Local Antigo Headlines

DOT Warns Of Potentially Dangerous June For Deer Crashes

Potential for deer crashes will be high in June according to the Wisconsin DOT. Deer are increasingly active and will dart onto roadways

With their size, swiftness and unpredictability, deer are huge hazards for motorists. In June, they likely will be even more prevalent on Wisconsin roads.

Deer activity increases this time of year as does search for places to give birth and young deer separate from their mothers. With this increased activity, drivers may encounter more deer darting into the paths of their vehicles without warning.

Read more: WACD

Marijuana found in Antigo home, man arrested

A small room transformed into space for the growing of marijuana was uncovered at a Graham Avenue residence Wednesday.

Antigo police made the find during execution of a search warrant. The tenant, a 34-year-old man, is now in local custody.

Along with a marijuana plant and other amounts of dried marijuana, police recovered various crop-related items including lamps, fans, soil and a hydration system.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Antigo High School seniors honored, receive scholarships

Business and civic leaders joined with Antigo High School seniors Wednesday for a night designed to recognize past accomplishments and predict future successes.

The annual scholarship presentation program, which stretched toward the three hour mark, saw hundreds of thousands of dollars presented to members of the graduating class, four days before they receive their diplomas in commencement exercises.

“We have an exceptional group of young men and women we are honoring here tonight,” Mike Blood, who served as master of ceremonies, said.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Fifth grade music staff, schedule spark a debate

The Antigo school board preserved a full-time instrumental music position, but it appears that fifth-grade band will still be relegated to an after-school program starting in fall.

At its regular monthly meeting Wednesday, the nine-member board rebuffed recommendations from its administrative staff and voted to reinstated a full-time instrumental music position that had been targeted for reduction to half-time. The issue was raised following the retirement of Carol Schafer this spring.

The vote came following a lengthy—and confusing—discussion over the need for a full-time teacher and the future of fifth grade band. Final vote was 5-4. Opposed were Board President Mike Boldig, Scott Jensema, Tim Fuller and Jessica Meade.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Rev. Nancy Richmond, Lutheran pastor, newspaper columnist retiring

Members of the St. John and Arbutus Lutheran congregations in eastern Langlade County are preparing to say farewell to a pastor who has become a leader in the local community.

Rev. Nancy Richmond, who has been pastor of Arbutus Lutheran Church in Pearson and St. John Lutheran Church in Polar for 15 years, is retiring effective June 1.

“Pastor Nancy has a love for rural ministry and of being in relationship with God’s people,” Liz Dickman, a spokesman for the congregations, said. “Arbutus and St. John’s congregations were blessed to have her as their shepherd.”

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Antigo Woman Turns In Former Roomate For Growing Marijuana

On Tuesday evening, Langlade Hospital called 911 reporting they had an assault victim in the emergency room. A woman had been assaulted by a male she knows on Langlade Price Road in Langlade County. The 47 year old man was arrested for domestic violence battery, and also strangulation.

Wednesday afternoon, an Antigo man stated a concerned elderly woman had approached her in a retail store parking lot, worried about her husband who had become angry with her and left. Sheriff's Deputies found the man walking northbound on the side of the road on Highway 45. He was taken to the safety building and reunited with his wife two hours later.

Later that afternoon, police arrested a 34 year old Antigo man for possession with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Officers were acting on a tip...

Read more: WACD

Fundraiser Taking Place To Rebuild Lakeland Senior Center After Fire

Fund-raising efforts are getting underway to build a new senior citizens' center at Woodruff, just north of Minocqua. That's after a fire destroyed the existing Lakeland Senior Center just over three weeks ago -- and no insurance payments are being made for a replacement. That's because the policy expired just weeks before the blaze, because premium payments were missed. The old building is now being demolished with help from volunteers and donated services.

Read more: WACD

Antigo School Board Votes To Refill Music Retirement With Full-Time Teacher

The Antigo School Board met for their monthly meeting last evening, and discussed options once again for the 5th grade program. Due to the likelihood that the state legislature will reinstate the $150 per pupil funding, the district recommended hiring a half time teacher to help teach 5th grade band, and also a half time special education teacher who would also be half time dean of students at the high school.

District Administrator Dr. Don Childs explained to the board the proposal, saying that 5th grade band would be offered after school, with buses transporting the kids to the location, and back to their home schools when they are finished. He admitted there would be an extra cost, but one they were willing to take on, to stop the current practice of the instructor taking students out of their regular classes to conduct lessons.

Band Director Carol Schaefer attended the meeting, and said that having the program after school would substantially decrease their numbers, and she suggested dropping 5th grade band altogether, with students starting in 6th grade so everyone is at the same level. Board members also questioned how the transportation would work. Childs said the board would always have pressure from groups that feel decisions would hurt them, but they have to act in the best interest of the district as a whole.

Read more: WACD

Audit of town fire service is upbeat

A group of dedicated firefighters—volunteers in the truest sense of the word—are making a money-saving difference for residents in the towns of Antigo, Polar and Price.

Following an extensive audit, the Insurance Service Organization, known as the ISO, has reduced the town of Antigo Volunteer Fire Department’s public protection classification from a 7 to a 6. The rating is used by insurers for underwriting and calculating premiums for residential, commercial and industrial properties.

“Some carriers do offer a better rate moving from an ISO rating of 7 to 6,” Bruce Kommers of McCormick-Klessing & Associates of Antigo, said. “That better rating will, in some instances, reduce the premium.”

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Highway worker dies in Gresham crash

A highway construction worker has died after he was struck by a minivan on Highway 47 near Gresham.

The victim has been identified as 30-year-old Derek T. Stempa of Shawano.

According to Shawano County Sheriff Adam Bieber, Stempa was working as a highway flag person when he was hit late Tuesday morning. The county was doing road construction at the time and traffic was being reduced to one lane.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Entries open for very popular Splash-n-Dash duathlon program

Entries have opened for the third annual Splash-n-Dash, a unique duathlon that combined swimming in a freshwater lake with running wooded trails.

The event will take place July 11 in the waters of Jack Lake and along the wooded trails of Veterans Memorial Park. It will be a day of swimming, running, friendship and fun to support the local swim club, the Antigo Penguins.

The Splash-n-Dash duathlon race, the only one of its kind in the area, involves swimming either a quarter or a half-mile in Jack Lake, then running a five kilometer around the trails of the Park.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Memorial Day arrives, those who sacrificed for the nation's freedom are remembered

Langlade County residents have contributed mightily to the nation’s defense, sending its young men and women into battle from the Civil War through Iraqi and Afghanistan.

Many did not come back, including Lance Cpl. John Mattek in Iraq a decade ago. A memorial bench will be dedicated in his honor on Monday as part of the LeRoyer Walkway service.

Langlade County Veterans Service Officer John Zenkovich, a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves, has assembled a list of the county’s war casualties, and it was an eye-opener when it first appeared in the May issue of Prime Times, the Journal’s monthly family magazine.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Area braces for more road work next week

Most major highway work was suspended for the long Memorial Day weekend, but motorists are still facing some issues across the region.

While the orange barrels caused by a city of Antigo utility project cross Superior Street were removed—as promised—on Friday morning, delays caused by other projects are continuing.

The Red River bridge on Highway 47 is being replaced, and after only a few days of work has disappeared from the Phlox community, leading to detours and some changes in the route for Monday’s Memorial Day parade, which usually crossed the span.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Mid-Wisconsin Buses To Close In Early June; Malliette Vows To Help Laid Off Workers

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has been notified Mid-Wisconsin Buses in Antigo will be permanently closing its facility on Forrest Avenue.

In a news release, DWD stated they've been notified 28 people will lose their jobs the beginning of June.

Mid-Wisconsin and Malliette Bus Company previously shared contracts with the Antigo School District. Mid-Wisconsin lost a bid to continue the contract this past winter, after the district decided to downsize in order to cut costs.

The company will close on, or around June 5th.

Malliette has vowed to help those who are set to lose their jobs. Tim Grosskurth, owner of Malliette, says they have reached out to 20 drivers, notifying them they would have employment at the beginning of the school year if they desire it.

Read more: WACD

Most Corn Already In The Ground

Some recent cold mornings have not stopped Wisconsin farmers from getting their crops planted. According to the National Ag Statistics Service, 93-percent of the state's corn was in the ground as of Sunday. That's the most planted by this date in over 35 years, and it's 19-percent ahead of the average for the past five years. Frost reportedly nipped some of the corn in Barron and Marathon counties -- and corn leaves had some damage in Florence County, where the mercury fell into the 20's last week. Even so, 81-percent of the emerged corn crop is rated good-or-excellent, and all but one-percent of the rest of the crop is fair. Wisconsin soybeans are also getting a solid head start. Seventy-four percent of the beans have been planted, the second-highest for the date.

Read more: WACD

Wisconsinites Scamming Unemployment Benefit System Could Face Harsher Consequences

Wisconsinites who commit fraud in claiming jobless benefits would be penalized more, under a budget measure that's being considered today. The Legislature's Joint Finance Committee will consider making offenders pay surcharges of up to 40-percent of the benefits that were paid out in error. That's up from the current 15-percent of benefits. Fines of up to 10-thousand-dollars would replace the current max of 500-dollars. Fraudulent benefit-takers could also go to state prison for the first time, for up to five years.

Read more: WACD

Shawano County Highway Worker Struck And Killed By Car

A 31-year-old Highway worker struck and killed by a vehicle Tuesday morning in Shawano County has been identified as Derek Stempa, of Shawano.

The accident happened at the intersection of State Highway 47 and County Highway G in the Town of Red Springs, near Gresham around 11:17 a.m. May 26.

According to a news release, a 68-year-old Tigerton man was traveling south on Highway 47 when investigators said he struck and killed a highway flag person.

The Shawano County Highway Department said at the time of the crash, traffic was reduced to one lane for construction.

Read more: WACD

Memorial Day marked on Monday

Memorial Day in 2015 started out soggy and ended in a rainfall, but no one should say nothing happened in those 12 hours.

Parades, reunions, and salutes to deceased veterans were held throughout the area as families, friends and patriots gathered to remember and offer thanks. This year much of that attention was focused on John Mattek, a Langlade County native who died just a decade ago in Iraq.

The rain scuttled outdoor activities in Antigo sending them into a crowded American Legion Hall, but the parades were rolling, Mattoon, Phlox, Elcho and Summit Lake.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

School board closing in on budget goal

With budget approval just a handful of weeks away, the Antigo school board is closing in on his goal of trimming over $1 million from the 2015-16 spending package.

The board will convene for its regular May session on Wednesday—a new night—at 7 p.m. in the media tech room at the high school.

Leading the agenda will be discussion and possible action on the 2015-16 budget.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Small but spirited class ends their high school years at White Lake

Laker pride was evident at the White Lake School Saturday — and it just wasn’t the student-designed sign asserting the sentiment taped to the gymnasium wall.

Host to the senior class graduation, the 93rd in the school’s history, the spacious quarters attracted a crowd of well-wishers, many of them alumni themselves, and many, like the 13-member class they were celebrating, noting a deep pride in their community.

“We share a connection, your generation and all those who came before, growing up in this area, what made you, made all of us what we are; and that common experience has helped us throughout our lives,” said guest speaker Andy Whitt, a 1976 White Lake graduate.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

New Apparel Approved While Hunting Meant To Encourage Woman To Take Part

Wisconsin lawmakers confirmed today that they want to let hunters wear "blaze pink" in the woods, as well as blaze orange. As promised, supporters held a news conference in Madison this afternoon to announce the proposal. Assembly Democrat Nilk Milroy of South Range wore a florescent pink T-shirt to hammer his message home. Assembly Republicans Joel Kleefisch of Oconomowoc and David Steffen of Howard did the same. They said blaze pink would encourage more women to hunt -- and apparel-makers could work together with non-profit groups to get more women-and-men interested in hunting. U-W Madison textile expert Majid Sarmadi said blaze pink is just as visible as blaze orange in the woods.

Read more: WACD

Wausau Teenager Shoots Out Truck Window; Throws Weapon In Lake

On Monday, shortly before noon, police responded to a three car accident at the intersection of 5th Avenue and Superior Street. There were minor injuries in the crash, and none of the three cars had passengers. A 24 year old man was cited for inattentive driving. All cars were drivable and no one was towed.

At 2:10 PM, a woman called the Langlade County Sheriff's Office to report her friend's truck had been shot at by a BB gun and a window was shattered as a result. Deputies came and a 16 year old Wausau boy admitted to the crime. Deputies say the boy tossed the weapon in Jack Lake before they arrived. He has two weeks to pay for the damage, or be cited for criminal damage to property.

Just before 7AM on Tuesday morning, a man on Lake Street in Langlade County called deputies saying that a car was traveling much to fast for the road and crashed. The driver, a young man, fled from the scene.

Read more: WACD

Construction Crews Busy With Projects Around Antigo

Construction crews continue to work on Highway 45 in Antigo, on an underground project designed to fix problems with the water main. The problems surfaced following a brutally cold winter two years ago, where the city dealt with numerous water main breaks. The project is on Willard Street from Highway 45 to Clermont Street, Washington Avenue from Highway 45 to Arctic Street and Badger Avenue from Arctic Street 500 feet. Antigo Mayor Bill Brandt said the project costs less this year with grant money...

Read more: WACD

Programs, parades set for Memorial Day here Monday

Veterans of World War II, whose numbers continue to dwindle, will be guests of honor at Antigo’s Memorial Day tribute Monday.

“This year is the 70th anniversary of V.E. Day and V.J. Day,” Mike Piller, commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 2563, this year’s host for the observance, said. “We are honoring WWII veterans by inviting them to lead our parade.”

Veterans will ride at the parade’s head in vehicles provided by Badgerland Classics and Customs Car Club .

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Police here looking to put extra 'teeth' into its patrols

The Antigo Police Department is looking to add a little extra teeth to its patrol.

A kick-off to a fund-raising campaign for an addition of a K9 unit to the agency was held this week thanks to monies provided by a pair of donors — Antigo Mayor Bill Brandt and his wife Julie and members of the Langlade County Law Enforcement Association.

“We are reaching out to the public for support in funding,” Chief Eric Roller said, calling the addition a benefit for the entire community, not just city residents.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Former Lincoln County Deputy Accused Of Sexual Assault Given Court Appointed Attorney

A former Lincoln County sheriff's deputy has been given a tax-funded private attorney for his defense on three sex-related felony charges. A Marathon County circuit judge has appointed Richard Lawson to represent 34-year-old Zachary Dorr. He's charged with second-degree child sexual assault, child enticement, and exposure for alleged sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl. Dorr was found indigent yesterday. He resigned from the Lincoln County sheriff's department last week.

Read more: WACD

Suspect In Car Burglaries Arrested

The long string of vehicle and garage burglaries were brought to an end Thursday after police arrested a 20 year old suspect.

Several residences reported having their vehicles and garages broken into overnight, including on 4th Avenue, 7th Avenue and Elm Street. It was on Elm Street where police found a footprint that they were able to track to a nearby residence. The suspect attempted to escape by jumping off a roof but landed in some bushes and was taken into custody. Dozens of burglaries have been reported in the last few months, with cash, change, and electronics stolen.

Read more: WACD

Suspect in overnight thefts caught after jump from roof

Good police work and a tip from the public are being cited as keys to an early morning arrest of a subject who jumped from a second story roof in a failed attempt to escape.

The 20-year-old man was the target of an investigation involving yet another rash of thefts from vehicles similar to those reported over a several week span earlier this spring. Officials believe he was involved in most, if not all, of the break-ins.

Although charges have yet to be filed in any of the cases, the suspect is currently jailed on a probation hold as the investigation continues.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal

Graduation Saturday at White Lake school

The White Lake graduating class of 2015 will hold commencement ceremonies Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. in the school gymnasium.

Alycia Ortiz is the class valedictorian and Megan Schewe as salutatorian.

Ortiz plans to study at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and eventually earn her doctorate. She is active in band, choir and the National Honor Society.

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Antigo Elks present teen awards

A year of honors for northern Wisconsin teens was capped Wednesday evening at the Antigo Elks Lodge recognition banquet and awards program.

The event honors the club’s “Teens of the Year,” selected from Antigo, Elcho and White Lake schools, and scholarships winners from across a huge area of northeastern Wisconsin.

Brian Blink, who oversees the teen program, explained that just like other years, this one was exceptionally difficult taking the best of the best from the three high schools in the area and selecting one young man and a young lady.

Full story: Antigo Daily Journal