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

MADISON (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker plans to sign a bill lifting Wisconsin's moratorium on gold and silver mining.

The Republican governor is scheduled to sign the "Mining for America" bill Monday in Rhinelander.

Walker voted to impose the moratorium when he was in the state Assembly in 1998. But his spokesman, Tom Evenson, has said Walker believes mining can be done without harming the environment.


+ Read More

Play Video

WOODRUFF - People who've experienced a loss in their family may find the holiday season difficult to handle.

Woodruff's Nimsgern Funeral Home held a ceremony on Saturday to try and help people heal.

+ Read More

BOULDER JUNCTION - For 24 years the Boulder Junction Lions Club gave children in the community an early Christmas, with its annual Children's Christmas Party.
Sunday the event reminded one woman that no matter where she goes she and her son can always call Boulder Junction home.
Emma Iwachniuk moved from Boulder Junction to Lake Tomahawk this year.

+ Read More

CAMBRIA - Didion Milling Company in Cambria received 19 safety citations for its explosion in May.
The fatal plant explosion killed five workers and injured 12 others.
Didion plans on challenging some of the citations.
The Occupational Safety and Heath Administration issued the citations for safety violations and proposed a $1.8 million dollar fine.
The company's appeal could take up to a year.

+ Read More

Play Video

CRANDON - What started out as a unique program for kids, turned into something the whole community can enjoy.

Jennifer Crawford owns Jennifer Sue's Cupcakery in Crandon. Crawford doesn't just sell unique cupcakes, she started teaching kids how to decorate them, too.

+ Read More

EAST TROY, WIS. - Hemp advocates say Wisconsin's marketplace must get up to speed now that hemp production has been legalized in the state.


The Janesville Gazette reports that farmers will have to learn how to grow hemp, obtain seeds, modify farm equipment and build hemp processing plants.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - The World Championship Snowmobile Track in Eagle River started preparing the ice this week.

It's not a job made for the faint of heart.

"Oh sometimes coming around the corners gets a little hairy at night or 2:00 in the morning," said ice maker Brit Broman.

Broman makes the ice track smooth and strong for the World Championship Snowmobile Derby in Eagle River.

"I like doing it. [It's] something to do in the winter time," said Broman.

Even though Broman has to fight slipping around on the ice, he likes the adrenaline boost he gets from it.

"Most of the time, everything goes pretty well," said Broman.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here