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NEWS STORIES

Bill wants school districts to pick start dateSubmitted: 09/13/2013

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RHINELANDER - September means the start of school for kids in the Northwoods.

State law requires schools to start after Labor Day. But some state legislators think school districts should pick the start day.

Crandon Elementary Principal Jamee Belland believes it would give her district more flexibility.

"I think in this area we would maybe move the start day up a little bit," Belland said.


The law, along with snow days, usually pushes the school year well into June. An earlier start would fix that. Belland thinks it would also help students prepare for state required tests.

"The PALS test already starts on Monday," Belland said. "First grade has to give that test and then within another week kindergarten and the other grades fall in line, so it's early to be testing to where maybe a few more weeks would give us ample time."

But tourist based businesses worry they would lose teenage workers during the busiest part of the season. Republican State Rep. Rob Swearingen also owns a dinner club outside of Rhinelander. He thinks a change would hurt businesses.

"We really only have that eight weeks to make hay," Swearingen said. "So when you take that second or third week potentially out of our workforce it really is a struggle."

Republican Sen. Jim Ott introduced the bill. He believes it won't hurt tourism because elected school boards would make the changes.

"Changing the law would not require that schools to start before September 1st," Ott said. "It would just simply give the local school board the right to start whenever they wanted to."

But many business would rather have their workers in late August than early June. Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lara Reed fears tourists might not be around if a cold spring stretches into summer.

"Weather and never knowing, that thought kind of makes you a little nervous to think about shifting it that direction," Reed said.

The bill sits in the Wisconsin State Assembly Tourism Committee. Many businesses hope it goes no further than that.



Story By: Adam Fox

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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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UW Trout Lake Station to host open house FridaySubmitted: 07/30/2014

BOULDER JUNCTION - People of all ages will get to see what it's like to be a researcher up here in the Northwoods.

Researchers at the UW Trout Lake Station in Boulder Junction will host an open house Friday.

Visitors will get to participate in a number of activities.

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Man who stashed meth under his seat in court will spend 60 more days in jailSubmitted: 07/30/2014

ONEIDA COUNTY - 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. Now, he'll have to spend 60 more days in jail for the meth incident.

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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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New DNR program offers chance for expert management for private landownersSubmitted: 07/30/2014

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RHINELANDER - Many hunters, wildlife watchers, and landowners would like to see more deer on their property.

The Wisconsin DNR wants to help them do that.

Its new Deer Management Assistance Program offers landowners a chance to partner with the agency.

The DNR can visit private plots of land and offer management suggestions.

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Man accused of holding wife against her willSubmitted: 07/30/2014

FON DU LAC - An armed standoff in Fond du Lac has ended with the arrest of a man accused of holding a gun to his wife's head and refusing to let her leave their home.

Police say the 37-year-old man was arrested shortly before 7 a.m. Wednesday after the 28-year-old woman fled from the house. Authorities say two children in the home were not harmed.

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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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