WAUSAU - Technical colleges around Wisconsin will get more than $23 million in federal grants to expand information technology training.
Northcentral Technical College in Wausau will get $6.2 million.
Chris Severson, Dean of Business, Community Services & Global Education, says the money will help retrain around 300 workers for the growing demand in information technology.
"This will help in serving 300 unique students in the information technology world," Severson said, "We will provide a variety of new resources to them that we couldn't provide without this grant."
Other schools can use the money for more specific areas under the IT umbrella.
"They may focus in a specialization," Severson said. "One technical college may focus on information technology within the healthcare profession and NTC is focusing on information technology in general."
NTC will monitor the 15 technical schools that will get grant money. Those schools include Nicolet College in Rhinelander and Chippewa Valley Technical college in Eau Claire.
The grant will also allow NTC to offer new curriculum as well as two new degrees. The curriculum will focus on mobile software and technology.
The grant is part of $475 million federal grant dispersed nationwide. Severson says the grant focuses on expanding training programs for unemployed workers, including those effected by foreign trade.
STOUGHTON - Police in Stoughton are investigating a threatening letter that was sent to a black teenager, with a photo that depicted him as the victim of a lynching.
The letter had a Madison postmark but no return address. The family told the newspaper it contained a photo showing two men hanging from a tree, with a mob watching. A picture of the 18-year-old was superimposed onto one of the men.
MERRILL - When you think of movies you probably think of Hollywood, but one man from Northcentral Wisconsin is bringing his feature film to the local screen.
Wausau’s Jarrod Crooks not only makes movies, but he also stars in them.
His latest film, "Dispatched" is based off the Elvis Presley movie, “Girl Happy,” says filmmaker Jarrod Crooks. “My character Jake is sent to go watch my bosses daughter while she’s on vacation with a friend. Then an old enemy is kind of after him while he’s on vacation, so some things happen.”
Crooks made, "Dispatched" on a $5,000 budget and it’s full of romance, action, and comedy.
“My buddy would joke with me, ‘why don’t you just pick one genre man and then just go with it'," says Crooks. "I’m like because I want to make this movie how I want to make It'." "I actually like romantic comedies, I think they’re kind of fun, and I think they’re cute. I like action films because I’m a guy, and I like comedy because Jim Carey is great.”
Crooks is only 28 and has already made 4 feature films. His passion started when he was 12 years old.
“I went over to my friend’s house and he had a video camera. I was like oh we should make a movie, and at that time I was really into, “Wishbone,” says Crooks.
“We’d always remake our own literature pieces. Then I saw my first Jackie Chan movie and I’m like, alright it’s settled we’re doing action films from now on," says Crooks. “From then on it was just a love affair with the filmmaking.”
His latest film will be shown at the Cosmo Theatre in Merrill on Saturday at 5pm.
“The fact that I’m bringing it to central Wisconsin is great because this is where I grew up," says Crooks. "All my family and friends get to see it, so I’m very excited about that and you get to see yourself on the big screen what’s better than that.”
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