Rhinelander

Ben Meyer/WXPR

Nearly two months ago, the DNR recommended the City of Rhinelander make full PFAS testing results available on the city’s website.

As of Thursday afternoon, those testing results still weren’t posted for the public to see.

Ben Meyer/WXPR

At its peak, more than 30,000 electric customers were without power in northern Wisconsin after the storm that swept through Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Snowfall across most of the region finally stopped Wednesday afternoon after a foot of accumulation.

Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport director Matthew Leitner began driving a snowplow himself at 6 a.m. Wednesday morning to clear the taxiway for a Delta flight.

Ben Meyer/WXPR

Rhinelander Mayor Chris Frederickson ordered a second city water well shut down Friday as levels of a PFAS-family chemical continued to rise.

Earlier this month, WXPR reported Well 8 was still providing water to the city as concentrations of PFHxS continued upward.

On Friday, Frederickson said those levels caused him to order the shutoff.

Rhinelander City Administrator Daniel Guild is the subject of a felony investigation involving several agencies, documents obtained Friday show.

The documents, a pair of search warrants, show investigators seized 27 pieces of evidence during a lockdown of Rhinelander City Hall on Thursday.  Follow the links below to view the warrants.

Ben Meyer/WXPR

Note:  This story has been updated to include a comment from Alderwoman Dawn Rog.

Three sheriff’s offices and the Wisconsin Department of Justice locked Rhinelander City Hall on Thursday as they executed two state search warrants.

The investigation is into potential charges of tampering with public records and misconduct in public office, according to Oneida County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Dan Hess.

Both crimes are felonies, and Hess confirmed the investigation focuses on a current city employee.

Ben Meyer/WXPR

Note: this story has been updated to include comments from the DNR's Kyle Burton in a Tuesday interview.  Rhinelander City Administrator Daniel Guild has been invited to comment.

In a letter to Rhinelander City Administrator Daniel Guild on Tuesday, the Wisconsin DNR said it had “no reason to question the accuracy” of tests showing high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in a city water well.

Ben Meyer/WXPR

Despite ongoing concerns about city drinking water, Rhinelander’s Common Council adopted a

The latest testing on Rhinelander’s Municipal Well 7 showed no detection of the two best-known per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemicals.

In June, the city shut off Well 7 after the combined PFOA and PFOS levels exceeded both federal and state recommendations for the compounds, which have been linked to health problems.

Since then, the city has been drawing drinking water for residents from its other active wells.

Wikimedia Commons Royal Broil

The Northwoods River News is reporting an Oneida County Sheriff's Department detective who is also a Rhinelander city council member has been placed on paid administrative leave by the Sheriff's Department.

An open records request by the Northwoods River News discovered Ryan Rossling is on leave pending an investigation into an alleged "walking quorum" of council members and Mayor Chris Frederickson.

Wisconsin Historical Society, Image ID: 53541, wisconsinhistory.org

For many children, writing a letter to Santa has always been an important part of this time of the year.

Back in 1929 though, the letters reflected hardships in Rhinelander families. Gary Entz remembers those families this week as part of our continued series A Northwoods Moment in History.

Thanks to Liana Teter, Brynn Teter, and Cooper Dick for reading the letters from 1929.

ForwardRhinelander.com

A group promoting Rhinelander has asked for the public to pick the "Best of Rhinelander" in a number of topics.

Foward Rhinelander has put together a best of competition from now until voting ends on January 18.

There are 33 different categories to select, ranging from the 'best thing about Rhinelander' to the best fish fry to the best radio station. All the voting is done online at forwardrhinelander.com

Left: WXPR Public Radio Right: Greenmars/Wikimedia Commons

In July of 1975, Bruce Kotila was on the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald and one of the crew members gave him a life jacket. Four months later on November 10th, the Fitzgerald sank in a Lake Superior storm. No one survived. Kotila, who lives in Rhinelander, says the gift is immensely meaningful to him 43 years later.

Mackenzie Martin talked to Kotila and the author of The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald about what still resonates with us about the Edmund Fitzgerald today.

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The City of Rhinelander is hoping to get the funds to upgrade Stevens Street, or business Highway 17, next year from north of the downtown to the beltway. The city has applied for a Safe Drinking Water Loan from the state.

Environmental Review Specialist for the DNR, Kevin Olson, is reviewing the process. The city has asked for the money to upgrade watermains on Wabash St. between Bruner and Arbutus streets, along with replacement of mains between Frederick St. and Highway 17 on the city's north side.

WISCONSIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, IMAGE ID: 29178, WISCONSINHISTORY.ORG

The name Frederick S. Robbins might ring a bell for those in the Rhinelander area.

As part of our continued series A Northwoods Moment in History, local historian Gary Entz has the story of his life.

Frederick S. Robbins is a fairly well-known name in Rhinelander history.  He came to the city in 1886, built a sawmill in 1887, and ran the Robbins Lumber Company for many years.  Robbins lived an active and adventurous life, but what is less well-known is how tough and vigorous he really was.

Mackenzie Martin / WXPR Public Radio

A unique art exhibit has been the focus at ArtStart Rhinelander for the last few weeks.

 

Mackenzie Martin has this report from the opening reception in June.

 

 

 

Over the past two years, Karen Bondarchuk has found more dead birds than at any other time in her life. The exhibit at ArtStart Rhinelander through August 18 is called - And by the Wind Grieved - and it’s all recreations of dead birds, both sculptures and paintings.

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