start Monday evening under sunny and pleasantly cool conditions. The Antigo High School Jazz Band, with conductor Jeff Dewey doing double duty on trumpet (shown above) kicked off the summer series, which also included pie and Culver’s frozen custard served by school district music faculty. Music continues most Monday and Thursday evenings through Aug. 31. The next concert, on Thursday, will feature the country sounds of Gary’s Basement Band...

Read more: Antigo Daily Journal

Teen Charged In Crash That Killed Shawano Boys

An 18-year-old man has been ordered to stand trial for allegedly killing three young passengers in a Shawano County traffic crash. Ryan Swadner of Cecil had a preliminary hearing yesterday. His lawyer moved to dismiss the case, and the judge decided to consider that request and others at a later date. Swadner is scheduled to enter pleas July 20th to eleven criminal charges that include reckless homicide, causing death and injury by driving under the influence of drugs, and marijuana possession. Fifteen-year-old Paige Bonduel was killed in last October's crash -- along with 18-year-old Tyler Welch and 17-year-old Cody Borsche, both of Shawano.

Read more: WACD

Mental Health Services In Criminal Justice System Discussed At County Meeting

The Langlade County Public Safety Committee met for their monthly meeting Tuesday morning. One item on the agenda prompted a half hour of discussion, which regarded around mental health services in the county.

Sheriff Bill Greening requested the county seek "Request For Proposals" to different agencies and companies to find out the services they could provide. Langlade County is currently part of North Central Health Care Center, which also involves Marathon and Lincoln Counties. Sheriff Greening said there have been numerous problems at the jail with mental health, including one individual who attempted suicide, and making the situation worse, is there is no staff available on weekends, nights, or holidays. North Central Health Care used to have urgent care, where someone would be available 24/7, but there weren't enough calls to justify paying a person the entire time. The issue also presents itself in the public, as many incidents happen late at night.

Greening added that while the agency has been open to hearing the Sheriff's Department's concerns and changing, the problem usually reoccurs within a few months. Toni Simonson with NCHC, says they would be willing to try out different services including an on call counselor and psychiatrist for the jail whenever they needed it.

Read more: WACD

Marge Gibson receives alumnus award in Antigo at Sunday service

Speakers took selfies, led moments of silence for missing classmates and friends, got standing ovations—with a bit of a prompt—and shared advice from a lifetime of experience at a spirited graduation ceremony Sunday at Antigo High School.

With the cooperation of springtime weather, the hour-long ceremony was held in the packed but comfortably-cool Sheldon Fieldhouse.

Guest speaker was Alumnus of the Year Marge Gibson, a 1967 graduate of Antigo High School who has become an internationally renowned avian expert and founder and executive director of the Antigo-based Raptor Education Group Inc.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Guest speaker puts focus on solving problems Saturday

Elcho High School commencement speaker Kim Schoenrock gave seniors one final assignment prior to them receiving their diplomas Saturday afternoon.

During her presentation at the school’s commencement ceremony, she asked seniors to reach under their chairs and pull out a card, one she suggested they keep in their wallet and look at occasionally.

It read: “In my future, how will I use my talents and skills to better the lives of the people around me?”

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Langlade Hospital changes name, not mission

Langlade Hospital is changing its name, not it’s identity.

As of Monday, the hospital will be formally known as “Aspirus Langlade Hospital,” replacing the cumbersome “Langlade Hospital, An Aspirus Partner.”

“Langlade Hospital will continue to be owned both by Catholic Health International and Aspirus and will continue to operate as a Catholic hospital,” CEO Dave Schneider stressed.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

City Music in Park will open summer season

An ever-growing list of summer musical entertainment—which has now spread to encompass Elcho and White Lake—kicks off Monday evening.

Antigo’s acclaimed summer Music in the Park series will open its 14-week season with the Antigo High School Jazz Band and Honors Choir. Music kicks off at 6:30 p.m. with pies and hot dogs, along with Culver’s frozen custard, served by Antigo music faculty beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The kick-off marks a full summertime of music that will bring 26 musical groups to the bandstand on Monday and Thursday nights through Aug. 31.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Graduating AHS senior honored for successes in foster program

Faith Neumann of Antigo has been recognized as an outstanding Foster Care Youth.

Wisconsin First Lady Tonette Walker and Department of Children and Families Secretary Eloise Anderson presented Neumann with the 2015 Foster Care Youth award at ceremonies Wednesday in Madison.

The awards are presented to young people currently or formerly in foster care, who have made improvements in their lives and in the lives of others, especially others in foster care. Neumann was one of only two youth honored.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Schuessler Dairy Operating New Milking Technology

Each month, reports show Wisconsin is increasing their lead over 2nd place California for most Dairy production in the country. One farm helping that cause is Schuessler Dairy Farms, located on Mayking Road off of County Road S in Antigo.

Constructed finished in January on a new barn that houses calves up to age four months. A robotic feeding system allows the calves to drink from a machine any time they want, instead of being fed twice a day by workers. Schuessler says the new technology cuts the labor in half, and the operation is running much more efficiently since it was installed. The technology costs around $40,000.

Before the barn was constructed, the farm was raising the calves in hutches and the process was much more labor intensive...

Read more: WACD

Langlade County Sheriff's Office Investigates Weekend Burglaries

Langlade County Sheriff's Deputies dealt with three burglaries that took place Friday night into Saturday morning. A Summit Lake man Saturday morning called deputies, saying that his vehicle that was unlocked in the driveway was robbed of an entire set of golf clubs, golf balls, a Garmin GPS unit, and a radar detector, valued at over 2,500 dollars. Deputies talked to the man's neighbors who said they didn't see anything suspicious.

Another Langlade County man who owns a summer cabin in Deerbrook, heard from his friends that his garage door was open Saturday morning. The man realized he had left it open and went to check on it. He too had been robbed an entire set of golf clubs.

A cabin in Lily was also broken into...

Read more: WACD

Wisconsin Nursing Homes Found To Be Better Than National Average

Nursing homes in Wisconsin are rated higher than the national average when it comes to quality care, but roughly one-fourth of the state's nursing homes are still getting the lowest ratings.

The Kaiser Family Foundation recently analyzed ratings for the state's nursing homes.

Overall, 55 percent of the state's nursing homes received the two highest ratings from the federal government, compared with the national average of 42 percent.

Read more: WACD

Marge Gibson to be honored as AHS alumnus

Marge Gibson, who translated a lifelong love for birds into a career as a renowned rehabilitator and founder for the Antigo-based Raptor Education Group Inc., will be honored as distinguished alumnus when Antigo High School holds its commencement ceremonies on Sunday.

The ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. in the Sheldon Fieldhouse.

Gibson will be presented her award by Dr. Don Childs, district administrator.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Jobless rate fell sharply in county

Langlade County joined all of the others in the state of Wisconsin showing declines in the rate of joblessness for April.

The state Department of Workforce Development reported the latest figures this week.

Racine had the highest unemployment rate last month at 6.8 percent, which was down from 8 percent in March. The second highest was Beloit at 6.4 percent and Milwaukee at 6.3 percent.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Local Habitat group looks for volunteers

Habitat for Humanity of Langlade County is at a very pivotal point, and is seeking volunteers and interested families to help it moved forward.

In the fall, Habitat completed its eighth home, and now plans are underway to begin building its ninth due in part to a grant from Thrivent Financial.

The group recently hired a full time VISTA staffer to assist the organization with community outreach and resource development during the 2015-2016 year. The affiliate also plans to launch what is known as the A Brush with Kindness Program this summer, which will focus on home repairs for existing homeowners in need.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Elcho to graduate 21 at Saturday commencement

Twenty-one seniors are expected to receive their diplomas when Elcho High School holds commencement ceremonies Saturday.

The program will begin at 1 p.m. in the school gymnasium.

Valedictorian is Cheyenne Bloechl, who will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in fall in the pre-dentistry program. Salutatorian is Bradley Bennett, who plans to major in genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Benefit For Local Man Injured After ATV Accident To Take Place Saturday

A benefit for Austin Kolpack who was paralyzed after being involved with a serious ATV accident will be held on Saturday at the Mattoon Community Center beginning at 2PM. Austin has regained some movement in his extremities, and can now move his right arm. The funds raised would help his medical costs, and pay for him to stay in rehab to continue his progression. The benefit will include food, beverages, and raffles. Prizes include a zero turn lawn mower, 1/2 beef, a 50 inch LED HDTV, and more.

Read more: WACD

Antigo Construction Class Invites Public To Open House

With the end of the 2014-2015 school year fast approaching, the Antigo High School Construction Class is inviting you to their Open House from 8-Noon on Saturday. The 2014-15 House is already sold, but they are trying something new for the 2015-16 House. The open house will have four different floor plan options available for viewing. If you are considering a Construction Class house for your next home, stop in during the Open House, review the floor plan options available and give them your input. They will select and build the floor plan that generates the most interest. The class is operated like a job, consisting of only juniors and seniors, and students having to submit a resume and cover letter to get into the class.

Read more: WACD