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Most Northwoods school districts will see less state funding next yearSubmitted: 07/02/2014
Most Northwoods school districts will see less state funding next year
Story By Adam Fox

ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - New funding numbers released by the Wisconsin Department of Instruction released Tuesday show most schools in the Northwoods will see a reduction in state funding for the 2014-15 school year.

School districts in Rhinelander, Wabeno, Minocqua, Mercer, Phelps, White Lake, Elcho, Tomahawk and Three Lakes will lose more than 15 percent of their state funding compared to 2013-14 funding.

The school districts in Hurley, Laona, Butternut, Lac Du Flambeau and Prentice will see more funding.

Rural schools specifically struggle with shrinking enrollment and high transportation costs.

During a campaign stop Wednesday in Rhinelander, Gov. Scott Walker (R) said his reforms have given schools more flexibility.

"I think again, allowing to continually allow reforms to be used at the school district level overall will help school districts save on things like bidding out their health insurance and other changes have seen significant gains," Walker said.

Walker's critics argue he cut billions in school aid in 2011, more than 225 Wisconsin School districts will see increases in funding for the 2014-15 school year; 197 school districts will see reductions.

Leaders hope proposals from the Rural School Task force will help fix funding issues for schools in the Northwoods. The task force of bipartisan lawmakers toured the state interviewing district heads to learn how legislators could help.

"In the last budget, we included a significant increase for transportation aids for those very school districts," Walker said. "We'll be looking to do even more of that working with people like Representative (Rob) Swearingen and Senator (Tom) Tiffany and others in the next budget."

The legislature will take those proposals up during next year's session.

Walker was touring multiple areas across northern and central Wisconsin, Wednesday. He spoke to more than 250 people at a campaign event hosted by the Oneida County Republican Party.

For a full list of the DPI report, click the link below.


Related Weblinks:
DPI General Aid for 2014-15

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WAUSAU - Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) hopes to help family caregivers by offering them support and resources.

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TOMAHAWK - The Tomahawlk VFW donated two electric wheelchairs to Highground Veterans Memorial Park in Neillsville.

The park features 155 acres with a number of memorials focused on different wars.

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SUGAR CAMP - A major fire destroyed a machinery repair shop in Sugar Camp on Wednesday morning, sending clouds of black smoke over the Northwoods.

The shop, next to a home on County Highway D west of Sugar Camp, caught fire around 10 a.m.

"There was a machinery malfunction that [the owner said] he was dealing with, and there could also be a heating issue," said Sugar Camp Fire Chief Jason Goeldner. "We got an area to look, but we haven't gotten in there yet to actually try to do a thorough investigation yet."

No one was hurt.

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RHINELANDER - Wednesday morning multiple fire agencies responded to a fire in Sugar Camp. That response was made much easier with MABAS. MABAS stands for Mutual Aid Box Alarm System. Agencies use MABAS to call other departments from the area to help with emergencies like fires or mass casualties. 

Wednesday night, fire departments from across Oneida County met at Nicolet College for an exercise using MABAS. The exercise gave first responders the experience of responding to a large incident in a learning environment.

The exercise simulated a large emergency response to a structure fire in downtown Rhinelander.
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"What we do is we preplan who is going to respond. We do that by using an 80/20 rule so that all departments will only send 20% or their resources and leave the other 80% in place," said Rhinelander Fire Department Lieutenant Michael Wesle. 

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MERRILL - A doctor will need to help decide if the man accused of murdering a Tomahawk man in his driveway last fall was in his right mind.

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Moen ran from the scene and was arrested in western Wisconsin.

He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

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TOMAHAWK - A two-time World Snowmobile Derby Champion raced for something bigger than just himself at last month's derby.

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Wednesday, he lived up to that promise with a larger donation than he ever expected.

"I'm glad I was at work and sitting down in my chair because it was mind blowing," said Van Strydonk.

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"It was actually a really cool suit and I only wore it once," said Van Strydonk.

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"I believe we were just at $5,000," said Van Strydonk.

Strydonk donated $3,000 to the Honor Flight Foundation which will send six veterans on an upcoming flight. He also gave Wounded Warriors $1,000 and $500 to the Tomahawk VFW Post Wednesday.

"It never ceases to amaze me the gratitude and the love that the people of Tomahawk and surrounding A two-time World Snowmobile Derby Champion raced for something bigger than just himself at last month's derby.

Tomahawk native Nick Van Strydonk decided to design a custom racing suit and matching helmet to be auctioned off the last day of the derby.

Wednesday, he lived up to that promise with a larger donation than he ever expected.

"I'm glad I was at work and sitting down in my chair because it was mind blowing," said Van Strydonk.

At this year's derby in Eagle River, Van Strydonk raced in a custom made suit and helmet which he planned to auction off the last day of the derby.

"It was actually a really cool suit and I only wore it once," said Van Strydonk.

He planned to raise enough money to send at least three veterans on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight which is about $1,500 but much like his competition, he blew that goal away.

"I believe we were just at $5,000," said Van Strydonk.

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