PHILLIPS - We're keeping you updated on school district referendums around the Northwoods. Tonight we'll tell you why the School District of Phillips is asking for more money. They have a referendum on the ballot for April second.
The referendum will ask for not more than $650,000 for five years, for operations within the district.
The Phillips School District says its responded to declining enrollment and lessening state aid by making its own cuts. That includes eliminating staff, changing health and retirement benefits, and starting energy savings projects.
"We've cut everything that we possibly can. So it's really not a cliché when we say that reductions would be devastating. We have departments with only one individual in it. If we were to reduce staff it means we're reducing programming," says Superintendent Wally Leipart.
Without the extra money the district would have to eliminate $500,000 from the budget next year, and another $200,000 each of the next four years.
For taxpayers, approving the referendum means five dollars a month, for a property valued at $100,000.
"We look at the extracurricular activities as being cut. I think some of the core programs will be impacted as well. A lot of the core stuff that you need to get into college may not be available," says Phyllis Frase, from Parents Advocating 4 Successful Schools.
There will be one last informational meeting Tuesday, March 26th at 6 PM in the middle school library. For more information please see the link below.
MINOCQUA - Three local cyclists planned to bike in the Ride Across Wisconsin event just for fun this year, but a few days before the ride, a good friend of theirs became unexplainably sick. In that moment, the purpose of their ride changed.
"This is nothing. This is a day. This is an hour, a minute that I can keep going," said cyclist Connie Trapp.
For Trapp, riding 178 miles was a small hurdle compared to the struggle of a close friend.
"Just having somebody to ride it for and be encouraged that you're doing it for someone else besides yourself really helped," said Trapp.
MERCER - This year, almost 40 northern Wisconsin communities formally expressed interest in becoming the new home of the DNR's state forestry headquarters. But there's a chance the headquarters stay right where they are--in Madison.
RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's Highway 8 is finally getting its long-awaited renovation.
Beginning this week, construction will begin along two busy intersections on Rhinelander's busy bypass.
Michael Wendt, the Department of Transportation project development supervisor said, "This is probably something we should have done a little while ago, but it takes some time to get these projects going.
Construction at Highway G and 17 South started this week, and crews will lay new surface and install new stoplight sensors.
WOODRUFF - The amount of blood donations usually drops during the summer, but this summer has been particularly challenging in northern Wisconsin.
"Over the course of the summer, our blood supply has declined considerably. It has dropped 35 percent over the course of the summer, and it is approaching dangerously low levels," said Community Blood Center Donor Services Vice President Kristine Belanger.
WAUSAU - After struggling for a few years, Wausau's mayor hopes new management and building changes will revitalize the Wausau Center Mall.
On Tuesday, Mayor Robert Mielke announced in a press conference that Mid America Asset Management will take over management of the mall. Mielke says Mid America will focus on new marketing, maintenance, and leasing new tenants.
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