2019 Year in Review: Part Two

Summaries of just some of the stories published in the Tomahawk Leader in 2019


July 2019

July 2 – The City Council approved “Snowmobile Friendly City” signage to be displayed at four entrances into Tomahawk after the city received the designation from the Association of Snowmobile Clubs of Wisconsin earlier in the year. … A Tripoli All-School Reunion was set to be held at Palmquist Farm in Brantwood. … Three people were arrested in the Town of King for firearm- and drug-related offenses. … Rep. Mary Felzkowski discussed the state’s 2019-2021 budget in an exclusive interview with the Tomahawk Leader.

July 9 – After a nearly 40-year hiatus, the Lake Ice (Hamm’s) Bear returned to Sawdy Pond. … Honor Banners showing the names, faces and ranks of local veterans were hung along W. Wisconsin Ave. … Tomahawk celebrated the Fourth of July with the city’s annual Pow Wow Days events, including the parade downtown. … Restaurant: Impossible sought volunteers and patrons at Besse’s on Clear Lake for the supper club’s appearance on the Food Network show. … St. Barnabas church in Tomahawk dissolved its congregation after 130 years. … A 15-year-old male was taken into custody after a high-speed chase ended in a rollover the Town of Bradley. … The Tomahawk Community Thrift Shop opened on W. Wisconsin Ave., across the street from the Post Office.

July 16 – The two-week closure of State Highway 86 from County Road O to County Road E west of Tomahawk for culvert and cable barrier replacements was slated to begin. … Town of Tomahawk Supervisor Dona Jahn was cited for disorderly conduct after making a threatening statement towards a man during a meeting. … Anton L. Beiler, 67, of Tomahawk, was killed in an ATV rollover in the Town of Bradley.

July 23 – Redistricting and going paperless were some of the options discussed by Lincoln County Supervisors as they looked to tackle a $250,000 budget shortfall. … A strong storm that passed through the Northwoods caused property damage and power outages throughout the area. Tornadoes touched down west of Pelican Lake in Oneida County, in Tripoli near the Lincoln County/Price County line, and in Marathon County. Damage to the bathroom structure and some playground equipment, along with downed trees, were reported in Bradley Park. … A loon family was reported to be raising a mallard duckling on a northern Wisconsin lake. … Lincoln County Sheriff Ken Schneider warned citizens of transient contractor scams.

July 30 – The Merrill Police Department and other agencies reported an increase in counterfeit currency reports in the area. … A semi trailer fire shut down Highway 51 for about two hours. … State lawmakers cited a $55 million difference between funds requested and funds available to build regional youth detention facilities meant to replace the Lincoln Hills/Copper Lake facility in Irma. … Jeff and Karen Larson of Skanawan Lake Farm discussed their fresh and pickled produce for sale at the Downtown Farmers Market in Tomahawk.


August 2019

Aug. 6 – Tomahawk High School seniors Haley Marvin and Hailie Larch successfully completed their first solo flights at the Tomahawk Regional Airport. … The Tomahawk Leader announced it would be published on Wednesdays instead of Tuesdays. … Tomahawk hosted the Division 2 National Water Skiing Tournament. … A 26-year-old Illinois man suffered serious injuries in a jet ski accident on Lake Nokomis. … The Merrill Fire Department welcomed Pastor David Szeto as its first Fire Chaplain.

Aug. 13 – Great Lakes Foods, LP, Milwaukee’s “Oink and Doink,” PCA, and Geiss Meat Service earned awards after competing in the Tomahawk Lions Club’s 12th annual Thrilla on the Grilla rib cooking competition in downtown Tomahawk. … North Central Health Care moved closer to taking over management operations at Pine Crest Nursing Home in Merrill. … City of Tomahawk Public Works Director John Cole provided an update on the city’s road construction projects, saying the Kings Road Phase II and III and the 3rd St. sewer projects were nearly wrapped up, and the summer’s street paving work was done.

Aug. 21 – Pastor Mark Ziemer of Grace Lutheran Church retired after 18 years. A celebration in his honor was held at the church. … Rodeway Inn & Suites in Tomahawk was temporarily closed after a Legionella outbreak. … James Wiegert, 73, of Ogema, died in a motorcycle vs. deer crash on Highway 86 in the Town of Spirit.

Aug. 28 – A Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of an officer-involved a shooting incident in the Town of Corning on Aug. 24. … Lincoln County Supervisors approved a resolution to contract with North Central Health Care for the ongoing management of Pine Crest Nursing Home in Merrill. … Rodeway Inn & Suites reopened on a conditional permit. … The 77th annual Spirit-Hill-Ogema 4H Fair was held in the Town of Spirit. Anja Lind was crowned Fair Queen.


September 2019

Sept. 4 – Grace Lutheran Church of Tomahawk and Greater Galilee Methodist Church of Milwaukee celebrated a 20-year friendship between their congregations when the Milwaukee church visited Tomahawk. … A Wauwatosa contractor was charged in Lincoln County court with theft. He faced similar charges in Marathon and Portage counties. … Jeffrey Liebscher, 53, of Sugar Camp, man was taken into custody following a hit-and-run incident on Highway 17 in Oneida County that left motorcyclist Sean Holtslander, 23, of St. Germain, dead. … Smokey Bear celebrated his 75th birthday at the Tomahawk Library.

Sept. 11 – Brenda Graff of Besse’s on Clear Lake spoke about her experience working with chef Robert Irvine on the Food Network show Restaurant: Impossible. … Brian Liebscher, 54, of Sugar Camp, the brother of Jeffrey Liebscher, who had been charged in the hit-and-run death of Sean Holtslander, was arrested for obstructing law enforcement by providing false information about his brother. … The History Channel program American Pickers announced that it would be filming in Wisconsin in October and sought the public’s help in finding filming locations. … Merrill Mayor Derek Woellner was warned of a possible discrimination suit on behalf of Merrill City Administrator Dave Johnson.

Sept. 18 – 18 years after the attacks, the Tomahawk community continued its tradition of honoring 9/11 victims and first responders with its annual Patriot Day ceremony. … State Senator Tom Tiffany announced his candidacy to fill the 7th Congressional District seat vacated by Representative Sean Duffy’s impending resignation. … Phillips author Joseph Simurdiak won the coveted Claymore Award at the annual Killer Nashville awards banquet.

Sept. 25 – The 2019 Tomahawk Fall Ride raised over $101,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. … Tomahawk Elementary School students participated in a “Farm to Table” field trip to the Tuesday Downtown Farmers Market. … County Supervisors passed a resolution requesting the Wisconsin Legislature to end the use of personal conviction waivers for school and day care immunizations.

October 2019

Oct. 2 – Bronsted-Searl-Ingman American Legion Post 93 in Tomahawk celebrated its 100th anniversary. … Governor Tony Evers ordered a special election in Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District. … After 48 years, the Hatchet Booster Club continued to support Tomahawk athletic programs with its annual Tailgate Social and Glow Golf Tournament at Inshalla Country Club. … Tomahawk Main Street., Inc. donated over $1,000 to the Tomahawk Police Department’s K9 Fund. … Lincoln County’s fall colors approached their peak, according to Travel Wisconsin’s Fall Color Report.

Oct. 9 – Work on Highway 86 west of Tomahawk neared completion. … Irma Hill, Harrison Hills, Highway 107, Timm’s Hill and the Countryside Tour were listed as the top five places to view the fall colors in the area. … North Central Health Care welcomed Zach Ziesemer as Pine Crest Nursing Home Administrator.

The view from the Timm’s Hill Tower in Ogema.

Oct. 16 – With funds falling to emergency levels, the Tomahawk Food Pantry sought the public’s support. … Tomahawk Police Officer Dan Andrews was honored as the 35th Assembly District’s First Responder of the Year in a Madison ceremony. … Tomahawk-area residents Kenneth Dirks, Oscar Popp and William Schwaller were among veterans who participated in the 38th Never Forgotten Honor Flight. … 1995 Tomahawk High School graduate Damion Tassler was promoted to U.S. Army Sergeant Major.

Oct. 23 – World War II veteran Hal Schrage was honored in a special ceremony at Milestone Senior Living. … Mary Schlegel, Jeff Calhoun and the Northwoods Passage Snowmobile Club received awards at the Tomahawk Regional Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards ceremony. … A Tomahawk High School student was detained off-site after two other students heard him make a threatening remark about possibly doing harm to other students. … Democrats Tricia Zunker and Lawrence Dale announced their candidacies for Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District. … Rep. Mary Felzkowski participated in a Q & A session with Lincoln County Supervisors, discussing the state budget, gerrymandering, Medicaid expansion and more.

Oct. 30 – After an Aug. 2 jet ski accident on Lake Nokomis left Andrew Sparks seriously injured, the 26-year-old Illinois native thanked Tomahawk area first responders for saving his life, and his family spoke of both the incident and Andrew’s road to recovery. … School District of Tomahawk Administrator Terry Reynolds announced that the district’s 2019-2020 budget was balanced and that enrollment had declined slightly. … Andy and Jamie Hein were named Honorary Co-Chairs of the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Bell Ringing Campaign. … Tomahawk Girl Scouts delivered 54 pies in the community after their 17th annual Apple Fest.


November 2019

Nov. 6 – A great turnout at Fall Fest brought roughly 650-700 trick-or-treaters and over 1,000 total attendees to downtown Tomahawk. … 2006 Tomahawk High School graduate Alyssa Lampe was inducted into the George Martin Wrestling Hall of Fame. … One person was killed and another was injured in an Oneida County crash. Nevaeh Roy, 16, of Summit Lake, was taken to the hospital for injuries after her car left the roadway and struck Larry D. Badgley before hitting a tree. Badgley died from his injuries. Law enforcement cited winter conditions and speed as factors in the crash. … Local students participated in the first annual fun run on the Allan Bell Memorial Trail.

Nov. 13 – The Knot Haus in downtown Tomahawk offered free winter coats and scarves for the city’s homeless population. … The trial for former Tomahawk resident Henry Robert Hughes, charged with the 2016 death of his infant son, was delayed after a key witness was admitted for emergency surgery. … The Kickoff to Christmas and Tomahawk Main Street’s Win the Window shopping competition were announced as part of holiday events happening in downtown Tomahawk. … Kimberly Ann Baltus, 62, reached a plea deal in Oneida County court in a case involving theft from Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation and the Sacred Heart Foundation. The former director of the Ascension St. May’s Hospital Foundation pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of Theft $2500 < $5000, a Class I felony, and was sentenced to 100 days and jail, along with a three-year withheld sentence during probation. She was also ordered to pay $46,204.95 in restitution. … Former German exchange student Siegfried Nolte donated $15,000 to STEM programs at Tomahawk High School. Nolte passed away on Sept. 25.

Nov. 20 – Google was found to be collecting millions of Ascension patients’ medical data for storage and analysis in a transfer project known as Project Nightingale, which became the center of a federal inquiry. … Tomahawk Police Officer and First Responder of the Year Dan Andrews saved the life of a local elderly woman after discovering that she had fallen off of the Hiawatha Trail into the brush while walking her dog. … Timothy W. Rowe, 50, of Merrill, was killed in a Town of Corning crash. … Firefighters from multiple cities and townships responded to a structure fire in the Town of Irma. No injuries were reported, but significant damage to the structure was reported. … Supervisors approved the $40.5 million county budget. … Tomahawk students and local veterans participated in a Veterans Day ceremony at the Tomahawk School District auditorium.

Nov. 27 – The trial for Eric Lee Moen, accused of shooting and killing Charles “Chuck” K. Ramp of Tomahawk at Ramp’s home in 2017, was scheduled for June 2020. … Former Wisconsin Representative Sean Duffy took a lobbying job with a Washington, D.C., firm months after resigning from Congress. … The Salvation Army kicked off its bell ringing season at Great Lakes Foods in Tomahawk. … A bill introduced by Rep. Mary Felzkowski sought to help alleviate the state’s teacher shortage and raise the WPS retirement age.


December 2019

Dec. 4 – Tomahawk residents and businesses alike had to break out the shovels and snow blowers after a winter storm blanketed the area with over 10 inches of snow, followed by a second storm a few days later. Removing the snow kept City of Tomahawk crews busy for several days. … A bank employee and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputies saved an elderly Tomahawk man from being defrauded in a financial scam. … Tomahawk’s VFW Post 2687 presented donations to the Never Forgotten Honor Flight and the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation. … The Tomahawk Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 54th annual Venison Feed drew a large crowd to downtown Tomahawk. … Charles H. Augustine, 66, of the Town of Rib Mountain, died of natural causes in the Town of Russell while field dressing a deer he had shot. … The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office alerted residents of a phone scam involving Wisconsin Public Service (WPS). … Nicolet College’s Criminal Justice Program became the first in the state to have zero student textbook costs. … Local deputy Logan Lange invented a device called the Sheepdog Life Line to help keep officers’ microphones from becoming detached from their uniforms.

Dec. 11 – Pilot Charles J. Searl of Tomahawk and the “Tomahawk Warrior” crew were posthumously honored in a ceremony in Penn, United Kingdom, over 75 years after the plane went down during WWII. Searl purposely put the ill-fated craft down in an open field, saving countless lives by avoiding the populated areas nearby. … Becky L. Peterson, 64, of Tomahawk, was sentenced to five and a half years in prison after being convicted for her involvement in a long-term methamphetamine conspiracy. … Milestone Senior Living resident James “Jim” Flannery, who loved horses his whole life, visited the Sundance Ranch outside Tomahawk to see the horses there.

Dec. 18 – The Hometown Christmas held in downtown Tomahawk, featuring live mannequins in store windows, carolers dressed in Dickens attire, lights, decorations and more, was  enjoyed by many, with planning for next year’s festivities already underway. … The City of Tomahawk Common Council approved opening two sections of State Highway 86 for ATV and UTV use. … Rep. Mary Felzkowski discussed a medical marijuana legalization bill she had introduced with State Senator Kathy Bernier in an exclusive interview with the Tomahawk Leader. … A large crowd was on hand at SARA Park to enjoy the Tomahawk Figure Skating Club’s “A Holiday Celebration on Ice.”

Dec. 25 – After Ozaukee County Circuit Court Judge Paul V. Malloy ordered the state to remove roughly 234,000 Wisconsin voters from the rolls, the effort was challenged in both federal and state court. … Redeemer Lutheran Church in Tomahawk hosted “Christmas for Kids.” … The 2nd through 5th Grade students, as well as the staff, at St. Mary’s School in Tomahawk took time to ring the bell for the Salvation Army at Trig’s. Students sang Christmas carols while they were ringing that could be heard all the way to the back of the store.

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