NORTHWOODS - Tuesday night the Northwoods said yes to higher property taxes.
Unoficial results showed Rhinelander, Northland Pines and Three Lakes school districts voting in favor of the referendums.
The latest tallies showed Rhinelander up twelve hundred votes for yes.
That decision means they won't lose electives, activities and charter schools.
Rhinelander would now receive $4 million per year through 2016.
The Northland Pines school district held informative meetings leading up to Tuesday's vote to get the word out.
Those might have helped as they'll get $2.7 million per year through 2016 to maintain technology and other district programs.
District Administrator Mike Richie says he's excited for the improvements the district will receive.
"It goes to show the support we have in the community for the Northland Pines school district and it's something that we really appreciate and the fact that we will be able to continue doing the good things in the near future is a relief to all of us," said Dr. Richie.
If the referendum failed in Three Lakes, Rhinelander or Northland Pines could've absorbed the district.
Instead, since it passed, they'll get $2.34 million per year through 2018.
MERRILL - For 32 years Battalion Chief Mike Drury walked into the Merrill Fire Department ready to save lives. Friday he walked out of the department for the last time to start the new phase of his life. "It goes fast it goes really fast," said Drury. Drury was about 18 -years -old when he walked into the Merrill Fire Department for the first time. "When you're 18, 19,20 years old and you're looking at 50 something years old you think you're never going to get there," said Drury.
Drury is one of 184 firefighters to ever work full time with the city of Merrill. "As a firefighter they spend a lot of time at the fire house so they miss a lot of things," said Drury's daughter Cassi. After 32 years of missing birthdays, holidays and family time Drury was ready for a change. "I realized I had enough this is a young man's job," said Drury. Friday afternoon Drury said goodbye to a room of men who merged and became family. "Not having that is a little scary I know they'll always be our family but it's hard to leave," said Cassi. Cassi watched her dad rush off to help his community since the day she was born. "It's scary because you hear about the times things don't go right or the times fire fighters don't come home," said Cassi.
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander couple thought they were empty nesters. However, an experience volunteering made them open their doors back up to kids who need a temporary home. The Zoerb's adult children moved out years ago. But at any moment they could get a call from social services that make them bring out their parenting skills for another round. Rick and Danielle Zoerb work together as realtors putting people in homes that are the perfect fit. However, the husband and wife know their home can be a good fit for others too. "There's no reason for kids to have to fall through the cracks," said Dani. Rick met a child at a mentorship program a few years ago. It was a meeting that opened a new door for him and his wife. "There was no hesitation on our part when we felt the situation was deteriorating for this young boy," said Rick.
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