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NEWS STORIES

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

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.

Story By: Lauren Stephenson

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Police search for hit and run driverSubmitted: 07/28/2014

MERRILL - Police need your help finding the driver of car involved in a hit and run accident over the weekend.

It happened around 3:30 in the morning on Saturday in the town of Merrill.

No one was hurt in the crash.

The victim was driving east on Hillside Drive, just west of County Rd K.

That's when a small silver car sideswiped the victim's dark blue Dodge Avenger.

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AirVenture gets underway this week in OshkoshSubmitted: 07/28/2014

OSHKOSH - Aviation enthusiasts from as many as 70 countries will gather in Oshkosh this week for the annual Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture.

The convention draws about a half million people to the weeklong event near Wittman Regional Airport.

Thousands of planes have already landed at the airport.

On Monday, NASA representatives will talk about their plan to take people to Mars starting in 2030.

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Trial date set for former Assembly Majority LeaderSubmitted: 07/28/2014

WAUKESHA - The former majority leader of the Wisconsin Assembly will go on trial in October for sexual assault.

State Representative Bill Kramer is accused of shoving a woman into a car, groping her and making inappropriate comments.

The charges date back to a GOP event in April 2011.

During a hearing Friday, a Waukesha County Circuit Judge set a jury trial for October 28th.

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Craft brewfest gives people opportunity to taste different brews, raise money for local organizationSubmitted: 07/27/2014

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MINOCQUA - Craft beers can be hit or miss. The Lac du Flambeau Lions Club gave people the chance to try lots of different types of craft brews at their annual Brewfest.

People got to taste different local brews. There were also some wines and sodas.

More people come to the event every year which helps the event get more breweries to come.

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Pilots take to the sky in Air Cup Race Submitted: 07/27/2014

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WAUSAU - You can find adrenaline and speed at a race track, but nothing compares to racing 300 miles per hour in the sky.

46 Pilots from across the country competed in the EAA AirVenture Cup Race. This is the 17th year racers took to the sky, but it's the first time they made a pit stop in Wausau.

The chairman for the race says it's all about having fun with your friends.

"It's really about how well you can fly your airplane. It promotes efficiency, flying accuracy, a flight planning; it's really just about having fun," said EAA AirVenture Cup Race Chairman Eric Whyte.

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Blues festival raises money for youth sports teamsSubmitted: 07/27/2014

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ST. GERMAIN - Most communities sell cookies and pies to raise money for their kid's athletic programs. But athletes in the Northland Pines district get most of their funding from a blues festival.

The Joe Bucher Blues Fest is the biggest blues festival in northern Wisconsin. More than 350 people come to the festival every year. All of the money raised is donated to the Northland Pines sports teams.

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Boat show displays restored wooden boats, raises money for medical researchSubmitted: 07/27/2014

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MINOCQUA - It can take years to restore an old wooden boat. But some wooden boat owners are willing to put that time in because the finished product can teach people about antique boats.

People got the chance to show off their boats at 22nd annual Antique Wooden Boat Show in Minocqua this weekend.

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