Loading

-1°F

-5°F

-1°F

-2°F

-8°F

-1°F

1°F

-2°F

-6°F

1°F

-1°F
NEWS STORIES

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


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
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 03/05/2015

- Antigo gymnastics has come a long way in two decades. The same coach has been there through the journey.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - The former Lac du Flambeau man who owned and ran an ATM business that appeared in some U.S. and Canadian casinos will serve three years in prison.

Kevin Maulson was sentenced Thursday in Vilas County Court for three felony counts of making false statement on a securities sale and theft in a business setting. This was for misleading investors about his personal finances in the early 2000s and not paying them back.

+ Read More

Play Video

VILAS COUNTY - Visitors to one Northwoods courthouse may notice some changes in security.

The Vilas County Courthouse will put in place new security measures starting March 16th.

The biggest change the public will notice is only one entrance will be open to the public.

+ Read More

MERRILL - More private schools in Northcentral Wisconsin could take part in the statewide voucher program.

Three schools in Lincoln and Marathon counties that aren't already a part of the program are applying this year.

Trinity Lutheran School in Merrill is one of those schools.

The school applied last year as well.

"Having gone through it last year I know what we're up against," says Trinity Lutheran School principal Kathy Yahr.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - When you hear the word "gang," you may think of big cities like Chicago or Milwaukee. Unlike what many believe, they may be in your own backyard.

"The prominent one, the OTB, that this male juvenile claimed to be, that one was a known gang group here in the Wausau area," said Wausau Police Officer Houa Lee. "This other gang involving white, Hispanic, or black males, that was probably a hybrid gang that just formed."

Some gangs in Wausau have been around for the past fifteen years. Last week, a middle school boy died when a 15 year old stabbed him twice in the back. Police think the stabbing is gang related.

Recently, kids as young as ten years old are getting involved in gangs. Police say their biggest problem is keeping track of them.

+ Read More

MINOCQUA - Leaders at Minocqua Winter Park often hear from locals that they don't get the chance to visit the park. Staff members want to change that.

"We get people popping in to the chalet daily that say they've lived in the area for many, many years but haven't had a chance to come explore. We want to get rid of any excuse they have to come and explore Minocqua Winter Park," said Minocqua Winter Park Executive Director Tim Collins.

They'll host Lakeland Community Appreciation Day this Sunday.

+ Read More

Play Video

NORTHWOODS - Some people will need to get their shanties off the lakes this weekend. DNR wardens say the ice conditions are much better than last year. That will make it easier to get the shanties off the ice and Wardens say they'll be strict about the deadline this year.

"We've had these cold temperatures, extremely cold temperatures at night, and that's helped to freeze up some of the slush that was on top of the ice," says Conservation Warden Supervisor David Walz. "We saw some extreme conditions last year where people were struggling to get their shacks off even come April."

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here