NEWS STORIES

Students Walk Out, Protesting Teacher LayoffsSubmitted: 05/09/2012

RHINELANDER - Students walked out of classes at Rhinelander High School Wednesday morning.

Their protest? The potential firing of four RHS teachers.

Facing a budget tightened by $2 million dollars, Blaine Obey, Angela Schaffer, Michael Velis, and Kim DeBuhr were notified they would be laid off at the end of the year.

“The teachers that are getting fired, if they did what we’re doing right now, they’d be fired instantly. So they know that they have someone that will stick up for them," said Dalton Rose, an RHS student.

Students told Newswatch 12 the effect the teachers have had on them goes beyond the classroom.

"Mrs. Schaffer always listens to our personal problems, even though she doesn't have to. She could just teach us, but no, she takes the time to actually listen to us and help us," said student Dani Hageny.

Some say the teachers, while not promoting this specific protest, instilled in them the idea of standing for their values.

“They teach us to stand up for what we believe in and have a voice," said student Haleen Guth.

Oneida County Detective Sergeant Phil Newcomb, who works with the school district, was one of the staff scrambling to get the students back to school.

“Stop protesting," Newcomb told the students while they occupied the public sidewalk outside the school. "There’s a peaceful way to protest, but this is not the way.”

School administration is still considering punishment options for involved students.

Principal Paul Keats sent a letter to high school parents saying he could not “allow students to disrupt the educational environment.”

“Mr. Keats and I are working closely with the appropriate people to find the appropriate response, not to have a knee jerk response...fines are not going to come, and possible punishments are still being considered," said RHS Associate Principal David Ditzler.

While no fines may come from the school itself, multiple students and parents told Newswatch 12 Wednesday afternoon that some received citations from the Sheriff’s Department with fines attached.

But students said the walkout today, which included more than 50 participants, was a definite success.

“We hope it keeps the teachers that actually appreciate us. We appreciate them," said student Dani Hageny.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Meth bust in town of Pine LakeSubmitted: 04/16/2014

RHINELANDER - Police arrested four people in a meth bust near Rhinelander.

The Oneida County Sheriff’s Department says the bust went down yesterday in the town of Pine Lake.

Arrested were 38 year old Gerry Frederick, 55 year old Thomas Franz, 40 year old Scott Dumpprope and 46 year old Carrie Steinmetz.

Potential charges include conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house.

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DNR prepares for trout stocking Submitted: 04/16/2014

MADISON - MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is working to stock 316,000 trout across the state ahead of inland fishing season opener next month.

More than 100,000 trout will be stocked in urban fishing waters, small lakes and ponds. The rest will go into waters where the habitat is marginal and there's no natural reproduction.

DNR officials say lingering ice cover on lakes is delaying some of the stocking, but they still expect to get all the fish in the water by the May 3 season opener.

A complete list of water bodies in line for fish is available on the DNR's website.

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Big bucks to expand nutrition, physical education in Wisconsin schools Submitted: 04/16/2014

WISCONSIN - Seven Wisconsin school districts have been awarded a total of $3.2 million in federal grants to help them expand their nutrition and physical-education programs.

To qualify, the districts have to implement programs that teach students healthy eating habits and good nutrition. They also have to make sure kids have access to certain physical fitness activities, which could include fitness assessments or developing certain team skills.

The largest grant is going to the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District, which will receive about $850,000. The Mukwonago Area School District and Pittsville School District will each get about $445,000.

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Ice cover might lead to more fish killsSubmitted: 04/16/2014

ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Winter can be hard on everything, but you might not think it's hard on fish. They're protected under a layer of ice from the weather. But that layer of ice can create problems if it lasts too long.

"You don't get enough light penetration that goes down into the water. So there's no photosynthesis by the algae in the water so there's no oxygen that's produced," says Jim Kreitlow, DNR Lakes Biologist


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Support for baiting and feeding ban before deer seasonSubmitted: 04/16/2014

MADISON - Outdoor enthusiasts think Wisconsin should ban deer baiting and feeding in the days leading up to the November gun season.

The Conservation Congress is a group of sportsmen that advises the DNR on policy.

Annual spring hearings across the state we held Monday.

People who attended answered nearly 60 questions asking for their positions on a number of proposals.

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Wisconsin silver alert bill helps save at-risk adults Submitted: 04/15/2014

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WISCONSIN - Six out of ten people with Alzheimers and dementia will wander off at some point.

That puts them at risk for injury or even death. And not all of those people are found quickly enough.

That's why Governor Scott Walker recently signed a bill that will help find them quicker.

The Wisconsin Silver Alert bill will create a program that works like an Amber Alert for missing children.

An effective alert system is crucial to the Northwoods because of the growing aging population and severe winter weather.

For advocacy groups like the Alzheimer's Association, the new bill is a huge victory.

"Family caregivers of people who have Alzheimers, or another type of dementia are worried and concerned about whether or not their loved one might wander away from home," said Julie St. Pierre, an outreach specialist for the Alzheimer's Association in Rhinelander. "It's very important that those caregivers out there know that there are important resources that can help keep their loved ones safe in the home. The Silver Alert is certainly now a part of that safety net that we have in place."

The Alzheimer's Association was just one group that worked closely with the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network to get this bill passed.

A coordinator for the network believes this system will save lives.

"This bill really advances [us] one step forward in addressing the needs of an aging population. And that's extremely important in the Northwestern part of Wisconsin," said Joe Libowsky, coordinator for the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network. "In the Rhinelander area, where you have fairly severe weather, it makes the urgency of getting out the alert as quickly as possible even more important."

The alert system will heavily involve all 500 law enforcement agencies in the state to respond to at-risk adults who are reported missing.

Wisconsin joins 30 other states with a silver alert system.


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New Vilas County Board sworn in, already making changesSubmitted: 04/15/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - Two weeks ago, Vilas County elected its new board.

That included 12 new board members.

The new board was sworn in Tuesday, and right away, they made some big changes.

Members voted to bring back the 21 committee structure.

The Vilas County Board voted in October to cut the number of committees from 21 to 9.

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