MINOCQUA - How far do the effects of a bad economy go? All the way to the classroom, says one Northwoods superintendent.
Lakeland Union High School will get 169 new students this fall.
About half of those students tested behind in math, and at least 26 are also at least one grade level behind in reading.
Superintendent Todd Kleinhans says those numbers are consistent with last year.
He doesn't point to one single reason for the low scores, but says the economy hasn't helped.
"We are seeing more and more students coming from lower socioeconomic backgrounds," Kleinhans said. "One out of every two students entering Lakeland Union next year are living at or below the poverty line. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that good things don't always happen from an educational standpoint with those families and with kids who are living in poverty."
Lakeland is unique because its feeder schools are their own separate districts.
That's made it tougher to evaluate students.
But Kleinhans says the districts are doing a better job of working together.
"We recognize our shortcomings and we understand that because of the unique situation presented by five districts, that we are forced to collaborate more than ever before," he said. "So I think people can rest comfortably and sleep well at night knowing that we're making good progress."
This fall, students who are behind will double up on basic math and reading courses.
PARK FALLS - Many families began their Thanksgiving Day with a run this morning. Topping off the holiday with a "trot" around town may not appeal to everyone, but for these families it was a way to spend time with one another.
"Trot now so we can pie later," said Steph Schultz, a runner in the Park Falls Turkey Trot.
Families used the Turkey Trot 5K in Park Falls as a way to bond.
RHINELANDER - Nineteen months ago, 10 police agencies surrounded the Tripoli home of Kenneth Welsh.
Police say Welsh caused a three-hour standoff, threatened to blow up his house, and threatened to kill his wife.
Later in court, he was convicted of two felonies and sentenced to three years in prison by Oneida County Judge Michael Bloom.
But now, those convictions and prison sentence have been erased. This month, while in prison, Welsh argued he didn't fully understand all the elements of one of the crimes to which he pleaded no contest, first-degree recklessly endangering safety. Welsh's motion put some of the blame on his defense attorney, Rod Streicher.
RHINELANDER - A number of Rhinelander police and firefighters will work a weekend morning shift in December and won't get paid for it. It's an extra task they're happy to help with.
The Rhinelander Police Department's Shop With a Cop program returns December 16. Police and firefighters take 20 third grade students from Crescent, Pelican, Zion, and Nativity schools shopping for Christmas presents at Walmart. The schools recommend students for the event.
RHINELANDER - You might be planning on waiting in line on Black Friday or sitting behind a computer on Cyber Monday. But in Rhinelander and other Northwoods cities, Small Business Saturday is another day to mark on the calendar.
Dawn Allen sold her goods at craft shows for years, but had always wanted to try something different.
"It was my dream to open up a shop one day," said Allen, the owner of Briar House on Keenen Street. So she opened Briar House in Rhinelander 21 years ago.
Allen sells women's clothes, shoes, accessories and has a full espresso bar.
But one of her favorite parts of the job is the community support.
"It's like a family here, it's more of a destination coming here I believe," said Allen.
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