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Parents can start applying for school vouchers this weekSubmitted: 07/30/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

Parents can start applying for school vouchers this week
RHINELANDER - Parents can start applying for school vouchers this Thursday. From August first through ninth, parents can apply for vouchers to the school they want their kids to go to. For a family to qualify, they have to be at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level.

The Newman Catholic School District in Wausau is one local system applying for the voucher program. Newman's president says its had some interest from parents. Newman is putting together the second part of its application right now.

Zion Lutheran School in Rhinelander did not apply this year. The board for parish education wants to study the program first to see if it would be a good fit for them.

The 25 schools that receive the most interest from parents will be part of the program.



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 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - 50,000 twinkling lights will bring holiday cheer Hodag Park in Rhinelander Thursday night.

"Lights of the Northwoods" is a drive-through light show packed with more than 32 individual displays.

Vice President Shawn Will says he's excited and a bit nervous to officially share the display tonight.

Those nerves have nothing to do with the amount of snow we got.

"I was thinking as the snow was flying and I was looking at the lights I'm like, This is going to be like one of

those Hallmark movies we watch all the time!' It's really going to be pretty on the lake here with the lights

shining off the snow," says Will.


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MADISON - Leaders of a new bipartisan task force tackling ways to improve Wisconsin's much-maligned school funding formula are realistic about chances any changes will be made.

The panel that met for the first time Thursday is the latest in a long line of groups that have studied ways to improve the formula.

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MERRILL - For 32 years Battalion Chief Mike Drury walked into the Merrill Fire Department ready to save lives. Friday he walked out of the department for the last time to start the new phase of his life.
"It goes fast it goes really fast," said Drury.
Drury was about 18 -years -old when he walked into the Merrill Fire Department for the first time.
"When you're 18, 19,20 years old and you're looking at 50 something years old you think you're never going to get there," said Drury. 

Drury is one of 184 firefighters to ever work full time with the city of Merrill.
"As a firefighter they spend a lot of time at the fire house so they miss a lot of things," said Drury's daughter Cassi.
After 32 years of missing birthdays, holidays and family time Drury was ready for a change.
"I realized I had enough this is a young man's job," said Drury.
Friday afternoon Drury said goodbye to a room of men who merged and became family.
"Not having that is a little scary I know they'll always be our family but it's hard to leave," said Cassi.
Cassi watched her dad rush off to help his community since the day she was born.
"It's scary because you hear about the times things don't go right or the times fire fighters don't come home," said Cassi. 

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RHINELANDER - Golden Harvest store in Rhinelander wants you to meet its newest store greeter.

He stands far above six feet at the entrance of the store.

"[He's the] North American Big foot," said Golden Harvest employee Steve Quade.

This new store greeter has many names according to Quade.

"[The northern] big foot version is a Yeti," said Quade.

This Yeti is being sold as an abominable snowman which Quade clarifies is the same thing as a Yeti.

"The Yeti is from the Himalayan Mountains," said Quade.

But aside from being an attraction the price tag on the big guy is far from cheap at nearly $1,700.

What's more shocking is how fast someone purchased it.

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MERRILL - Taxpayers will need to decide if they want to pay more to support the Merrill Area Public Schools.

Wednesday, the school board voted in favor of a four-year referendum for $2.5 million dollars

The district faces a nearly $2 million operating deficit for next school year.

It has used savings to keep the school running for the last few years.

The priorities of the referendum will be enhancing the school's fab lab, addressing maintenance issues, and attracting and retaining high quality teachers and administration.

Wednesday the school board also reviewed budget options if the referendum does not pass.

The referendum question will be on the April ballot. 


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ONEIDA COUNTY - Police believe a Three Lakes man sexually assaulted a child repeatedly over the course of five years.

For the protection of the victim, Newswatch 12 will not share their age or gender. 

The victim told police they were a child when David Teresinski, 59, first had sex with them.

According to the criminal complaint, the victim said Teresinski had sex with them more than 30 times since 2012. 

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WABENO, CRANDON - Donna Ver Voort calls her mansion "the most beautiful property in Forest County."

The Wabeno home, built in 1908 by lumber baron M. J. Quinlan, is now Ver Voort's Crystal Bell Inn and Spa. Ver Voort has owned the bed and breakfast for 21 years.

"Even on the outside, it looks large, but when you come in, you are blown away," Ver Voort said of its 6,500 square feet.

Now, Ver Voort wants to show off her 27 rooms, three fireplaces, and third-floor ballroom which used to be a basketball court. For the next week, Ver Voort will give five-dollar tours of the mansion.

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