RHINELANDER - Preparing for college can be stressful, especially if you're thinking of ways to pay for school.
Nicolet College held a seminar on free application for Free Application Federal Student Aid this weekend.
They wanted to show parents and teenagers that there are other options for paying for school.
"It's hard for parents to afford college and higher education," said Nicolet Financial Aid Director, Jill Rice.
"It's important for students to have it and this is the way the federal government is helping students go on for a higher education."
Legislators have discussed making cuts to students financial aid, but Nicolet College Financial Aid Director, Jill Rice, thinks there are plenty of reasons for it to continue.
"Students need this. Like I said 80 percent receives some sort of form of financial aid," said Rice.
"That tells you something. They can't do it on their own."
One of the main topics discussed today was filling out the forms right now, but it also sheds light for parents who don't know that much about federal student aid, especially if they want to go back to college.
"I learned quite a bit and quite a lot and knowing now what I know," said Crandon Parent, Lori Lockridge.
"I could do it for myself if I choose to go back to school."
With all the options out there, having help figuring out whats best for you is important.
"For me I want to be able to get the most out of college with the least amount of pay from me that I have." said Laona High School Senior, Zach Reeves.
"This really relieved the stressed of what am I going to do for this," Rhinelander High School Senior, Kiah Sexton said.
"I know that there's aid out there and this really put it into my hands on how I'm going to get it."
The deadline to fill out the FAFSA form is in April.
MADISON - The Wisconsin Elections Commission has agreed to lift overseas ballot restrictions to avoid a legal battle.
The U.S. Department of Justice warned earlier this month that it's preparing to sue because Wisconsin law doesn't let temporary overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically or to submit downloadable back-up ballots in case they don't have time to return an official ballot.
Federal law allows all overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically and submit back-up ballots. Assembly Republicans passed a bill that would have aligned Wisconsin's statutes with the federal law but the measure died in April after Senate Republicans added language limiting special legislative elections.
MADISON - Wisconsin Elections Commission staff plan to hire a half-dozen new employees and upgrade software to bolster election security.
The commission received a $7 million federal grant in March to upgrade security after Russian actors tried to access a state Department of Workforce Development system before the 2016 election.
Staff told the commission Thursday that the Department of Administration has approved hiring six new four-year security positions, including an information technology project manager, an elections security trainer and a voting systems specialist.
MERRILL - People on the west side of Merrill will need to put up with the sound of construction this summer. What was once an empty lot will now be the site of the Stonebridge Apartments. The apartments are a new source of affordable housing in Merrill and should be complete by the late summer.
When you're looking at Park Place apartments in Merrill, you might confuse the building with something else.
"I think Park Place looks like a 1970s dormitory at UW Madison," said Merrill Area Housing Authority Executive Director Paul Russell.
But a new apartment complex being built just across the street is going to offer a different look.
MERRILL - Three years ago, Lincoln County got good news.
The federal government planned to spend $1.5 million to help give rural parts of the county broadband internet access. It was part of Frontier Communications' agreement to accept $283 million for broadband expansion nationwide.
But then, the contractors, equipment, and better internet were slow to arrive.
Now, Frontier is finally at work, but plenty of people are still waiting anxiously for their high-speed connection.
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