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UW-Extension mulls future while budget cuts loomSubmitted: 05/27/2015
WAUSAU - The future was the focus of a public forum at the UW-Extension building in Wausau on Wednesday night.

Community members gathered with workers to discuss what the group needs to do to evolve and cater to the next generation of Wisconsinites. They also needed to figure out how the group would move forward with possible budget cuts looming. Less funding for UW-Extension might end up hurting rural areas the most here in Wisconsin.


UW-Extension workers had formed three options going into the meeting, which is one of many around the state. Option one included growing visibility and reach by using online and digital technologies.

The second option would focus on efficiencies, collaboration and partnerships.

The final option would re-prioritize the focus of the organization to prepare for the future. That option could be done by focusing a larger percentage of resources in urban areas, where a larger portion of the population lives.

Some people like Sandi Cihla believed one key moving forward was showing the good the groups bring to an area.

"Here is the return on investment," Cihla said "That's what, bottom line, is where it's at today. And extension could tell a good story if they can find a way to do that."

UW- Extension could also face possible funding cuts. Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy & Service Director Eric Giordano says there are a number of opportunities for education in the Northwoods, but changes may mean fewer services for rural Wisconsin.

"If you remove those extension agents, in my opinion, this really takes out a tremendous educational workforce that really is there to serve the community. And especially, as you mentioned in the northern communities, there really isn't as many options," Giordano said.

This is one of multiple public forums being held across the state. The input will be shared with UW-Extension and UW System leaders for its long-term planning.



Story By: Adam Fox

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 LOCAL NEWS

RHINELANDER - Students at Rhinelander High School hoped they would be driving home in a new car Wednesday afternoon. The prize was part of the school's year-end celebration. The car was the top prize connected to the school's Positive Behavior Initiatives and Supports initiative.

This is the third year that the school district has been involved with the initiative. Throughout the year students who display good behaviors such as being on time and assisting others in the classroom can receive special green cards.

These cards are collected and are put into drawings where students can win prizes such as free pizzas from Dominos. The drawings are a weekly event but the green cards are also held over the year for an end of the year grand prize drawing.

Brittany Haakenson, an art teacher at Rhinelander High School, has been very involved with the initiative and the planning for Wednesday's assembly. She was excited for the work the initiative has been able to accomplish and for the grand prize; a new car. "It's totally random and whoever gets that special key, there is going to be six keys that won't open the car, but there will be that one winner," said Haakenson.

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MERRILL - A one-of-a kind business opened in Merrill this month.   Again and Again is part resale and part online auction, using its own website. The owner moved the business from Wausau after three years partly due to competition.

"In Wausau, I would say yes, the market was already full," said Again and Again Owner Jody Malsack. "You were competing against people that were friends of yours and you knew, and you don't want to step on too many toes. So here (Merrill) it's kind of unique to this area, and I like it that way."

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MONTREAL, WI - Three-year-old Kolton Ouellette spends his days in a crib, a chair, or a piece of equipment that looks like it belongs in a hospital.

Kolton is not like most three-year-olds. He can't walk, he can't talk, and in fact, he can't even open his eyes fully.

Nineteen months have passed since the crime that put Kolton in this state, suffering from severe and permanent brain damage.

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Rain, storms affect golf seasonSubmitted: 05/27/2015

RHINELANDER - The rainy weather could be hurting some golf courses in the Northwoods. The Northwood Golf Club in Rhinelander has had fewer golfers than normal this month.

The club usually has many people pre-book their tee-times for the summer. But this year, not as many people are doing that. The club says it actually had more golfers playing in April than in May this year.

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 REGIONAL NEWS

SHAWANO - A minivan hit and killed a construction worker in Shawano County Tuesday.

30-year-old Derek Stempa of Shawano had been flagging traffic.

68-year-old Dennis St. John of Hurley was driving the minivan when he struck Stempa.

The Shawano County Highway Department had been doing road work in the area.

That's on Highway 47 near the Menominee Indian Reservation.

The Wisconsin State Patrol is in charge of the investigation.

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MADISON - Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says efforts to take up prevailing wage repeal could hinder attempts to reform the program.

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WAUKESHA - Defense experts say one of two Wisconsin girls charged as adults with trying to kill a friend to please a fictional horror character has a very low risk of future criminal behavior and a high likelihood of success in treatment.

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Woman drowns in Marathon CountySubmitted: 05/26/2015

EDGAR - Marathon County authorities say a woman has died from drowning in a pool in Edgar in central Wisconsin.

Lt. Tim Burkholder of the Marathon County Sheriff's Department says it happened some time after midnight Monday.

 While the investigation is ongoing, he says the drowning appears to be accidental.

 The department is withholding the victim's name and other details for now.



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