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NEWS STORIES

Tuning into a different kind of retirementSubmitted: 08/02/2013

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RHINELANDER - From the outside, Jeff Santy's house looks like a typical retiree's dream: a view of the lake, and peace and quiet.

But Santy's retirement dream is a little different.

"You don't have to be a rock star to feel like one," Santy says.

Santy helps people feel and act like rock stars. He started teaching music and bringing bands together after he retired from teaching English at Rhinelander High School in 2006.

"Sometimes the kids come to me and say, ‘Here's four or five of my friends, we want to be in a band, we've got a name for the band, we've got matching jackets,' and I'll say ‘What do you play?' and they'll say ‘Oh no, no, that's up to you.'"

It's not always kids living the rock star dream.

"I've had a gal who was retired just a few years ago from teaching, and she said I've always wanted to be a drummer," Santy says. "She was 57 years of age and when she started, she said ‘I should have started this 50 years ago.'"

Carly Reich started playing guitar and keyboard when she was 15 years old.

"My brother had put ads up all over town looking for band members and he got no responses," Reich says.

Two years ago, Reich and her brother found Santy's Tunesmith Academy. Santy helped them bring their band, Violet Skies, together.

"I tried taking private lessons, I tried teaching myself, and I tried playing as a group lesson," Reich says."I think the main thing for me was, there's an obligation to the other people in your band to keep getting better and to keep up with what you've learned. So that makes me a lot less likely to slack off."

Tunesmith Academy is fun for the bands and fun for Jeff, but how does it fit in with the quiet Lake George community?

"We got a phone call once when we were pumping the music, and I thought ‘Uh-oh, there's the sheriff's department calling me and saying you gotta shut this down,'" Santy says. "And yet it was someone across the lake calling with a request. They wanted to hear a certain song."

A certain song that brings you back to a time when anything was possible.

"I think kids dream of being sports stars or rock stars," he says. "I can't help them with the sports star end of it, but I can help them with the music end of it."

Violet Skies and other Tunesmith Academy bands will play this weekend at the Oneida County Fair.

Story By: Lex Gray

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Rock throwing case moves forward for one of the accusedSubmitted: 07/31/2014

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CRANDON - Prosecutors in Forest County accuse a group of four people of throwing rocks off of a bridge and damaging a car. Victims Wednesday described the sound like a bomb going off.

19-year-old Thomas Hines is one of four people facing charges for throwing rocks off of a Forest County bridge just after 3 a.m. June 3, 2014. The other three facing charges include 18 year-old Mariya Tuckwab, 20 year-old Ryan Kitchmaster, and 21-year-old Dillon Votis.

All four face multiple felony charges for recklessly endangering safety and criminal damage to property.

Prosecutors say those rocks hurt a woman inside of the car.

Hines was in court Wednesday for his preliminary hearing.

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Researchers believe smoke-free policy could lead to more customers at Northwoods casino Submitted: 07/30/2014

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU - More than two-thirds of visitors to the Lake of the Torches Casino say smoking bothers them.

That's just one of the results from the first-of-its-kind study on attitudes towards smoking in casinos.

The Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council and the casino in Lac du Flambeau joined together to survey more than 950 people in 2011.

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Man hit by own boat in Vilas County Submitted: 07/30/2014

CONOVER - We don't know the name or the condition of a man in a boating accident. He got hit by his own boat. He was airlifted to a Wausau hospital after a boating accident in Vilas County Wednesday, according to the Vilas County Sheriff's Office.

They say the man was in Upper Buckatabon Lake in Conover Wednesday. They believe he was hit by his own boat a little before 4 p.m.

The man was rescued from the water and CPR was immediately performed. He was flown to Wausau Aspirus Hospital.

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Possible changes for the Oneida County board Submitted: 07/30/2014

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Oneida County could get a county administrator in the future. The county is reaching out to other counties with an administrator for input.

The board wants to know how the change might help the county. They'll take input into consideration during an August meeting.

The idea stemmed from a former supervisor in March.

Committee members talked to counties, including Marathon, who already have county administrators.

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Campers help the communitySubmitted: 07/30/2014

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RHINELANDER - Many campers come to the Northwoods to enjoy outdoor activities, but for some, it's all about giving back to the community.

A group of 30 students from four-years old through high school age take a week of their summer to attend Crescent Lake Bible Camp.

While they're at camp, they spend their days working on different projects around Rhinelander. Today, they're using their vacation time to improve the pavilions at Hodag Park.

"Today we're prepping and painting the pavilions," says 16-year-old Tylor Hoople. "They have thousands of staples in them. We're pulling all the staples and we're repainting them to make them look a lot better for the park."

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Oral arguments set in John Doe appealSubmitted: 07/30/2014

MADISON - Oral arguments are set for Sept. 9 in the appeal of a federal judge's ruling halting an investigation into Gov. Scott Walker's recall campaign and other conservative groups.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago set the argument date late Tuesday. It comes exactly two months before Walker faces re-election.

The court will also hear arguments over a media coalition's request that all records in the case be made public.

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More jail time for man accused of stashing meth in courtroomSubmitted: 07/30/2014

RHINELANDER - Oneida County prosecutors couldn't believe how stupid a Tomahawk man was to try and pull a stunt while in court in April.

They say 30-year-old Kurtis Cline tried to stash a bag of meth under his seat cushion in court.

Now, Cline will be punished on those charges.

Cline is already serving a six-month jail sentence for theft.

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