HodagTV- City of Rhinelander

Last year, the Rhinelander Common Council voted to fund the addition of a recovery coach with the city police department.

At a recent council meeting, Detective Sergeant Josh Chiamulera said the innovative position has worked well. The coach goes with police on calls where drugs or alcohol is an issue. He says they partnered with the Marshfield Clinic in an effort to get the person to the services they need.

In WXPR news on Monday:

  • The Rhinelander Police Department's drug and alcohol recovery coach program has been successful
  • Wisconsin Veterans Homes continue to be COVID-19 free
  • The pandemic has hurt the ethanol industry
  • Vilas County saw a jump in ATC complaints compared to last year

WI Families Aren't Seeking Public Insurance Aid During Crisis

Jun 29, 2020
Adobe Stock

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin's jobless rate sits at 12% in the economic fallout caused by COVID-19. Health insurance gaps are expected, including for families with young children, and some worry they're not seeking enough help.

Analysts say Wisconsin has a higher than average reliance on employer-sponsored health coverage, but an estimated 260,000 people have lost theirs.

Health Worker Encourages Wearing Masks

Jun 29, 2020

The importance of wearing a mask during the COVID-19 has been a topic of debate, but some area health officials say it is necessary.

"We do have cases of COVID-19 where people do not have symptoms, so if we are able to contain those respiratory droplets and not have the asymptomatic person spread the disease, that can help slow the curve, " said Judy Burrows with the Marathon County Health Department.

A few months ago experts left the responsibility of mask wearing to certain people, like health care workers, now Burrows said it is a different story.

We hear from Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Mary Kolar.  A recent report found no active COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin's Veterans Homes.

Ken Krall asked Kolar to tell us how they've been able to keep the disease away from residents while other non-veteran nursing facilities have had difficulties...

Wisconsin Veterans Affairs Secretary Mary Kolar. sspiehs3

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit farmers hard, and an ethanol industry spokesperson says it has taken a toll on much more.

A biofuel trade association spokesperson, Chris Bliley of Growth Energy, says it's been a 'brutal' year for producers and those associated businesses. He says fuel consumption was cut in half as coronavirus struck and half the biofuel industry was off line.....

Pixabay rihaij

A surge in ATV/UTV activity in Vilas County starting last May also saw a surge in complaints to the Vilas County Sheriff's office according to a report this week from deputy Jason Molle, recreation resource officer, to the county law enforcement committee.

“There's been a drastic uptick in ATV complaints and I believe this shows a heavy increase in ATV traffic,” Molle said. “In all of 2019 we had 43 ATV complaints and so far this year we've had 50. I did 101 hours of ATV patrol and gave out 11 citations and 27 written warnings.”


Victims have lost more than $46 million from coronavirus-related scams, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Often, the scams take the form of phishing emails, texts, or robocalls.

“One thing that we are seeing a lot is that they are offering these fake offers for cures and home testing kits,” said Courtney Anclam, a Senior Program Specialist for AARP. “They will send text messages [and] emails. They’ll call and say, ‘you can have this testing kit or cure, and all you have to do is send them a ton of money.”

Wisconsin DNR

The DNR has reversed course and will allow In-person hunter and recreational vehicle education classes to resume July 13 under a set of guidelines and safety protocols.

Those guidelines were released Friday by DNR under Phase II of the state Bounce Back Plan.

Can Wisconsin Schools Afford to Reopen Safely?

Jun 26, 2020

MADISON, Wis. -- Parents and educators face uncertainty over the potential reopening of school buildings closed because of the pandemic. Wisconsin officials provided some clarity Monday, but one group wonders if districts are equipped to welcome students back.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction released guidelines that include several scenarios. One is a four-day week so buildings can undergo deep cleaning on the fifth day. There are also two-day rotations, with more distance learning mixed in. nosheep

County governments are nervous about the loss of sales tax revenues brought on the downturn in the economy brought on by the COVID crisis. The Wisconsin Counties Association has a report that shows a dip in sales tax revenue but also a surpising twist that involves counties in this region.

Forward Analytics is the research division of the Association.

Spokesperson Dale Knapp says taxable sales in Wisconsin declined 10 percent overall in March and April compared to the same months in 2019. But in some places in rural Wisconsin it was opposite... skeeze

With the 'Safer-At-Home' order in place and coronavirus infections still climbing, Wisconsin's May unemployment rates continued high, some at near Depression levels.

The local unemployment rates released this week are detailed by economist Mitchell Rupp in Wausau..

"For the month of May, here's the unemployment rates...Forest, 21.7...Langlade, 10.4, Lincoln, 9.9, Oneida, 13.4, and Vilas, 13.0...."

Iron county had the state's third highest rate at 19 percent. Price county's rate was just under 12 percent.

In Friday's WXPR news:

  • Harley-Davidson will lay off workers in Tomahawk
  • The Northwoods Pride Festival will move online
  • Scammers often target seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • County sales tax collections are mostly down, with a few surprising exceptions
  • The Rhinelander District Library will reopen with limited hours next Tuesday

Rainbow Hodags Facebook

The COVID-19 pandemic canceled the 4th Annual Northwoods Pride Festival at Nicolet College in Rhinelander, which was to be held (Saturday).

But the Rainbow Hodags, a Nicolet student group, now plan to host a virtual event on July 18.

The webinar will be called “Transgender Talk.”

Specific times and the webinar link will be released soon on the Rainbow Hodags Facebook page.

Vilas County Woman Creates Signs To Fight Hate

Jun 26, 2020
Chelsea Romaker Facebook

A Vilas County woman is dong her part to make her community - and the Badger State - a more welcoming place.

Chelsea Romaker is selling yard signs at-cost (and giving them away to people who can't afford the small fee), which say 'Hate has no home here.'

Romaker says she wanted to support nation-wide protests against racism and police brutality.

She says she wants to use what's going on across the country as a call to action for her kids.