Taylor County Hunting Close Calls 11/30/16
While the Wisconsin 9 day gun deer hunting for 2016 registered no fatalities, there were several “close calls” in Taylor County.
Saturday afternoon officers were informed that a large hunting party was doing a deer drive in Western Taylor County when one of their party members was struck by a bullet. The deputy report indicated that a 16 year old male hunter had been shot while hunting on Ness Road between Gilman and Thorp. The youth’s injuries required him to be airlifted from Victory Medical to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield. The report indicated that the victim was in town from Wyoming visiting his father.
Sunday morning at 9:00 Jennifer Hartl called the dispatch center to report that she was sleeping with her 3 children when a bullet entered the room of their home which they were in. Mrs. Hartl indicated there were hunters in the field and she yelled at them out the door. The sheriff’s report indicates that the bullet recovered from the residence was suspected to be from a .270 caliber rifle after a comparison of each hunter’s weapon was completed by DNR and law enforcement officers. The report indicated that a citation was issued to the hunter for reckless use of a weapon.
As the involved hunters were being interviewed, dispatch received a report of a hunter who had been wounded in western Taylor County, town of Pershing. The preliminary call indicated that a hunter had been shot in the head. The incident occurred on South Pond Road by Rued Road. A second call indicated that the victim’s injury was a graze wound only and the victim did not request an ambulance. Officers were told that a bullet went through the back window of a pickup and grazed the head of a passenger Alex Tappe. Preliminary reports indicate that a female juvenile was standing on a road when she shot at deer. She stated she did not see any vehicles or people when she shot according to the deputy report.
The 4th close call occurred later in the week in eastern Taylor County, at the Inn Between Bar of Goodrich, at 5:30 Friday morning while preparing for a hunt in the basement, an adult man was attempting to put on his shoulder holster when a fully loaded .357 pistol fell from the holster. Upon striking the floor, the pistol discharged and a bullet went through a chair and struck a youth in the buttocks while he was sitting in the nearby chair. The victim was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Agencies involved with investigating and assisting at these incidents include the Taylor County Sheriff’s Department, Wisconsin DNR officials, Wisconsin State Patrol, and Taylor County Ambulance.
Monday Mornign Traffic Fatality North of Medford 11/14/16
On Monday, November 14th, 2016 at 7:25 A.M., the Taylor County Sheriff's Department received a report of a two vehicle traffic accident located on State Highway 13 at Correction Lane in the township of Medford. The caller reported a pick up truck had just struck the rear of a semi-truck and the pick up truck operator was injured.
Taylor County Sheriff Deputies, Medford ambulance, the Medford Fire Department and Medvac were dispatched to the scene. Upon arrival of the emergency responders they found the pick up truck operator severely injured and transported him to Aspirus Hospital in Medford. The pick up truck operator was identified as 28 year old James Rodney Schwoegler of Rib Lake. Schwoegler succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at Aspirus Medford.
The investigation into the accident indicates the semi operator was stopped in the north bound lane waiting for oncoming traffic to pass so he could make a westbound turn into a private driveway. At this point in the investigation the findings indicate the turn signals and brakes lights were both functional on the semi. The pick up truck operated by Schwoegler was north bound on Highway 13 and struck the rear of the semi-truck at an undetermined highway speed. There are no indications that Schwoegler braked, turned or took any action to avoid striking the semi truck.
At this time the investigation leads authorities to believe this is a case of inattentive driving on the part of Mr. Schwoegler. However, a complete investigation is ongoing.
LATEST TAYLOR COUNTY FORESTRY & RECREATION COMMITTEE MEETING Oct 7, 2016
The Taylor County Forestry & Recreation Committee met on Friday, October 7th. Joe Desris addressed the committee. He indicated that his mother may be interested in selling a parcel which is adjacent to a larger parcel in the northwest corner of the village of Rib Lake. He offered to sell the portion on the west side of Niemitz Road which is about 19 acres for $25,000. The parcel has 2 small stands of pine growing on it. Scott Lindow asked if county forest could be located within a village? It was also unknown if Knowles-Nelson matching funds would be available to purchase land within the village limits. Mr. Desris told the committee that access to the county forest could be enhanced for recreation or logging with the land purchase. The committee decided to get more information before making a decision on purchasing the parcel.
The Pirus Road shooting range will be undergoing major improvements. Brian Bucki from the Taylor County Sportsman’s Club told the committee that a grant from the Pittman Roberts fund will pay for 75% of the project. Money in the fund is derived from D.N.R. fines. The Forestry Committee has agreed to add $5,000 to the project and the sportsman’s club will pitch in $23,000. Total cost of improvements is estimated to be just under $73,000. Mike Riggle indicated that the state grant fund also receives revenues from gun sales taxes; and that during the Obama administration there has been a spike in gun sales. Mr. Riggle indicated the shooting range makes Taylor County more safe with fewer people sighting in guns in populated areas. Mr. Bucki reminded the committee that when the shooting range was developed in 2000 the sportsman’s club agreed to pay for development and the county would pay for maintenance. For the past 16 years the sportsman’s club has paid for maintenance and now they want the county to begin paying for maintenance as was originally agreed to. The committee agreed.
The committee reviewed Niemitz Road which meanders from the northwest corner of Rib Lake into the parcel which was recently purchased by the county. Rib Lake officials indicated they will be replacing some failing culverts with 2 new 48 inch culverts. Because the road slices through private remote land the village has considered it a forest road, with minimal improvements over the past 30 years. The committee agreed to chip in $1,500 from the forestry carryover account to help the Village of Rib Lake to pay for the culverts and pit run.
The Forestry Committee reviewed the timber sales projects which are active in Taylor County. One contract under scrutiny involves an aspen cutting which has been peeled but has not been bunched. The trees have laid in the forest through the summer and new undergrowth has begun to cover the logs. The county’s foresters expressed their concern that if the logs aren’t removed soon, snow may make it difficult to locate the logs and subsequent damage by smashing down of the young regeneration may do irreparable damage to the young trees. While the contract indicates that the logger has until the end of February to remove the trees committee member Mike Bub expressed his concern saying: “It’s like watching a train wreck”.
The Pine Line Trail will be getting a facelift. Taylor County has received a grant to pay for 80% of new trail surface. The project is expected to start on the Pine Line at Allman Street in Medford and cover 5 ½ miles to near the Pot Belly in Whittlesey. The grant dollar amount is $125,839, and the county’s portion is $25,167. The material will either be granite or crushed gravel. However, a recent D.N.R. email indicated that the project may not proceed between May 20th and September 19th on large portions of the trail, so that no Wood Turtles would be put in harm’s way.
In other county forest business it was noted that the Fawn Avenue project is completed. The committee was told that while installing a new culvert it was felt that 20 square feet of rip rap would minimize erosion. However the process of applying for the rip rap permit cost $690, for permission to install 20 square feet of rip rap.
The Miller Dam inspection was completed. The inspection indicated that some vegetation must be removed, but otherwise miller dam is in good structural shape.
The committee was told that an audit was performed on the Perkinstown trail system to determine if the trails were suitable for the side by side UTV’s. Before the trails can qualify for UTV use several of the curves in the trail would need to be widened.
The forestry committee approved the Taylor County Forestry And Recreation Department 2015 accomplishment report. We’ll take a detailed look at the report on a later K99 News report.
Fatal Crash in Taylor County
On Wednesday, September 21st at 10:55 A.M., the Taylor County Sheriff's Office received a report of a one vehicle accident with injuries on County Highway A, just east of Larson Drive in the township of Holway. Taylor County deputies, along with the Stetsonville Fire Department, Stetsonville First Responders, Taylor County Coroner and Medford Ambulance were dispatched.
Upon arrival at the scene, deputies found a deceased male partially ejected from the vehicle; no other occupants were located. The deceased driver of the vehicle was found to be 61 year old Ronald S. Konieczny of Owen, Wisconsin.
The preliminary investigation into the accident indicates the vehicle operated by Konieczny was westbound on County A when he crossed over into the opposite lane of traffic and into the south ditch. The vehicle continued to travel in the south ditch and collided with a driveway embankment causing the vehicle to overturn coming to rest on it's roof, partially ejecting Konieczny from the vehicle.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation.
ABBOTSFORD, Wis. (WSAW) -- Three suspected thieves are on the loose after a robbery Sunday night in Abbotsford. All three are described as "armed and dangerous" by police.
The three people, wearing masks and gloves, stole an unidentified amount of money from Holiday gas station at the intersection of E. Spruce Street and 4th Street, according to Colby-Abbotsford Police Chief Jason Bauer.
The robbery was reported around 9:30 p.m. Sunday. Police at the scene early Monday morning say the robbers were inside the store for roughly three minutes. While there had been several customers throughout the evening, Bauer says no other customers were inside the store at the time of the robbery and no injuries were reported.
The robbers, including at least one man and a woman, shot the glass out of the gas station's door, believing themselves to be locked in, according to Chief Bauer.
All three fled the scene in a black, four-door vehicle, possibly with black-painted rims, heading east on Business 29 toward Wisconsin Highway 29. Anyone with information should contact Colby-Abbotsford Police at 715-223-2313 or 715-223-4944.
TAYLOR COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) -- One person is dead after a crash Sunday morning in Taylor County.
The Taylor County Sheriff's Office got a report of a one-car crash around 9:30 a.m. Sunday morning in the Town of McKinley in Taylor County. The department says a BMW SUV was traveling southbound on State Highway 73 just north of County Highway V when the vehicle entered the west ditch. The SUV then hit an embankment and went airborne.
According to the Taylor County Sheriff's Office, Sarah Scollay, 27, the passenger of the vehicle, was ejected. She was transported to the Aspirus-Wausau Hospital by Medevac Air where she was pronounced dead. The driver of the vehicle, John Cihler, 28 of Neillsville, was transported to Aspirus-Medford by Taylor County authorities where he was arrested on a charge of operating after suspension. He was then released from the Taylor County Jail.
Cihler told authorities he was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, but he said Scollay was not.
The crash is still under investigation by the Taylor County Sheriff's Office and the Taylor County Medical Examiner's Officessisting the Taylor County Sheriff's Office on-the-scene were the Rusk County Sheriff's Office, Jump River Fire Department, Sheldon Ambulance Service, Jump River First Responders, Gilman Ambulance, and Medevac Air.
9/2/16 Pirates Cove Destroyed By Fire
The Gilman community bowling alley was severely damage by a fire on Thursday afternoon, September 1. The Gilman Fire Department was first on the scene to the fire which started in the lower level of the bowling alley. Neighboring fire departments responded to assist in preventing the fire from spreading to other buildings in Gilman’s commercial district. A Medford fireman was injured on the fire department’s ladder truck. He was taken by ambulance for treatment of a hand injury. The emergency room staff at Aspirus Medford Hospital was successful in removing a safety pin which was became impaled in the Medford Fireman’s middle finger. The Gilman bowling alley which is known as the Pirate’s Cove was severely damaged, but firefighters were able to contain the spread of the fire. The cause of the fire at the Pirate’s Cove Gilman bowling alley is under investigation.