Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Will It Pass? Rhinelander Referendum DecisionSubmitted: 02/06/2013
Story By Lex Gray & Kira Lynne

Will It Pass? Rhinelander Referendum Decision
RHINELANDER - No one wants to pay higher taxes.

But Rhinelander, Northland Pines, and Three Lakes school districts are asking you for more money.

So we asked them what's at stake.

Tonight, Newswatch 12's Lex Gray and Kira Lynne take a look at the School District of Rhinelander.

"When I look back to moving to this area, one of the reasons was [my husband] was very confident in the school system," says Lori Haug.

Lori and her husband Tony Haug moved to Rhinelander from Eau Claire 14 years ago.

"At the time when we moved here, I felt it was a very good school district, a good place to raise kids," Tony says.

That's proven to be true for their three children.

"I think our decision to move here was a great one," Lori says. "The depth of the curriculum is something that my girls are really enjoying. We have both of them in Advanced Placement classes. They'll be more than prepared to go to university if they choose."

But the Haugs also have a son in seventh grade.

By the time he gets to high school, AP courses, foreign languages, and other electives could be gone.

"The thought of losing that is scary to us," Lori says.

Scary, but a definite possibility.

The School District of Rhinelander is asking taxpayers for another $4 million per year through 2016.

That means each year, you'd pay $105 more than you do now per $100,000 in property value.

The odds are stacked against the district.

It's gone to referendum 24 times since 1996. Fifteen of the 24 have failed.

Lori hopes this time is different.

"It's time to bury all the distrust before and move forward for the sake of the community."

The effects of a failed referendum go beyond classroom doors.

"The students lose, future students lose, the town loses," Tony says. "When your school system is going negative, people will relocate, businesses will not come here, current businesses will question being here, and growth will go slow."

Growth is important to Tony. He's the president of ABX, a Rhinelander manufacturing company.

"Having a strong school system is important for all businesses that are currently here and all future businesses," he said.

But if this referendum fails, Rhinelander won't have a strong school system.

The board started cutting back in 2002. They've laid off teachers, trimmed down activities and sports, closed a building, and cut back on busing.

This time, the district cuts would go even deeper.

Charter schools and some sports and activities would go.

But most disturbing for the Haugs - elective classes would also go.

"My oldest daughter now is looking into colleges" Tony says. "So when you talk about the electives and courses being cut that would prevent her from getting into one of the universities of Wisconsin, that's a huge concern."

It's a concern big enough to talk about moving.

"If our kids don't have the ability to get into universities, going to Rhinelander High School, I think you have to reevaluate where you're living," Tony says.

"I think we would have to consider it," Lori says. "Would we want to? Absolutely not."

But the Haugs hope it won't come to that.

"I believe most people understand that we have to maintain the school districts and the levels," Tony says. "I believe that it will be passed and it needs to be passed and it's the right thing to do. We want to fight for our town and the school district."

"We're at the cusp of something very important here," Lori says. "I think for the sake of our community and our future, it's very important to support it and move forward in a really positive matter."

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - On Monday night, a special Rhinelander city council meeting took place, in part, to discuss the city administrator position.

Back in February, Keith Kost started working as a part-time City Administrator. Kost's contract was set to end in December.

+ Read More

Play Video

TOWN OF NEWBOLD - The Town of Newbold decided to put the finishing touches on the new disc golf course and open it in 2018.

Newbold Recreation Committee Chairman Pete Cody says the course is basically complete, but a few things still need to settle before they can open it to the public.

"We have some areas seeded on the course that just haven't hardened up and it's in a pretty delicate stage at this time," said Cody.

+ Read More

LINCOLN COUNTY -
Update:

The man who died when his ATV hit a bear in Lincoln County lived in Tomahawk.

Lincoln County Sheriff's deputies tell us 51-year-old Kevin Ives died in the accident northwest of Tomahawk Thursday night.

Ives had been headed west on County Road CC, east of Poplar Drive in the town of Wilson.

The ATV rolled when it hit the bear, and Ives was thrown off.

He was taken to the hospital but died of his injuries.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - Earlier this month an inmate assaulted a teacher at the Lincoln Hills School and Youth Prison. Many youth counselors and teachers have reached out to Newswatch12 to express their concerns about staff safety and well-being. 

Last Wednesday, Jon Litscher, the Secretary of the Department of Corrections, met with staff in Irma to listen to their concerns. Monday, he spoke to Newswatch12 in Wausau. 

Assaults, long hours, and claims of an unsafe work environment made some staff members of Lincoln Hills School and Youth Prison angry at the Department of Corrections and management that oversees the facility.
 
But Litscher believes that the only way to solve issues facing the prison is to come together.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A walk down a gravel driveway and up a leaf-covered path in the Town of Crescent led Lon Roberts to one of Oneida County's prized projects.

"People who are trying to get into the process should look at what Oneida County has done," Roberts said.

Roberts is the new state Public Service Commission commissioner, which is the agency that regulates utilities across Wisconsin and doles out grant funding for broadband projects.  Monday morning, Roberts got to see one of more than a dozen broadband internet towers Northwoods Connect and the county put up in the last two years.

+ Read More

Play Video

ANTIGO - "This looks like an expensive brand," said Coriana Lowery as she looked through a rack of clothes. 

Lowery doesn't typically wear expensive brands. 

"I've actually been bullied because I'm poor," she said.  

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - Merrill will soon open a new homeless shelter after going without one for nearly two years.

"Since October of 2016 to about last month, we had over 136 homeless people, that included 16 families and that included 38 children," said Merrill Homeless Center Board member Dee Olsen.

Olsen received the keys to the new building on Friday.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here