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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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Hunters kill 98 Wisconsin wolves, season could be over soonSubmitted: 10/23/2014

WISCONSIN - It looks like Wisconsin's third wolf season could be over soon.

The season began on Oct. 15. It's slated to run until Feb. 28 or until hunters reach the 150-animal statewide kill limit.

The Department of Natural Resources says hunters had bagged 98 wolves as of Wednesday, leaving them 52 shy of the statewide quota. The DNR closed four of its six wolf zones over the last week after hunters quickly reached or exceeded zone-specific kill limits.

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20 flu-related hospitalizations in Wisconsin so far in OctoberSubmitted: 10/22/2014

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Water weevils not effective option in fighting EWMSubmitted: 10/22/2014

NORTHWOODS - Earlier this summer, scientists thought they may have found a new way of fighting one Northwoods invasive species.

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Gun deer hunt brings business to the Northwoods, some worry new rules could affect tourismSubmitted: 10/22/2014

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NORTHWOODS - Some Northwoods businesses worry that new deer hunt regulations could hurt tourism.

The gun deer hunt brings traffic to area businesses after the summer is over, but new rules could keep people from traveling up north.

"Several guests have called and some have cancelled because they say that there's not going to be any doe tags being issued in this area," says Hiawatha Lodge owner Scott Frickson.

You can't get an antlerless deer tag in Wisconsin north of Marathon County.
That could lead to less hunting tourism in the Northwoods.

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Northwoods farmers behind on corn harvestSubmitted: 10/22/2014

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Dairy farmer Butch Maly in Antigo wishes his corn season started a few weeks earlier.

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Spending less on HalloweenSubmitted: 10/22/2014

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RHINELANDER - The average person will spend $77 this year on Halloween costumes, decorations, and candy.

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Asian carp DNA found in Green Bay's Fox RiverSubmitted: 10/22/2014

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