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Wausau Public School District upgrades securitySubmitted: 09/03/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson

Wausau Public School District upgrades security
WAUSAU - A new school year means new teachers, new friends, new books.

And in many school districts this year, it also means new or beefed up security systems.

Wausau Public Schools changed the way visitors get into its buildings this year.

School office staff will have to buzz people in once school hours begin.

At the front door vestibule visitors will need to explain why they're there.

Then the staff can unlock the second set of doors.

Last winter the district-wide Safety Committee looked at the security level in the school.

It decided it should add some extra measures.

"You look at what happened at Sandy Hook and those are our youngest learners and that strikes a chord for the majority of people. It certainly strikes a chord for parents. I think they can easily put themselves in that type of scenario," says Dr. Jeff Lindell of the Wausau Public Schools

That assessment began after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.

A gunman entered the school and killed 20 children and 6 staff last December.

The district installed the new security systems over the summer.

But that doesn't necessarily mean it's finished with safety upgrades.

The District tells us it will continue to evaluate schools' security.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
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RHINELANDER - Hodag Park received a sizable donation Thursday morning. New sand was dropped off to help the Rhinelander Parks Department grow the beach back to its original shape.

There were thousands of pounds of sand dropped off and spread out. There was a high need for this because of all the rain we've had this season.

"It was getting in pretty poor shape and washing out more and more, but this year especially, it just seems like we've lost a lot of sand. So now we're going to shape it up nicely and hopefully it'll last the year," said Rhinelander Parks Director, Jeremy Biolo.

All of that sand was donated and delivered by a company in Rhinelander.

"Musson Brothers, Inc. donated all the sand and they said we could help ourselves to as much as we want, which is unbelievable because this beach really needed some work," said Biolo. "Every little bit like that helps our community out and it improves the community. It's awesome that the Musson Brothers stepped up and would do that for us."

The beach usually has to be touched up about once a year. The parks department plans on reconstructing the beach to improve it for visitors.

"We talked to the DNR and they don't want us to go too far into the water but we can retake the shoreline that used to exist there," said Biolo.

There was an additional hole created from flooding in the back of the park that drained on to the beach. All of that was filled in and fixed.

The parks department also hopes to make more improvements throughout the season such as new docs.

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RHINELANDER - Bill Makris taught P.E. at Rhinelander High School for 30 years. But he's since shifted his time to teaching summer camps.

"These are kids that want to be here," said Makris.

The camps aren't your typical workshops or outdoor activities.

"Strength training, speed development, agility," said Makris.

He helps younger kids concentrate on attainable athletic goals.

"I do like running track and cross country so I want to increase my speed ability," said Rhinelander 8th grader, Sage Flory.

Makris has been teaching the clinics for 11 years.

"The fun thing is seeing the development through the years, how they get better," said Makris.

He recognizes that speed and agility camps aren't the most popular for this young age group. But that doesn't stop him from making an impact.

"The main thing is not getting stronger or faster, but building self-confidence and self-esteem," said Makris.

And for Flory, she's already learning that lesson.

"It's fun to prove that girls can do it too," said Flory.

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RHINELANDER - Nicolet College's Motorcycle Basic Rider Course teaches folks to safely hit the road on their bike.

The class is in full swing for the season.

Nicolet College Rider Coach Mike Murray says even experienced riders can use a "safety brush-up" this time of year.

Riders should always wear their helmet, long pants and shirts, gloves, and boots.

It's also important to keep your eyes moving for critters that come out of the woods,especially deer.

"If you know you're going to hit it: let off your brakes, hit it with your handle bars straight ahead looking straight ahead so that your bike stays straight up," says rider coach Mike Murray.

The course covers the basics about motorcycles and riding techniques.

It's meant to build confidence when you ride, so that you're prepared for emergencies on the road.

"I've been a rider for a long time. When I completed the class, I had to look back and say man there is a lot of stuff I learned here and a lot of things I was doing the wrong way," says program coordinator Mark England.

You have until October to sign up for the Basic Rider Course at Nicolet.

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MADISON - Wisconsin's prisons for young offenders could see some changes in the way they punish inmates.

A lawsuit is challenging punishment methods at the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake prisons in Lincoln County.



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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Four Republican senators say they are not ready to vote for the GOP health care bill, putting the measure in jeopardy.

The four are Ted Cruz of Texas, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky. They say in a statement that they are open to negotiation before the full Senate considers the measure.

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EAGLE RIVER - People usually go to the gym to get strong or lose weight. But you normally don't see people training to drive a motorcycle.

"When a person buys a bike, they don't realize how big it is and how out of control it can be," said Dave Sixel of Sixel's Circuit Fit Eagle River.

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