RHINELANDER - Keith McCaffery takes his job at the Department of Natural Resources in Rhinelander seriously. So, seriously he's been strolling into work here for nearly 12 years for free!
Keith McCaffery, Volunteer, DNR, says, "I have a great deal of affection and admiration for the the colleagues that I've worked with here. And it's really a thrill everyday to be able to come back and be able to associate with them. And I felt that I was getting fairly good at what I was doing and it's kind of fun to continue!"
Continue helping with the deer management program by assisting his co-workers with research on deer herds. And this Wisconsin native says it's a career he became interested in at an early age.
McCaffery says, "Way back when I was in 7th or 8th grade, I developed an interest in conservation."
But McCaffery also credits his father for helping him realize his calling in life.
McCaffery says, "My dad told when I was trying to choose which vocation I wanted to pursue when I was in college he said, 'think about what you like to do in your spare time.'"
And that spare time fun lead to a rewarding career lasting nearly four decades.
McCaffery says, "I had 37 years of experience that I didn't want to just throw away."
And McCaffery's not throwing it away, but rather builiding on it for 49 years and counting.
McCaffery says, "If I stop having fun, I'm sure I'll quite. I hope I'm going to be sensitive enough to the point when I feel like I'm no longer really making contributions to the outfit, hopefully I'll quite, because I don't think my bosses know how to get rid of me!"
And McCaffery says he has no plans of giving up on volunteering anytime soon.
Snow on an overhang causes damage to downtown building
RHINELANDER - Warm temperatures and lingering snow on roofs doesn't make for a good combination.
Around 3 p.m. Monday, the weight of the snow on the roof of the building next to the Elbo Room in Rhinelander caused major damage to the building.
The awning to the building fell down onto the Brown Street sidewalk.
Fire leaders say it's important to remember to how dangerous heavy snowfall left on roofs can be this time of year.
“Well with this heavy snowfall this winter there's a lot of snow load with warm weather today the snow melting it created a lot of weight and it can damage structures with all the weight from the snow,” says Josh Schmitz, Rhinelander Fire Deptartment Deputy Chief.
No one was injured in the collapse. The fire department is not sure when cleanup will begin.
------------------------ An earlier version of this story indicated that the facade of the Elbo Room awning had fallen. That was incorrect. It was the building next to the Elbo Room. That has been corrected in the story above.
MADISON - A bill that would allow Wisconsin schools to extend school days and shorten school years to save money is up for a vote in the Senate this week.
The bill would get rid of the requirement that schools teach for 180 days or lose state funding. Schools are still required to teach the same number of hours under the bill.
Another change under the law allows the state Department of Public Instruction to fund remedial courses and interim school sessions. The package is being viewed as a cost saving measure for districts that have seen state funding decrease in recent years.
Three Democrats joined the bill's Republican sponsors, and DPI and other education groups have voiced strong support for the proposal.
Rhinelander intersection could get a permanent stop sign
RHINELANDER - Drivers might need to get used to a stop sign at one intersection in Rhinelander.
The City Council held a public hearing to decide if the temporary stop sign on Davenport and Sutliff should stay.
The stop sign was put up at the three-way intersection during a construction project last summer.
"We put up a temporary stop sign because we had the closure on Kemp, and we sent all the traffic this way," says Rhinelander City Administrator Blaine Oborn. "Once we had the stop sign up, a lot of people in the community started voicing support for keeping it."
Members of the community voiced their support for or against the permanent stop sign at the public hearing.
"People who live on the west side over here go straight through, it slows them down a little bit by having to do a stop sign," says Oborn. "The people on Sutliff that have to make a left or right turn, they really favor the three-way stop sign here because it makes it a lot safer for them."
The permanent signs could be in place in the next couple of weeks if the council approves the move.
TOMAHAWK - The Tomahawk School District will need to make big budget cuts in the next year. The district will need to cut more than $500,000. Rising transportation costs along with declining enrollments challenge many Northwoods School Districts.
“We have a lot of issues in Northern Wisconsin that many districts in the state of Wisconsin don't have,” says Cheryl Baker, Tomahawk School District Superintendent. “For instance in the Tomahawk School District there's about 425 and I'm rounding that off, square miles of terrain that has to be covered everyday two times a day to pick kids up, to bring them to school, and to take them home.”
“That cost is our cost,” says Baker.
The school district does not plan to cut any electives. Instead they are moving from an 8 to a 7 period day.
“We're moving from an 8 period day to a 7 period day purely for economic reasons,” says Baker. “In other words had we not gone to the 7 period day for next year we would have had to of cut entire classes, electives, and or start cutting down teachers full time positions.”
The school district will also need to cut its full time social worker.
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