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NEWS STORIES

Field trips important to virtual schoolsSubmitted: 09/23/2013
Story By Dan McKinney


WAUSAU - Field trips can be a fun way for students to spend the day outside the classroom. That's especially important when the classroom is a computer at home.

Going on a field trip to a dairy farm would be a fun valuable learning experience for just about any kid. But for kids like Keegan Fischer, it's even more valuable. That's because Keegan goes to virtual school.

"I like going to a virtual school because I won't be pressured by going into a real school, and actual physical school," says Keegan Fischer, a student at the Wisconsin Connection Academy. "Here I can take my time, and work whenever so it's flexible for me anytime."

Wisconsin Connection Academy is also flexible for Keegan's mom, Sarah Fischer.

"We choose Connections Academy because Keegan had health issues when he was smaller so he missed a lot of school," says Sarah Fischer. "This has been a good fit, it has worked great."

But the downside of virtual school is that students don't get as much time to interact with each other. That's why Keegan and his mom Sarah spent the day away from the computer.

"In a virtual school you're not getting the same kind of socialization as if you're going to a regular traditional bricks and mortar school," says Jennifer Dikeman a Math teacher at Connections Academy.

"We put a lot of time and effort into these field trips and we really want our students to attend these so they can get out get out of the house get away from the computer and talk to other families that are here," says Dikeman.

The field trip to Wilkes Farm is one of many throughout the school year.

"The field trips are a great place for students to just put names to faces as well as teachers," says Michele Lynch a social studies teacher at Connections Academy. "They get to meet their teachers we get to build more personal relationships find out more have good laughs with each other."

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 09/30/2014

- The Wisconsin Wetlands Association recently released a new book helping people understand how to care for and protect Wisconsin's wetlands. We visit a Northwoods wetland to find out how people can protect wetlands in our area.

- Plus, Richard Branson recently announced some of his employees at Virgin Airlines will get unlimited holiday vacation time. He's hoping that would increase productivity and keep employees at the company longer, but leaders at Nicolet Staffing in Rhinelander says that won't work here. Find out the details on why unlimited holiday vacation would only work for global companies.

We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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UW-Marathon County issues voter IDs to students who need oneSubmitted: 09/30/2014

WAUSAU - A local college wants to make sure its students can vote this November.

UW-Marathon County is issuing voter IDs to students that don't have them.

Everyone in Wisconsin needs to have an ID to vote this fall.

The university started making the IDs Monday.

All UW schools will be issuing IDs to students who need one.

"The biggest reason that we're doing this is we really want our students to have that opportunity to vote," says Interim Assistant Campus Dean for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at UW-Marathon County Carla Rabe. "Some of our students may not have the proper voter ID, and so for us to offer that opportunity to our students really just encourages them to really take the importance in voting."

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Iconic northern tree species could disappear as Northwoods climate warmsSubmitted: 09/30/2014

FIFIELD - "Here's the paper birch, or white birch. It's one of my favorite trees," Linda Parker tells me as we walk through a part of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest near Fifield.

But her next thought on the tree is not so pleasant.

"This again is one of the species that occurs at the southern edge of its range here. It's more common to the north," she says. "This is another species in which we expect to see large declines."

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Update-Inmate captured after failing to return to jailSubmitted: 09/30/2014

MARATHON COUNTY - An inmate who didn't return to jail from Huber release will now get a chance to think about his mistake.

The Marathon County Sheriff's department confirms inmate Tommie Rothenberger has been captured.

He was found in Waupaca County around 5:30 last night.

Rothenberger was let out of the Marathon County Jail Friday morning to go to school at Northcentral Technical College.

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DNR says hunters need to upgrade sunrise appSubmitted: 09/30/2014

MADISON - The state Department of Natural Resources is reminding hunters they need to upgrade the agency's sunrise-sunset mobile app.

The DNR created the app in 2012 to help hunters check for the start and end of legal hunting hours. Agency officials say they've created a sunrise-sunset calculator in the Official Guide for Wisconsin's Fishing Hunting and Wildlife mobile app released late last year and the old sunrise-sunset app is no longer supported.

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Domestic violence deaths total close to one person a week in WisconsinSubmitted: 09/30/2014

MADISON - 55 people in Wisconsin died last year from domestic violence.

The organization End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin looked at the numbers. They found the following statistics:


- About one person every week died from domestic violence in 2013. 39 of the deaths were homicide victims.

-12 abusers took their own lives.

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Rothschild Fire Department holds a coat drive Submitted: 09/30/2014

MARATHON COUNTY - A local Fire Department will try to get winter coats to everyone who needs one this winter.

The Rothschild Fire Department is holding a coat drive.

You can drop off coats at the Rothschild and Wausau fire departments.

This is the second year they've held the drive.

"[The] coat drive is meant to help out the needy within the Wausau area," says Paul Tackes of the Rothschild Fire Department. "Not everybody can afford the costs of the coats nowadays so we figured we'd try and help out."

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