District Officials React to Passed School Referendum
Story By Ryan Abney
NORTHWOODS - Yesterday, the Northwoods said "yes" to three school referendums. We talked to district leaders to see how they'll use the money going forward.
Referenda for Rhinelander, Three Lakes and Northland Pines passed last night. The vote secures millions of dollars for the districts.The Northland Pines School District asked for $2.7 million per year through 2016.
District Administrator Mike Richie is glad to see ballot numbers so one-sided.
"All nine townships in the city of Eagle River--they all voted in support of both questions. That's the first time in our school history where we had support from our entire district."
Rhinelander Superintendent Roger Erdahl has seen the district struggle financially for the past decade. He's thankful for his supporters--but knows even people who disagree will make the district better.
"Our critics are an important voice. We want them to be a part of our conversation, to be at the table as we design a school district that everyone can support."
Three Lakes also passed their school referendum. They will receive $2.34 million per year through 2018.
PHILLIPS - Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett wants all city police officers to wear body cameras by the end of next year. He made that proposal this week after tension between police and the public in places like Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Ferguson, Missouri.
One Northwoods police department has been using the cameras for years. Phillips police officers have worn body cameras since 2008. They turn them on while responding to many situations in the city.
WISCONSIN - Gogebic Taconite will no longer pursue mining in northern Wisconsin. The company scrapped its plans for a huge iron ore mine in Iron and Ashland Counties this spring.
But state Democrats aren't forgetting about the mining issue. They're proposing a bill which they say would close a loophole in the state's 2013 mining law. That law relaxed the permitting process for iron mines.
The Democrats' bill would make it illegal to fill or destroy the bed of a lake, stream, reservoir, or flowage to mine the materials underneath. Bill author Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire) said right now, mining could be done legally under flowages and reservoirs.
RHINELANDER - This year the PotatoFest in Rhinelander will still have the favorites, like the French Fry Frenzy and Polka Sunday.
But there will also be a few new additions like a beanbag toss tournament, and potato pantyhose bowling.
"The pantyhose bowling that's where you wear a pantyhose on your head and it's filled with a potato, and then you have to swing your head to knock pins, or knock the ball down to knock the pins over," said DRI Executive Director Maggie Steffen.
MINOCQUA - Heading back to school makes many students stress about what they are going to wear, especially when it comes to that first day look. And educators at one Northwoods school want their students to know that dressing for success, is more important than dressing to fit in.
At Lakeland Union High School, the dress code is designed to promote making wise fashion choices. Administrators say they want students to get in the routine of dressing, as if they're going to work.
"We're teaching them how to get ready for college and how to get ready for a career that they're going to be going into, 'career and college readiness', we want to make sure that they understand 'dressing for success', and a lot of times we spend a lot of time talking from that point of view," said Lakeland Union High School principal Jim Bouche.
Lakeland Union High School doesn't require uniforms, but they do have specific guidelines in place. They don't spell out what students can wear, but instead tell them what they can't. The overall goal is to keep kids focused in class.
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