RHINELANDER - Children may run out the door on the last day of school, but many adults can't wait to go back to school - even if it's just for a week.
"I come to the School of the Arts and I just get so inspired that I do most of my writing right after I leave again," says Shirley Babcock, a School of the Arts participant.
This is Shirley Babcock's sixth year at the School of the Arts.
She takes mostly writing classes.
After her first time at the school, she had her short story published.
Now, she's working on a novel.
"I really encourage people to go. I didn't think I could write. But I had a lot I wanted to say. And I was encouraged," she says.
This week marks the 50th anniversary of Rhinelander's School of the Arts.
The University of Wisconsin started the program in a number of communities.
But today, only the Rhinelander School of the Arts remains.
"Originally the concept was to take the resources of the University under the Wisconsin Idea, and bring it to the boundaries of the state. And so to come to a rural area, and find that they could bring writing and cultural events and opportunity to work with the folks that are living locally here," says School of the Arts Director Lynn Tarnoff.
James Williams Middle School hosts the program.
This year, students can choose from 59 classes clustered into 6 different tracks.
"We have art and folk art, culinary arts and nutrition, digital media, mind, body, spirit, performing arts including music, and some of our most well-known classes are in writing," Tarnoff adds.
This year's school of the Arts session opened Saturday and runs through Wednesday.
Students traveled from eight different states to attend the courses.
One couple even traveled from Austria.
Shirley Babcock understands why people would travel from far away.
"It gives us all a chance to really get to see what these experts, you know who are teaching, what they can do, what they can tell us, what they can teach us, and for the city, itself, it's wonderful because we have this influx of people," Babcock says.
Those people hope they can share ideas and inspire others.
CRANDON - Forest County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Justice was justified in shooting and killing 31-year-old Brandon Cude on Jan. 4, Forest County District Attorney Chuck Simono ruled Friday.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice released the results of its investigation in the case, and Simono's decision, Friday afternoon.
The DOJ documents detail how Cude swung a shotgun at Justice at close range. The deputy had just learned Cude had felony warrants against him, and Justice was trying to arrest Cude. Justice fired four shots on the scene, a rural road south of Crandon.
"He didn't get a shot off?" a fellow officer asked Justice after the shooting.
"No. He tried, though. Pulled that sucker out and pointed it right at me," Justice replied in an exchange recorded on a body camera.
EAGLE RIVER - Vilas County officers can now respond to active shooter calls better prepared.
All deputies and patrol offices now have access to steel-plated body armor, something only the Vilas County SWAT Team had before.
"We want to make sure our staff are fully protected," said Vilas County Sheriff's Office Captain Gerard Ritter. "I never want to see anything happen to any one of my staff. And we should outfit them with the protection they need."
Before the new body armor, Ritter said officers and deputies only had access to soft body armor.
"The weave material is designed to stop or slow down a projectile," said Ritter.
Officers will still wear the soft-bodied armor every day, but in active shooter situations, officers can now essentially double up on protection, protection once only offered to the SWAT Team.
"There has been an increase in active shooter incidences across the United States," said Ritter.
MINOCQUA - Only about one-third of students showed up to classes at Lakeland Union High School Friday morning, with many staying home after police verified a shooting threat.
More police officers were on hand at the school Friday morning.
On Thursday evening, Minocqua Police Chief Dave Jaeger confirmed the discovery of shooting threats in the ladies' bathroom near the LUHS auditorium. The threat noted an attack would be similar to Wednesday's school shooting in Parkland, Fla., which killed 17 people.
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Rockfleet Broadcasting / Northland Television, Inc. and By Request Web Designs shall not be held responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, or misprints.