RHINELANDER - Last week, we spent three days telling you why the Northland Pines, Three Lakes, and Rhinelander school districts are asking for more money.
The explanation is complicated, but it boils down to this: schools don't get as much aid from the state anymore, so they need to cut programs and ask for money locally.
We also told you that especially in Rhinelander, programs will be cut if the referendum fails.
But the downside if it passes? Your taxes will go up.
Today, we spoke with a taxpayer who says he supports education, but not that equation.
Michael Kuczek has paid taxes to the School District of Rhinelander since 1996.
He voted for the first referendum when he moved here, but then his property taxes rose dramatically.
"Quite frankly, I never thought I would be a person who voted against a school referendum, it almost makes me feel like a tea party crazy," he said. "I'm all for a good education but I was taxed out of one house. That's not any fun."
Kuczek thinks his property taxes will go up about $250 per year if the referendum passes.
That wouldn't make or break his budget at this point, but he says the district needs to be more responsible with their budget.
"I certainly am not looking to gut the schools. I just don't want to have to pay more taxes. I don't want the school board to spend money that they don't need to," Kuczek said. "We still want good schools, it's foolish to think we can get by with poor schools. The country lives and dies on the strength of the middle class. One of the great strengths is education. Without education, I don't think we'd have a middle class, quite frankly. It's a question of balancing the needs for education of the middle class and the ability of the middle class to pay for it."
The Rhinelander referendum election is Tuesday, February 19.
The school district posted pages of financial and referendum information on their website.
MOLE LAKE - Health workers often face different challenges on the Sokaogon Chippewa reservation in Mole Lake compared to elsewhere in the Northwoods.
"I think they're a little different. We have a (few) more challenges. Sometimes, for a lot of people, it's more crisis than prevention, or preventative services," said Tammy Queen, who works at the Sokaogon Chippewa Health Clinic. "A lot of times, they'll come in when something's bad instead of coming in before something gets really bad."
On Thursday, the tribe wanted to get people thinking about their health before problems occur.
ANTIGO - Just a few months ago, the Moore Family was looking for a new affordable home. They filled out paperwork with the local Habitat for Humanity chapter in Langlade County and were told yes.
"We look for a number of things; we look for an identified need, and the need for housing if the current housing is not serving the family's needs," said Langlade Habitat for Humanity President Paul Grinde.
For the home to become theirs, the Moore's must put in 500 sweat-equity hours divided between themselves and volunteers. Leaders say it doesn't matter what set of skills you have, all you need to do is donate a little bit of your time.
NORTHWOODS - It seems more all-natural and specialty food stores are popping up around the Northwoods. Antigo and Three Lakes welcomed new all-natural and specialty food stores this year. And last week, Eagle River welcomed one, as well.
"We were painstaking about finding things that you cannot find at other shops here in the Eagle River area," said Homeward Bound Specialty Foods owner Patti Katz Black. She and her husband, Dave, opened their Eagle River store last week.
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