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One Thumb Up, Two Thumbs Down to Northwoods School ReferendaSubmitted: 04/03/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

One Thumb Up, Two Thumbs Down to Northwoods School Referenda
NORTHWOODS - Two school districts in the Northwoods may be facing tough times after failed spending referendum votes Tuesday.

But one district is feeling good about its financial prospects.

Close votes left school administrators in the three districts nervous until final results were tallied late Tuesday night.

The School District of Phillips wanted $650,000 each year for the next five years.

Voters rejected the referendum by just seven votes.

A few absentee ballots are still out in Phillips.

The tally will probably go to a recount.

"No matter what happens with a recount, if that happens, we do know that we have a split community on the issue. I think that's something we need to respect," says Phillips Superintendent Wally Leipart.

If that result stands, Phillips will need to cut an extra half-million dollars from their school budget.

Voters in the Wabeno area also refused to pay more on their property taxes.

They rejected their referendum by 34 votes.

"I was a little bit surprised. I had anticipated that it was going to be a very close vote, but I was hopeful that it would have gone in the right direction. I wasn't shocked, but I was surprised," says Wabeno Area Superintendent Dr. Kim Odekirk.

Wabeno will go to referendum again next year.

If that fails, the district will likely close.

One school district in the Northwoods got good funding news.

Voters in Elcho approved an extra $400,000 a year for four years.

"Our goal was to get the information out to the voters on what the district needs were. Ultimately, we trust in their judgement," says Bill Fisher, Elcho's Superintendent.

The money will allow Elcho to continue its academic and community programs at their current level.

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MONICO - Around 4 PM Sunday Monico Fire Department, Oneida County Sheriff's Department and DNR Fire all responded to a backyard fire on Neptune Lake Road in Monico.

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MERRILL - Organizers broke ground on the Northwoods Veterans Post in Merrill Saturday.

It will serve veterans, boy, girl and cub scouts as well as the community.

Northwoods Veterans Post marketing Chairperson Tracy Jopek lost her son in 2006 when his truck hit a bomb while he was serving oversees in Iraq.

"I'd like to think if he was the one that came home, that he would have a place to go. It's important to not just talk the talk about supporting the military but to actually do it," said Jopek.

Saturday, Jopek and other organizers broke ground on the Northwoods Veterans Post in Merrill.

"The Northwoods Veterans Post offers a place that we can bring in resources," said Jopek.

Those resources were never offered at the more than 100-year-old Merrill VFW building.

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Girls on the Run Park Falls coach Katie Rybak said the run isn't about time or winners but to make sure everyone knows that they are capable of finishing.

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SANTA FE, TX - Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says 10 people are dead and 10 more wounded after a shooting at a high school in the town of Santa Fe.

Abbott called Friday's shooting "one of the most heinous attacks that we've ever seen in the history of Texas schools."

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The art of sucker grabbingSubmitted: 05/18/2018

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Fishing usually means grabbing a fishing pole and bait and heading to the lake. But some people decide to go a different route and just use their bare hands.

Sucker grabbing is pretty simple.

"There isn't much to it besides just grabbing a sucker," said Tyler Olson.

But there is more to it than just grabbing, at least for some.

"If you can just creep up behind them, you can just grab it pretty easy, but I've seen Tyler trying to grab it with the two hands but that isn't really working out for you is it Tyler?" said Brandon Alsteen.

The Rhinelander guys go out at night because the suckers are easier to see with flash lights. That light sometimes scares the fish, which is just one factor that adds to the challenge.

"They are very strong animals actually for being little fish, to be honest with you. They squirm out of your hands a little too fast for you grab, you have to be stealthy and fast with them," said Olson.

The catch is why the guys go out.

"I kind of get the thrill out of the whole deal here. It's just nice going out with a couple friends," said Olson.

Those couple friends take the challenge and turn it up a notch between the group.

"It's kind of a competition thing between friends at school. There's a good amount of kids that actually do it. You see who can catch the most suckers I guess and whoever ends up with the most is kind of the big winner," said Olson.

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But inside your vehicle, the heat can get downright dangerous.

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