Forest County

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is planning to make improvements to a section of Highway 32 in Forest County as soon as next year.

Right now, it’s seeking public input.

In coming years, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation plans to resurface a portion of Highway 32.

It’s the 4-mile stretch between Carter and County C in Wabeno.

Nick Vos is the project manager.

Ben Meyer/WXPR

The cabin sits on U.S. Highway 8 between Crandon and Laona.

When Johnnie Aschenbrenner was growing up, it was his home. Despite being on a major highway, there were no power lines until 1962, so the family used generators for electricity.

Nowadays, the cabin has an updated yet rustic feel, and Aschenbrenner rents it out as part of his small resort on Wabikon Lake. It’s literally connected to the tiny bar Aschenbrenner also owns. All told, resort guests can expect a pretty modern experience, DIRECTV included.

Except for one thing.


Five Marinette County deputies involved in fatally shooting a suspect last month have been cleared by prosecutors.

Marinette County District Attorney DeShea Morrow says the deputies’ use of deadly force was justified under the circumstances and evidence shows they acted appropriately.

Authorities say dispatchers received a call from a man who told dispatchers he had just killed his best friend and wanted to die.

Forest County Sheriff's Office

Police arrested a Forest County man they say was in possession of child pornography.

State and local law enforcement arrested Kristopher Trychzak, 33, Wednesday.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation began looking into Trychzak after it got information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. That organization found evidence of a person communicating online about sexually assaulting children. There were photographs which contained child sexual assault material included in the conversation.

A third person has died of COVID-19 in Forest County, the health department announced Monday.

As a whole, the county easily leads the Northwoods in positive cases and deaths.

Forest County has 35 confirmed cases, most tied to The Bay at Nu-Roc nursing home in Laona.

Iron County is the only other area county with a COVID death, with one.

Other local counties have far fewer cases than Forest.

A simple purple tube may help first responders better care for people with memory issues in emergency situations.

Forest County wants people with Alzheimer’s or dementia and their families to get involved.

Forest County Aging Director Tammy Queen knows emergency situations can be hectic and difficult.  That’s even more true for people diagnosed with a memory-related condition, especially the elderly.

Forest County Sheriff's Office

On Wednesday, the Forest County Sheriff’s Office announced four drug-related arrests within the last week.

Last Thursday, a Wabeno traffic stop revealed meth, syringes, and drug items in a car driven by Kristen Kozlowski, 35, of Laona.  Shandon Tallier, 41, of Laona was also in the car.

Both were arrested, and detectives found more meth, drug manufacturing materials, a digital scale, and packaging materials during a search of their homes.

Kozlowski and Tallier are in jail on $2,000 cash bonds.

Ben Meyer/WXPR

Forest County voters approved a referendum Tuesday to raise their own taxes and hire more staff for the jail and dispatch center.

Nearly 60 percent of voters supported the plan.

“I’m very excited.  I really am.  I think this was a long time coming.  I can’t stress how excited I am right now,” said Jail Administrator Josh Bradley Tuesday night.

Bradley started working at the Forest County Jail 14 years ago.

Another drug bust by the Forest County Drug Task Force.

Wednesday morning, a traffic stop resulted in the arrest of the driver, 35-year-old Thomas Olds of Crandon and 36-year-old Amellia McGeshick of Wabeno.

In checking the car, authorities allegedly found drug-related paraphernalia and Olds was arrested for driving under the influence. Just prior to arriving at the Forest County Jail, McGeshick told detectives that she had crack cocaine concealed inside her person.

Ben Meyer/WXPR

Forest County’s jail control and dispatch center is a room full of windows.  It views cell blocks with no windows.

Screens flash, sirens buzz, and the intercom beeps.

“It’s professional multitasking, or, as we like to call it, controlled chaos,” said Forest County Jail Administrator Josh Bradley with a chuckle.  “It’s like a small city in here, and we’re responsible for every aspect of it.”

The jail’s capacity is 88 inmates.

It’s below that number now, but it still feels hectic.

Two people, called jailer/dispatchers, staff the pod.

Wikimedia Commons Royal Broil

The Forest County Board Thursday voted to go to referendum on November 5 to let voters decide if the county should get six new employees for an updated 9-1-1 dispatch center.

The vote was without opposition with two members absent.

The board will ask voters to increase the local levy by $450,000 to pay for the additional help.

The Finance committee is recommending the dispatch center be moved out of the jail area but still within the law enforcement center.

Forest Co. Sheriff's Dept.

Law enforcement from Forest and Langlade counties partnered last week in the arrest of a Green Bay man for drug distribution.

Acting on a tip from Forest county, a Langlade County Sheriff's deputy stopped a vehicle Thursday on Wisconsin Highway 55 at county "K" in the Town of Ainsworth. The vehicle was driven by 25 year old Ky Martin.

The Langlade County deputy asked for the Forest County K9 unit. The dog indicated drugs and deputies allegedly found 23 greams of heroin and 41 grams of crack cocaine along with Ecstasy, Oxycodone, marijuana and paraphernalia.



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.