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NEWS STORIES

Tuning into a different kind of retirementSubmitted: 08/02/2013
Story By Lex Gray

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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.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Sex offender charged for allegedly making booklet filled with photos of young girlsSubmitted: 10/29/2014

MINOCQUA - A Rhinelander sex offender could go back to prison.

Albert Chagnon allegedly made a booklet filled with photos of young Northwoods girls while he was still in prison in Oshkosh.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office had a community meeting Wednesday. Parents at the meeting were given details about the booklet.

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Candidates spar over Ebola, mining, minimum wage and other national topics during debateSubmitted: 10/29/2014

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WAUSAU - Candidates for the 7th Congressional District debated over topics like mining, jobs, Ebola, healthcare, and other issues in Wausau Wednesday night.

Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wisconsin) and Kelly Westlund (D-Ashland) are running for the 7th Congressional District seat. The district covers part of 20 counties across northern Wisconsin.

The area lags behind the rest of the state economically. That was one of the reasons mining was a topic of focus. The Gogebic Taconite project would involve a four mile open pit mine in Iron and Ashland County. The project could mean more than 600 jobs with other secondary jobs connected to the mine.

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Boy Scouts receive a big donationSubmitted: 10/29/2014

WESTON - A big donation will help scouts in central and northern Wisconsin.

A man who went to a scouting camp in Rhinelander wants to help send more kids to camp.

The Samoset Boy Scout Council announced the $3 million donation Tuesday. It was made by Chicago real estate executive and former scout Albert Hanna.

The money will help send under-served kids to summer camp.

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Police search for man who shot at off-duty officerSubmitted: 10/29/2014

MILWAUKEE - Police are looking for the gunman who fire shots at an off-duty officer in Milwaukee.

Authorities say the 52-year-old University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee officer witnessed a traffic accident Tuesday about 5:30 p.m. and following the striking vehicle which had left the scene. At one point the male suspect got out of his car and showed a handgun.

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White Lake School could face more cuts; will try to pass referendum on TuesdaySubmitted: 10/29/2014

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WHITE LAKE - People in White Lake didn't pass a school referendum last spring. The referendum failed by two votes.

The school will ask taxpayers for more funding again on Tuesday.

The school has a history of referendums because of state aid. The White Lake School district got more than a million dollars of state aid in 2008. Now, they only get about one third of that.

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Town board postpones decision on Conover-Phelps Trail projectSubmitted: 10/29/2014

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CONOVER - The future of the Conover-Phelps Trail project remains in question.

The Conover Town Board was expected to decide Wednesday night whether to continue with its original plan, back out of, or change an agreement that would fund part of the trail in order to allow ATV use.

Instead, the board decided to meet next week to look at alternatives.

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Raptor Education Group hosts Halloween eventSubmitted: 10/29/2014

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ANTIGO - The Raptor Education Group will give a special presentation on owls on Halloween (Friday).

The meeting will be geared for children and adults. Live owls will be at the event and three of them will be released in the wild at the end of the meeting.

"We get all the species you can find in Wisconsin, they come in for rehab," said Director of Education Abbey Krumrie. "We get a lot of baby owls in during the spring and we have foster parents that help take care of them.
So that's what we have to release on Halloween."

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