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School District of Antigo loses 18 teachers to retirement, could face a similar problem next yearSubmitted: 08/28/2014

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ANTIGO - The School District of Antigo will see a lot of new faces this fall.

The district hired 26 new teachers this year.

They lost so many teachers last year because of retirements and teachers leaving for bigger districts.

The district can't always pay as much as larger ones.

Especially specialty teachers like special education or science.

"We've tended overall on average to be in the middle of the pack but at some levels we're falling behind," says Antigo School District Interim District Administrator Don Childs. "Particularly in areas of high need and specialty. You'll find there are districts that are willing to pay premiums for and that sometimes draws people as well away from another district."

This isn't a problem only faced by Antigo schools.

Some teachers are drawn away by being able to live in a bigger city.

"Typically you don't have all the necessary social infrastructure that you get in a larger community, in an urban area," says Childs. "For a lot of people that's the kind of environment they want."

Teachers going to larger school districts wasn't the only reason Antigo lost so many employees.

18 teachers retired last year alone.

And they could be facing a similar problem at the end of this school year.

The district used to pay for up to 90 months of health insurance for teachers that retired.

But that cost the district millions of dollars.

"[A] couple of years ago the board acted to end that practice because it was extraordinarily expensive and the state was requiring us to count that in our accounting as one of our best accounting practices. We couldn't just write it off as an annual payment anymore we had to take it on as an obligation," says Childs.

This is the last year teachers can take advantage of those retirement benefits.

"Others might not have always elected to do so this early. They want to take advantage of that benefit so we had 18 people," says Childs. "We'll probably have people again who will take advantage of it."

Story By: Kaitlyn Howe

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 LOCAL NEWS
Sheriff's office warns of IRS phone scamSubmitted: 08/28/2014

VILAS COUNTY - The Vilas County Sheriff's Office wants to warn people of a phone scam.

People in the area have reported getting calls from people saying they're officers or special agents with the IRS.

The scammer asks for a named person living at the home.

The caller then says the person owes money to the IRS and must pay immediately.

The scammer may also threaten to arrest or prosecute the victim.

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Headwaters Art League exhibit openSubmitted: 08/28/2014

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LAND O' LAKES - A local art league in Land O' Lakes will soon open their art exhibit to the public.

The Headwaters Art League will put on the exhibit at the Gateway Lodge on County Road B. A reception will be held from 4 to 6 pm on Friday. The group leaders want to use the event to promote communication between local artists.

"We hope to have a number of our artists participating in the show here," said Art League Founder Barbara Nehring. "Some to explain how they do their works and what inspires them."

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RHINELANDER - You can find a new option for coffee, gas and groceries in the Northwoods.

Kwik Trip opened its doors in Rhinelander.

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Tomahawk Public Library to close for a monthSubmitted: 08/28/2014

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TOMAHAWK - People living in the Tomahawk area will need to find another library for a while.

The Tomahawk Public Library will be closed for the month of September. No library materials will be due during the month of September.

The library will get a more than $80,000 facelift.

All carpeting will be replaced, and all walls will be repainted.

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Laona State Bank celebrates 100 yearsSubmitted: 08/28/2014

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LAONA - Logging history in Laona goes back more than a century.

The community's bank has been serving customers nearly as long.

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Community banks like theirs rely on close bonds with customers to stay in business.

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Juniors and seniors were there to help the freshmen.

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Free school meals for all Lac du Flambeau Public School students this yearSubmitted: 08/28/2014

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The program is called the Community Eligibility Provision. It's part of the 2010 Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act. Schools can participate in the Community Eligibility Provision if they have a high poverty rate.

90% of Lac du Flambeau Public School students already got free meals last year. 23 students needed to pay a reduced price and 25 needed to pay full price.

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