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NEWS STORIES

Rural Schools Task Force recommendations expected by AprilSubmitted: 03/09/2014

Lauren Stephenson
5 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
lstephenson@wjfw.com

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RHINELANDER - Superintendents at rural schools face challenges like growing poverty, declining enrollment, and high transportation costs.

The State Assembly formed the Rural Schools Task Force to find ways to help.

12 members of the State Assembly make up the task force.

They've traveled to schools around the state for the last six months.

They made two stops in the Northwoods.

The task force turned to superintendents, business leaders, and other community members to learn more about the challenges the schools and communities face.

The state did increase funding for schools in their most recent
budget.

But some rural school superintendents said the $150 per student budget increase this year wasn't enough.

They want the state's funding formula to change.

"Initially when we brought the task force together, the task force was charged to find solutions that didn't necessarily - weren't fiscal. And so what we found is these school districts are doing the best they can with the money they have. And unfortunately, a lot of these solutions will be fiscal. And so that could potentially be pointing to the next budget cycle," said Republican Rep. Rob Swearingen of Rhinelander, the Rural Schools Task Force Chair.

He says high transportation costs, poor broadband service, declining enrollment and lower teacher retention rates will most likely be addressed in the recommendations.

"The report is going to be generated hopefully here in the next week or so by legislative council. And then the task force will get a chance to look at the report and give our final recommendations to Speaker Vos."

The report is expected to come out at the end of this month or the beginning of April.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
13-year-old caught driving drunk illegally caught driving againSubmitted: 08/22/2014

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MANITOWOC - A 13-year-old girl who was arrested for drunken driving in eastern Wisconsin last week has been arrested again.

The Manitowoc Police Department says she's the same girl who was caught driving while intoxicated Aug. 13. Five other juveniles, 14 and under, were along for the ride back then. She was released to her mother.

Now, the department says, the same 13-year-old was spotted driving late Thursday afternoon. She took off when a squad car activated its flashing lights and siren, with four other juveniles in the car.

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Court releases more documents in Gov. Walker probeSubmitted: 08/22/2014

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals is reviewing that decision. That court released 266 pages of documents in June revealing the nature of the investigation.

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Both addressed a number of issues they hope to pursue when they return to session in September.

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Soldier killed in Afghanistan native of WisconsinSubmitted: 08/22/2014

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Sgt. First Class Matthew Leggett served with the 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Relatives in Wisconsin tell Daily Tribune Media (http://wrtnews.co/1oYbaUC ) that the 39-year-old Leggett was born in Wisconsin Rapids and still has extended family in the area.

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Grant will expand program that offers alternative to incarcerationSubmitted: 08/22/2014

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU - The Lac du Flambeau Tribe hopes a large grant will keep those suffering from addiction out of jail.

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The Tribe started the court last year.

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Man charged with stealing police chief's truckSubmitted: 08/22/2014

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The Marathon County Sheriff's Department says the break-in happened Tuesday at Police Chief Jeff Hardel's home in the Town of Maine.

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