NEWS STORIES

Tomahawk School District Lowers Tax LevySubmitted: 10/24/2012

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TOMAHAWK - A shrinking school district means shrinking taxes for Tomahawk. Last night the district approved a budget that will decrease the tax levy by more than seven percent.

Superintendent Dr. Roger Rindo says they've never been able to lower the levy in the five years he's been there. A combination of things contributed to this year's lower budget.

"We're a declining enrollment district, so we have fewer students which requires fewer teachers. We've been able to reduce budgets through attrition with some retirements and that's been very helpful. Otherwise all the low hanging fruit from a budget reduction standpoint is gone so we had to take a closer look at all of our programs and see what we can do to operate more efficiently with the dollars we have," says Dr. Rindo.

The nearly $1 million they've saved this year means each household in Tomahawk will save nearly $60 per $100,000 of income.

Dr. Rindo does say there are some things they'd like to spend money on in the future.

"We've been able to do what we can with technology in our classrooms. We certainly would like to accelerate that at a quicker pace, and we see budget as a significant roadblock. I don't think it's undoable by any stretch. I think we'll continue to look at that," says Dr. Rindo.

Next year the district hopes to start a new pilot program for the high school. It will include the possibility for work-based learning, job shadowing and evening classes.

Story By: Lyndsey Stemm

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Dane County judge to hear Planned Parenthood lawsuitSubmitted: 04/24/2014

MADISON - A Dane County judge is set to hear arguments in a lawsuit challenging a 2012 law that sets out conditions for abortions.

The law requires a doctor to determine whether the woman's consent is voluntary and inform the woman of domestic abuse services if he or she suspects the woman is being coerced. The law also requires doctors to perform a physical exam before they can prescribe abortion-inducting drugs and be in the room when the drugs are given to the woman.

Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit in February 2013 arguing the law is unconstitutionally vague. The organization argues its unclear how doctors should determine voluntary consent and whether doctors need to be present when drugs are dispensed or administered.

Judge Richard Niess is set to hear arguments Thursday morning.

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FDA proposes regulations for e-cigarettes Submitted: 04/24/2014

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The proposal, which was released Thursday, would regulate hookahs, nicotine gels, cigars and e-cigarettes. The FDA currently only regulates cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco.

Some smokers turn to e-cigarettes to try to stop smoking. Medical experts donít know the full health impact of e-cigarettes yet. Leaders at the FDA want to get ahead of the trend.

The proposal would make e-cigarette producers register their products and show their ingredients to the agency.

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MINOCQUA - People can find some of the best tasting food in the Northwoods.

But it's tough trying all of the different types of restaurants in a community all at once.

Thursday that was possible.

The Minocqua Chamber of Commerce hosted their 7th annual Taste of the North.

It was started by an ambassador from the chamber who passed away.

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Duffy might have used earmark to help pay for Northwoods water main breaks, if he couldSubmitted: 04/24/2014

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NORTHWOODS - Water main breaks from this harsh winter will cost Northwoods communities millions of dollars.

The U.S. Congress might want to help.

Under old rules, northern Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy (R-Weston) might have tried to get direct federal money to help pay for repairs.

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Statewide tornado drillSubmitted: 04/24/2014

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RHINELANDER - There was no severe weather Thursday, but sirens across the Northwoods were blaring at about 1:45 pm on Thursday.

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"The sirens are only set off for warnings, in the city of Rhinelander, it's only going to be a Severe Thunderstorm Warning that is affecting the city area," said Oneida County Emergency Management Director Ken Kortenhof. "It's also going to be set off for a Tornado Warning affecting the area."

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Board speeds up start of short-term loan program Submitted: 04/24/2014

MADISON - The start of a new short-term loan program that wasn't slated to begin until July has been moved up in an effort to help businesses hurt by recent cutbacks at Oshkosh Corp.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the state's chief jobs agency, voted this week to start the pilot program earlier. It will provide loans or loan guarantees of up to $250,000 to companies for projects or expenses that may not be eligible for traditional financing.

The board says it was starting the program earlier in light of news that Oshkosh was cutting 760 jobs from its defense division because of budget cuts being made by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The loan program this year will only target businesses in Oshkosh Corp.'s supply chain

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