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.
WABENO - Wabeno prides itself on drawing more and more people to its small community. It's doing things like building new trails and coming up with new events.
This weekend, the town will host the first ever "Wabeno Art and Music Fest". People in Wabeno say they have a unique passion for the arts.
"The Wabeno Art and Music Fest, or WAM Fest, as we call it, is an outgrowth of the various art activities that have been burgeoning here in Wabeno over the last number of years," said Tim Friesen, a coordinator of the event.
WAUSAU - The name sounds scarier than most of the symptoms would suggest, but doctors take West Nile virus seriously.
This week, a dead crow in Marathon County tested positive for West Nile. The Marathon County Health Department reported the discovery Monday. Counties look mainly at crows, blue jays, and ravens to find the virus. It is spread mostly through mosquito bites.
PARK FALLS - Filling a downtown with businesses doesn't just happen overnight. Leaders in Park Falls found that out over the past six years, but slowly they're making progress. This year, the Park Falls Downtown Beautification Committee finished a plan to improve downtown.
"It's a very dedicated group, small group of people that just kept at it and at it and at it over the last six years until we came to the finished product," says committee chair Laurie Wagner.
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