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NEWS STORIES

State Budget Increases Funding to UW SystemSubmitted: 02/21/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


WAUSAU - UW System schools learned they'll be getting $181 million more from the state over the next two years.

Governor Scott Walker plans to reverse spending cuts from the last biannual budget. It doesn't quite make up for the entire amount cut two years ago from the UW System. But local administrators say this budget is a huge step in the right direction.

The money will go to the 26 universities in the UW System. The goal is to train students for high-demand jobs.

The Dean of UW-Marathon County says this is an "education budget"

"It invests in the UW in several key areas. In particular job creation and workforce development. So it provides us with some resources specifically, in specific areas to enhance work in fields such as business, healthcare, science and engineering," says Dr. Keith Montgomery.

The state budget includes $20 million in incentive grants. Dr. Montgomery says that could help UWMC work more with four-year universities.

He also thinks the UW System will use the money to help keep tuition prices down.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

EAGLE RIVER - You may not notice the Northwoods trade school tucked along Highway 17 in Eagle River.

One national organization thinks it deserves more attention.

The Advanced Welding Institute will receive an award for its high graduation and employment rates.

The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges is granting the welding school its School of Excellence Award. School administrators are invited to attend the professional development conference in September in Arlington, Va. 

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MERRILL - We told you earlier in July about the Merrill Citizen's Fire Academy.

People who take the 10 week course this fall will learn more about what firefighters do.

12 people will take the class.

Spots for the course are filling up.

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BOULDER JUNCTION - A Vilas County shooting range will get some financial aid thanks to the Wisconsin DNR.

The Boulder Junction Shooting Range got a grant for venue upgrades.

The range also got a grant last year.

It used the money to make its facilities handicap accessible.

Range officials say they will use this year's grant for additions.

Those include making the space more energy efficient.

"[The] money will be used for insulating the clubhouse," says Secretary of the Boulder Junction Shooting Range Pete Drahn. "It'll be used to remove doors and windows that we no longer need, and to replace a window with a more energy efficient window."

The range has gotten grants two years in a row, but it won't happen again next year.

"They've told everybody that received the grants this year that they'll start doing grants only every other year for someone who has received it," says Drahn. "So at the earliest, it would be the year after next."

The range's board members want to make the venue better for shooters, but they say they couldn't have done it without the grant's help.

"These are projects we probably wouldn't do for eons," says Drahn. "We don't receive any money from anybody except the users of the range. So we don't have a lot for our capital needs."

The range also plans to install a new fence to improve the facility's safety.

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RHINELANDER - Thousands of people will come to the Oneida County Fair starting Thursday.

The fair has grown a lot in recent years. Organizers try to get new rides and entertainment to draw in bigger crowds.

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RHINELANDER - Many Americans struggle with fitness. But it's a challenge you can tackle even at an older age. And a frequent swimmer at the YMCA of the Northwoods will tell you the same.

Bev Linnihan-Moye didn't start competitively swimming until she was 65. She's now 77 and faster.

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's search for a new city administrator got a little narrower - from nearly two dozen candidates to a handful. Rhinelander has been without a city administrator since the middle of May when Blain Oborn went to Lake Geneva.

The Rhinelander City Council held a meeting last night to go through a list of candidates. At the end of that meeting, they went front from having 22, down to a list of four.

"We have four candidates that we have coming in," said Rhinelander's Mayor Richard Johns. "And the candidates vary, one's from Eau Claire, Antigo, Kewaskum, and Stevens Point. We pretty much have a local area so-to-speak, rather than out of state."

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MERRILL - All K-8 students in Merrill Schools will get their own iPads this fall.

Wednesday, teachers were trained on how to use the new technology.

Last year, six third grade classrooms tried out how it would work.

District leaders said parents and students involved in the pilot program liked it.

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