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.
MERRILL - When you think of movies you probably think of Hollywood, but one man from Northcentral Wisconsin is bringing his feature film to the local screen.
Wausau’s Jarrod Crooks not only makes movies, but he also stars in them.
His latest film, "Dispatched" is based off the Elvis Presley movie, “Girl Happy,” says filmmaker Jarrod Crooks. “My character Jake is sent to go watch my bosses daughter while she’s on vacation with a friend. Then an old enemy is kind of after him while he’s on vacation, so some things happen.”
Crooks made, "Dispatched" on a $5,000 budget and it’s full of romance, action, and comedy.
“My buddy would joke with me, ‘why don’t you just pick one genre man and then just go with it'," says Crooks. "I’m like because I want to make this movie how I want to make It'." "I actually like romantic comedies, I think they’re kind of fun, and I think they’re cute. I like action films because I’m a guy, and I like comedy because Jim Carey is great.”
Crooks is only 28 and has already made 4 feature films. His passion started when he was 12 years old.
“I went over to my friend’s house and he had a video camera. I was like oh we should make a movie, and at that time I was really into, “Wishbone,” says Crooks.
“We’d always remake our own literature pieces. Then I saw my first Jackie Chan movie and I’m like, alright it’s settled we’re doing action films from now on," says Crooks. “From then on it was just a love affair with the filmmaking.”
His latest film will be shown at the Cosmo Theatre in Merrill on Saturday at 5pm.
“The fact that I’m bringing it to central Wisconsin is great because this is where I grew up," says Crooks. "All my family and friends get to see it, so I’m very excited about that and you get to see yourself on the big screen what’s better than that.”
Wisconsin court to decide on testing drunk drivers
MADISON - The Wisconsin Supreme Court is set to decide whether police can legally draw suspected drunken drivers' blood without a warrant or driver consent.
The court said it would hear three drunken driving cases, two of which involved a homicide. That announcement came nearly a year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a Missouri case that could call into question Wisconsin's law.
Wisconsin since 1993 has granted police authority to draw drunken driving suspects' blood without a warrant or consent.
About 5,000 people refused to comply with police tests in 2011 and 2012.
The eventual rulings in the three cases are expected to clarify how law enforcement can gather evidence in some Wisconsin drunken driving cases.
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