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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
UPDATED: Names released in deadly Arbor Vitae crashSubmitted: 07/25/2014

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ARBOR VITAE - We know the name of the Minocqua woman who died in a car crash in Arbor Vitae Thursday morning.

Barbara Hilleque, 67, died when her car was rear ended on Highway 51, and pushed into the path of a small tour bus heading the other way.

Dorothy Pacetti, 49, of Woodruff was driving the second car.

Jay Carpenter, 57, of Beloit was at the wheel of the bus.

Both of the surviving drivers were hurt.

12 other people were also taken to the hospital.

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Garden tour Saturday to raise money for hospiceSubmitted: 07/25/2014

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RHINELANDER - You can learn how to improve your garden while also supporting a Northwoods hospice provider.

The Master Gardeners of the North and Ministry Hospice will host a garden tour Saturday, July 26th. People will get to tour six gardens in Rhinelander's historic courthouse neighborhood.

Organizers hope the event will raise at least $2,000. That money will go to patients who are unable to pay for their services.

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Langlade County fish farm highlights Wisconsin aquacultureSubmitted: 07/25/2014

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ELTON - An afternoon of fishing might be your way of relaxing on a hot summer day.

But for brothers Terry and Tim Winkle, it's business, and their entire world revolves around fish.

Three generations of Winkel family have worked the ponds at Silver Moon Springs.

Brothers Tim and Terry took over the property in 1977.

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Wounded Warriors softball team comes to townSubmitted: 07/25/2014

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - People in Lake Tomahawk could watch a special game of snowshoe baseball Friday.

The Wounded Warrior softball team was in town to compete against the Snowhawks. Lake Tomahawk raised more than $40,000 to bring the team to town.

Fans came from all over to cheer on both teams. They say it's quite the experience.

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Burke releases rural jobs plan, focuses on schools, health & growthSubmitted: 07/25/2014

ACROSS WISCONSIN - A new job plan from Democratic candidate for Governor Mary Burke focuses on her economic objectives with rural Wisconsin.

Many parts of Wisconsin's rural areas, like the Northwoods, lags behind the rest of the state economically; for example, five of the ten Wisconsin counties with the worst unemployment rate in the state are in the rural portions of the Northwoods, according to June unemployment numbers from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Her focus is on growing the rural economy, boosting healthcare and improving schools.

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Burke releases rural jobs plan, focuses on schools, health & growthSubmitted: 07/25/2014

ACROSS WISCONSIN - A new job plan from Democratic candidate for Governor Mary Burke focuses on her economic objectives with rural Wisconsin.

Many parts of Wisconsin's rural areas, like the Northwoods, lags behind the rest of the state economically; for example, five of the ten Wisconsin counties with the worst unemployment rate in the state are in the rural portions of the Northwoods, according to June unemployment numbers from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Her focus is on growing the rural economy, boosting healthcare and improving schools.

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Trapping convention in Upper Peninsula a congregation of nostalgic veterans, enthusiastic active trappersSubmitted: 07/25/2014

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ESCANABA - There's a certain nostalgia, to be sure, about trapping.

"A lot of us even kind of try to look like the old mountain men. Maybe you've noticed," says the grizzled and bearded Dave Linkhart, a trapper and officer of the National Trappers Association.

But it's more than just the old mountain men-types doing something that has been done for centuries in North America.

The trapping world is more expansive than you might expect, and more than setting some traps, waiting, and checking what animals you've caught.

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