RHINELANDER - The Wisconsin DNR held one of its 35 public meetings to discuss changes to the state's deer hunting rules in Rhinlander Wednesday.
The Wisconsin DNR wants to make deer hunting rules simpler. They also want to keep the deer population strong in the state. That’s why the department had an independent review of the state's deer management by Dr. James Kroll in 2011.
The report offered 62 recommendations. One proposal would expand the Dec. 24- Jan. 4 Holiday hunt in the three geographic southern zones of Wisconsin. The hunting would be allowed in those zones including all areas south of HWY 64.
But some snowmobile riders worry owners wont open their trials because they want to keep it quite for hunting.
DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz doesn't think the layered seasons won't conflict.
"In this case, we're not anticipating that," Holtz said. "Everything I have seen looks like its going to keep it in that southern part of the state where typically snow doesn't fall or doesn't make quality trails for much of that time."
The plan also proposes a Deer Management Assistance program. For a small fee, DNR biologists and foresters would evaluate your land and create a localized deer management plan.
"I think this is a great opportunity to get folks more invested in land management on their own properties and try to provide some resources that are already available through the department," Holtz said.
There are more possible changes from the report including deer management unit reduction and the formation of county base deer management committees.
The proposal is in public comment period until Nov. 8. The final rule package will be presented to the Natural Resources Board on Dec. 10-11.
ST. GERMAIN - We all love our favorite sports teams. But what would happen if you had to dress up in your rival's gear? That's exactly what happened to Bears fan, Jerry Healy.
He's the janitor at St. Germain Elementary School. Healy challenged the students to raise over $700 for charity. If they did he'd wear the green and gold.
“Mr Healy you're unbelievable thank you for doing this,” says Jerry Healy, St. Germain Elementary School Janitor. “One kid said, "all this is disgusting Mr. Healy,” and another little kid who's a diehard Packers fan came up he came up and he's got an orange and blue pair of pants on and goes I'm a bears fan, today you're a packer fan, and that was pretty cool he's in second grade.”
As you can see the students surpassed the goal. The money went to pennies for patients. It’s an organization that supports people diagnosed with leukemia. The challenge brought the whole school together.
“Well I think they rose to the occasion they understood they're helping others in an easy but fun way. They came together as a class, as a whole school and just had a lot of fun with it,” says Jeff Waltz, a third grade teacher at St. Germain Elementary School.
This wasn't the first time Jerry got to dress up as a Packers fan. He did the same thing a few years ago when students accomplished a reading goal.
WOODRUFF - The Olympics might be over, but the Paralympics are underway in Sochi. Teachers at one local school are using the Olympic spirit to teach students about other countries.
Students at North Country Montessori celebrated International Day Friday morning. The students learn about different countries throughout the school year.
"The children at Montessori do a huge unit on geography and world culture, and we used today as a way to express the information that we found and things that we've learned," says North Country Montessori director Candice Henderson.
This year's theme was the Sochi Olympics.
Each student dressed up as a different country and sang songs in Russian.
This was the school's 30th annual International Day celebration. It ended with a potluck meal featuring ethnic food from different countries.
RHINELANDER - Wisconsin will get a new state attorney general this election year.That could mean new changes for the department.
But many of the candidates agree that more needs to be done to deal with heroin in Wisconsin.
Police and prosecutors say the drug continues to spread throughout the state. Republican candidate Brad Schimel, Waukesha County district attorney, believes heroin and opiates are one of the state’s biggest challenge.
"We're seeing more people die from accidental drug overdoses than we're seeing in car crashes," Schimel said. "That is a dangerous statistic for us to be looking at."
According to a Gannet Wisconsin Investigative study, at least 199 people died in 2012 in Wisconsin from drug overdoses.
The legislature has passed several bills this session to fight heroin and help people who are addicted to the drug.
State Rep. Jon Richards-(D) Milwaukee, is one of three Democratic candidates running for attorney general. He believes the state needs to keep going after drug traffickers.
"Local prosecutors and law enforcement are already stretched to the max in terms of their man power," Richards said. "We have to be addressing these new problems of public safety in creative ways and effective ways."
Democratic candidates Susan Happ and Ismael Ozanne were not available before running this story.
Richards was touring the Northwoods Friday talking to media and district attorneys in the area.
The Democratic primary is set for August 12th. Election day is Nov. 4, 2014.
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