MINOCQUA - Lakeland Union High School offers amenities many larger districts don't have. The school's hard work and investment in their students is paying off in better graduation rates and grades, but one sore spot on their report card is truancy.
Last school year, one in three students was truant habitually. That number is unacceptable to Lakeland Principal Jim Bouché
"This is like a job. Being in high school, being in school is a person's job. And it prepares them for their later life, moving into the true real world situations… And when it comes to being on time, it's very important. Tardy or 'unexcused' is not something that's acceptable in the workforce," says Bouché.
Despite truancy Lakeland Union improved its failure rate- that's the number of classes failed- by 20 percent last semester.
The district has invested heavily in technology, and the goal of giving Lakeland students a competitive education compared to big cities.
One new concept, called "study labs" for different subjects, makes it impossible for kids to slip through the cracks.
"We don't call them 'study halls'," says Bouché, "We're working with our students with teachers in all of these labs. They're not hall monitors, or study hall monitors. They're being worked with, one-on-one in many cases, with teachers that are assigned to those different areas... Failure is not an option."
In the last 4 years Lakeland dropped their failure rate from 7.3% to 2.5% and improved their graduation rate from 83% to 95%.
Principal Bouche says their new plan for truancy involves working with the courts, parents and elementary schools to reestablish how important it is to show up for school.
SARATOGA - A crash in Wood County left two people injured early Sunday morning. They had to be flown by helicopter to St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield.
The Wood County Sheriff's Department got a call around 6:00 in the morning of a one car crash. The crash was on Ranger Road in Saratoga.
Officers found a pickup truck in the ditch heavily damaged from rolling over and hitting trees. One person was ejected from the truck while the other was in the backseat. Their current condition is unknown.
Both speed and alcohol are thought to be factors in the crash.
WABENO - People went out to Wabeno this weekend for its first ever Art and Music Fest. Musicians performed in the band shell while local artists spread out to show their products.
There were food and drinks as well as workshops for people to learn more about art.
"This year we've had about 20 musicians performing on three stages," said Friends of Wabeno Chairperson Mary Beck. "And we've had maybe ten artists doing demonstrations, showing people what they can do and what they can buy."
The rain Sunday didn't stop people from having a good time. Volunteers hope to make this an annual event.
ARBOR VITAE - The Arbor Vitae Fire Department hosted its 39th Fireman's Picnic and Summerfest this weekend.
Thousands of people came out to benefit the fire department while having a good time. The fire department held the crowd favorite lawnmower races again this year.
They also had a volleyball tournament and games for kids. The fire chief says all the proceeds help the department pay for equipment.
"When we purchased our new fire truck, the fire department funded a good portion of the money, the fundraiser money, to help keep the tax dollars down so the tax payers didn't have to foot the whole bill for the truck," said Arbor Vitae Fire Department Chief Mike Van Meter. "And we also use it to buy turnout gear throughout the year, new air packs. Anything we can do to keep it off the tax roll."
ST. GERMAIN - The last day of Pig in the Pines wrapped up Saturday. People were able to watch the rib eating contest in the afternoon.
Newswatch 12 got to help judge ribs from this year's four rib vendors. One of the big events happened on the main stage Saturday evening.
"We have entertainment all day long," said St. Germain Chamber President Bruce Weber. "We have the Wise Guys on our main stage. We have Laura Ernst on the aerial platform here. She also does juggling. On our major stage, we have One Ping Only, and we also have Molly Hatchet, our lead act tonight."
WISCONSIN - Anyone who loves hunting and fishing will need to apply for a license. The deadline for some hunting and fishing licenses is August 1 at 11:59 p.m.
Hunters, trappers and spearers can go on the DNR website to apply.
"This is the time of year where not a lot of people are thinking about hunting, but that August 1 date is that date for applying for a bobcat, fisher or otter tag, sharp-tail grouse, or sturgeon spearing or fall turkey," said DNR Warden Supervisor David Walz.
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