RHINELANDER - The scoreboard said Rhinelander boys hockey’s 5-1 loss to Waupaca Saturday night was more of the same.
The coaches are saying something different after the Great Northern Conference opener.
“The thing that I like is for the first time since the first game of the year, there’s a lot of energy in the locker room. The kids were super positive to each other, and that makes me happy because I think we can win some hockey games,” said head coach M.J. Laggis. “I realize that at 0-5 you could scoff or laugh at that, but I really believe we’re going to win some hockey games before we’re done.”
While the Hodags did drop to 0-5-0 and 0-1-0 in the GNC, statistics reflect Rhinelander’s improvement. They were within three shots on goal at 26-23.
“We outshot them in the second and third. We’re playing better and have to keep getting better,” Laggis said.
Freshman Alex Littleton played the entire game in goal and stopped 21 of the shots.
“I think Alex did a nice job, but we’re in a situation right now where we’re pretty much going back and forth between goalies. He got it tonight. (Jake) Arno will get it Tuesday night. That’s how we’re going to roll for a while,” Laggis said.
Chris Hagen notched the Hodags’ only goal. Trailing 1-0 in the first period, Hagen picked the pocket of a Comet blueliner and squeezed a lefty wrister past Waupaca goalie Walker Smith to tie the game.
The Comets, however, would score four unanswered goals after that – one more in the first, two in the second, and one in the third.
Jerry Erickson had a pair of goals and an assist to move to 12 points on the year for 3-2-1 Waupaca. Frankie Ellingson also had two goals.
Even in the loss, the pros outweighed the cons for Laggis.
“The thing that I liked the most tonight is that we’re playing with a lot of intensity, a lot of scrappiness. You can see that we’re young, you can see we’re immature, but we’re catching passes better, and we’re playing hard in the offensive zone, and we’re generating more shots,” he said.
Laggis said he expects Northland Pines to go to State this year. The Hodags will get a chance to upset the Eagles Tuesday at Rhinelander Ice Arena. Listen to the game with Adam Matyska on HodagSports.com. The puck drops at 7pm.
Future Wisconsin Project wants to bring more workers, manufacturers to Wisconsin
RHINELANDER - The Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce group held a seminar at Nicolet College in Rhinelander Tuesday, to plan how to make Wisconsin more attractive to skilled workers and manufacturing businesses.
WMC's president believes the shortage in younger people in the industry has to do with two big misconceptions about manufacturing.
"The younger kids, as do their parents, have a perception on what manufacturing looks like and it's about 40 years out of date. If you're in an advanced manufacturing facility now, it's clean, it's high-tech, the engineers and technicians are working together," said Jim Morgan."We have a perception problem. I think we still have a definition of success that's says unless you have a four-year degree, you're not successful."
Morgan says groups like WMC work to change that perception. He believes workers with a two-year degree are just as successful in the industry.
So far, WMC held seminars at nine other technical colleges. For Rhinelander, more manufacturers could mean more economic independence.
"The Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce is looking to see how it can help and partner with local manufacturers to make the Rhinelander area a more favorable place for them to locate their businesses, as well as to attract and retain skilled workers to make those businesses successful," said Dana DeMet, Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce director.
Over the next six months, WMC will continue to look for ways to attract more workers and businesses to the state.
In December, it hopes to have 1000 representatives for a meeting in Milwaukee focusing on how manufacturing will benefit the state.
WMC also works with the University of Wisconsin system and the Wisconsin Technical Colleges.
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.
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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