Forest County



A joint law enforcement effort last Friday in Forest County resulted in several arrests, mainly for drugs and outstanding warrants.

Sheriff John Dennee reports the Drug Task Force organized criminal interdiction was targeting drug trafficking and other violations. They were joined by the Northeast Tri-County Drug Enforcement Group in the effort. Dennee reports the increased law enforcement presence netted 8 drug arrests and five outstanding warrant arrests.

Be Seated by Bemis: A 100-Year History of Bemis Manufacturing, 2001 / Crandon Public Library (

This week on A Northwoods Moment in History, we're talking about National Prohibition in 1920. It was a time that some Forest County residents weren't a huge fan of.

Local historian Gary Entz explains how it all went down.

Mackenzie Martin / WXPR Public Radio

Last weekend was the Kentuck Day Festival, a festival held in Crandon each year that celebrates Forest County's early settlers from Kentucky. It’s been held every July for the past 48 years.

In the week leading up to the festival, there was something new added this year, though: a Kentuck Heritage Day Camp. Mackenzie Martin has the story.

The focus of the Kentuck Heritage Day Camp is to share the history of Forest County with the younger generation. Nine kids participated in the camp, ages 9-12.

Forest Co. Weighing Options On Fairgrounds Land

Jul 10, 2018
Wikimedia Commons Royalbroil

(Crandon, WI) -- The Forest County Fair Committee is expecting it to take several years to find a new location for the annual fair.

This year's Forest County Fair is scheduled to run four days starting September 6th. It may have to be scaled back next year. Hometown Trolley is expanding its location in the adjoining industrial park and will be taking over some of the land where the fair is held.

Wikimedia Commons Royalbroil

Forest County is in the process of looking at what should be done with law enforcement and government offices on the courthouse campus.

Two proposals are being considered, one which keeps the current historic courthouse, the other which eliminates it. Three public meetings have been held to get input.

According to the Forest county website, requests for proposals are being considered within the next two weeks. One proposal would remove the courthouse, costing about $22 million, with a second option to keep and renovate the courthouse costing $25 million.

Make plans to attend the Wabeno Art and Music fest this Saturday for a day of art, music, and fun for the whole family.

The event runs from 10am to 10pm in downtown Wabeno and features live music on three stages, a fine art auction, art activities for kids and more. Friends of Wabeno Chairperson, Mary Beck says there will be multiple stages of music, including a stage for emerging artists.

A new name and a new manager. Oneida and Vilas Counties Transit Commission Friday hired a new Transit Manager to lead transportation service in those counties.

The goal is to provide regular transportation access across the counties to the main population areas. Friday, the Commission hired Jim Altenburg to lead the effort. Altenburg is a central Wisconsin native and most recently ran the bus service for the six school districts in Houghton, Michigan .He has a home in the Rhinelander area. He says his goal is to make a transit system so good it will be remembered...

Forest County Sheriff

No resolution yet  from a Forest County criminal complaint against an 18 year old man charged with vehicular homicide after a traffic crash killed another teenager.

Austin Ginter is charged with 1st Degree Reckless Homicide and 1st Degree Reckless Injury. Court records indicate the fatal crash happened July 13 on Old Eight Road near Crandon. Witnesses allege the car was travelling at a high rate of speed prior to the crash. A 15 year old male died in the crash. Ginter and a 16 year old girl were injured.

A split Forest county board Tuesday failed to pass a resolution putting a ballot question before voters in November concerning a controversial off-road park plan.

The resolution needed a majority vote to pass, but the vote split evenly at 10-10, with one supervisor absent, meaning the question failed to pass.

To get on the November ballot the question had to be approved soon.

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Voters in Forest county might see a referendum this fall whether to allow the county to work on the development of a large off­road park. The county Forestry committee Tuesday passed a resolution unanimously. Forest Administator David Ziolkowski says the committee discussed land acquisition and DNR requirements, then decided to ask the full county board for a public vote. 

DNR Wants More Details On Off-Road Park

Jun 16, 2014
Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The DNR says it needs more information to determine whether an off road park in Forest County would be eligible for certain grants. 

The nonprofit Wisconsin Off-Road Vehicle Park Incorporated wants Forest County to buy the land for a 10,000-acre park. 

The group is pitching the project as a good deal for the county, saying park tourism and timber management on the land could generate revenue, while the purchase of the land could be fifty percent paid-for by DNR stewardship grants. 

Forest County Board Hears Proposal in Closed Session

May 28, 2014
Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The Forest County Board of Supervisors heard the details of a proposed off-road park Tuesday night in closed session. 

RT Krueger, President of the Forest County Economic Development Partnership, says the session was closed because it involved details of possible land purchases that can’t be public. 

He says now county board members have the details they’ve been waiting for.              

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Proponents of a controversial off-road park in Forest County have unveiled the details of their proposal. 

A planning committee has selected a location north of Laona, near the intersections of county highways G and O.  It includes a stretch of the Peshtigo River. 

The group Wisconsin Off-Road Vehicle Park Incorporated wants Forest County to purchase the 10-thousand acre site over a series of several years and phases.  The land is currently held by private companies Crandon Timber and Plum Creek.

The past and current judge would like the next term leading circuit court in Forest and Florence counties.

Incumbent Leon Stenz is being challenged by Robert Kennedy, Jr. whom Stenz defeated in 2008. Kennedy won election in 2002 . Kennedy has been in private practice.

Kennedy says during his term, he made the county more money in revenue than Judge Stenz...

"...I was a better manager"...

A public hearing about a proposed Off-Road Park in Forest county is set for early February.

Wisconsin Off-Road Park, Incorporated will be holding the first public hearing February 8 at the Laona School gymnasium.

Forest County Economic Development Partnership Director Jim Schuessler says there will be a presentation on the proposal, then open mike time...