THREE LAKES - Every year, more than 100,000 car crashes could be prevented if people weren't texting while driving.
Teen drivers are especially at risk.
But in Three Lakes today, a group worked to get high schoolers to never text and drive.
Three Lakes senior Austin Wierschke has won national speed texting championships in New York two years in a row.
But he knows one place not to text.
"I text in all of these ridiculous scenarios, but I wouldn't be ridiculous enough to text and drive. It poses such a devastating threat to you and others on the road," he says.
Car crashes are the largest killer of teens.
Adding text messaging to their distractions only makes the road more dangerous.
"They don't have the experience developed like you or I would have, but they're also engaging in so many distracted activities, and all of that doesn't mix for a good combination," says Major Sandy Huxtable of the Wisconsin State Patrol.
Students got to try a texting and driving simulator to see how dangerous it can be.
Public employee union suing city over collective bargaining agreement
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander employee union believes the city illegally rejected their collective bargaining agreement,now they’re suing the city.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 1226 represents City of Rhinelander workers from public works, wastewater, parks, water and golf course employees. They filed suit against the city on Dec. 4, 2013.
The union says they reached a tentative agreement for a new collective bargaining agreement in early December 2012. But according court documents, the union claims the city council illegally rejected the agreement and didn’t tell the union about it.
Aaron Halstead, from Madison-based firm Hawks Quindel, S.C., has been a labor lawyer for more than 20 years and says he has never seen a municipality do something like this before.
"I've never had any municipality do what the city did here which is to reject an agreement with the union, despite the fact that they had an agreement on all of the terms," Halstead said.
The union believes the city is violating Wisconsin Municipal Employment Relations Act. In 2012, city workers asked for a one percent wage increase starting January 1,2013.
Halstead said the city and union agreed to that increase in their tentative agreement. According to the group's complaint, the city council rejected the tentative collective bargaining agreement, but passed the one percent wage increase as a resolution.
But the union claims the collective bargaining agreement wasn’t renewed. Instead the group says the city passed a resolution putting the terms into a personnel manual.
"Under the city's mindset, there could never be a collective bargaining agreement between the union and the city because no matter what it is the city would just say our preference is to have no agreement," Halstead said.
The complaint also claims that the city reduced the wages of newly hired people by $4 an hour. They say this violates the terms of the parties' tentative agreement. Halstead says they still haven't received an explanation.
"The city contends that it doesn't have to, but it has never provided a satisfactory answer as to what it is that is objectionable about the agreement that was reached," Halstead said.
The city council discussed their action Monday night in a closed session meeting at city hall in Rhinelander. They’ll have three weeks to respond to the complaint.
RHINELANDER - “This time of year is just a little different because the pressure is more,” says Anthony Turek, Rhinelander Postmaster. “Christmas is coming we’re a little over 2 weeks away I think right around two weeks and this is it.”
Its crunch time at the Post Office. With Christmas fast approaching it’s important to keep a few things in mind when sending packages this holiday season.
“You’re going to want to take your packages and gently shake them a little, just to make sure that you are comfortable that they’re packaged tightly and securely so that nothing happens to them,” says Turek.
First don’t be a procrastinator! It’s never too early to start sending out your packages.
Also remember to write neatly. Make sure and double check the shipping address and return address is correct.
Lastly you’re going to want to keep a few dates in mind. If you want your mail to be delivered by Christmas Eve you need to send it out by December 20th unless you want to pay more for priority mail.
“So those are just a couple things that people want to do to make it so that the packages that they send here end up where they’re supposed to go on time and safely,” says Turek.
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