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Most Northwoods school districts will see less state funding next yearSubmitted: 07/02/2014

Adam Fox
10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
afox@wjfw.com

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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 IN OTHER NEWS
Volunteers Document WildlifeSubmitted: 06/24/2016

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MERCER - You don't expect to see crowds in secluded parts of Iron County, but loons tend to be a big draw.

"There's a lot of people who have had interest in loon research," said DNR wildlife biologist John Olson.

"Monitor change overtime in the wildlife population here in the Turtle Flambeau Flowage. Are loons increasing or staying stable or decreasing the numbers of breeding pair?" said retired wildlife biologist, Bruce Bacon.

The community has shown interest in the animal and with the research collected, the volunteers can maintain a steady population of loons in the water.

"Over the years, there have been a number of people who have done real exciting loon work up here," said Olson.

Over the last few surveys, the DNR have decided to expand its research to all wildlife in water and on land, not just the loons.

"The survey has developed into being more all-inclusive of any wildlife we see out here. Especially breeding birds," said Olson.

Some animals seen on Friday include a deer and her fawn, ducks, geese, eagles, ospreys, and of course multiple loons.

The Turtle Flambeau Flowage is a total of 14,000 acres. Individual volunteers maintain the area year round. If they notice a home or shelter destroyed, they will help start a new one for the animals.

"It's rewarding to see a place like the Turtle Flambeau Flowage in Wisconsin and this monitoring gives us a sense of how to monitor and protect it," said Bacon.

Overall, the goal for the group is to collect data on the animals and maintain that number to keep the Northwoods booming with wildlife.

The power of volunteerism was in full effect on Friday. Six boats covered all 14,000 acres of the Turtle Flambeau Flowage.

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STEVENS POINT - David Appel doesn't say too much these days.  Instead, he lets his artwork speak for himself.

"Oh yeah, he likes to show them off," David's son Dan said.

The recently turned 82-year-old spends his days in the Portage County Skilled Nursing Facility during his weekly visit from family often admiring the oil paintings he once crafted.

"I wouldn't call it a shock, but I didn't know he had that artistic skill," Dan Appel said.

Appel's son and daughter-in-law, Dan and Julie, first found out about David's talents as the father's 47-and-a-half year career with Copps Foods started to come to an end in the late 1990s.

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RHINELANDER - This week, a seven-year-old put his life in danger to save his baby sister and little brother from a house fire near downtown Rhinelander.

On Friday, the Rhinelander Fire Department honored that little boy for his bravery.

Rhinelander firefighters now call Adam Granger, 7, a hero.

"He tells me over and over how he wasn't scared and just wanted to save his sister's life and didn't want her to die," said Jenny Schroeder, Adam's mother.

Adam saved his six-month old sister and four-year-old brother from a house fire in downtown Rhinelander.

"His actions, his quick thinking, saved two lives that day," said Rhinelander Fire Assistant Chief Tom Waydick.

Investigators still don't know the exact cause of the fire, but they say it started in the kitchen.
Adam's father, Adam Granger, Sr., went outside for a couple minutes to start a campfire, and the next thing 
he knew his house was up in flames.

"And the kids were in and out of the house helping him," Waydick said.

When he saw the smoke, Adam's father and his brother ran inside to get the three kids upstairs��"not realizing they had already gotten out. To do that, Adam had to run past the fire to get to the bedroom where his baby sister was. Then he went back towards the flames and led his younger brother down the back steps to safety.

"[I'm] Very proud and honored to have him as my son," Schroeder said. 

Schroeder doesn't want to think of how it could have turned out.

"We've talked about how the other outcome could have been worse," Schroeder said. 

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MANITOWOC - A Manitowoc doctor is charged in federal court with drug trafficking.

A grand jury this week indicted Dr. Charles Szyman on 19 counts of unlawfully prescribing prescription drugs.

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EAGLE RIVER - The Northland Pines fishing team is about as basic as it gets.

Just two kids, bait, and their gear.

"I didn't expect to go anywhere," said Northland Pines Junior Mike John.

But in their first year the team is headed to nationals after getting second BASS Wisconsin High School Fishing Tournament. It was the first tournament they've competed in together.

Mike John is going to be a junior. Harmon Marien became a freshman right before the state tournament started.

"Wednesday previous I was in 8th grade and then that Saturday and Sunday we took second in the high school tournament," Northland Pines Freshman Marien said. "That was pretty cool, good way to start high school."

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MINOCQUA - Emergency crews think 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into a wetland and storm drain in Minocqua. They say it happened after a truck carrying the fuel tipped over.

Now, environmental cleanup crews need to make sure all of the spilled diesel fuel is out of the wetland as soon as possible.

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WAUSAU - Police in Wausau expect to forward forgery charges to the Marathon County District Attorney against four people after finding counterfeit money in the area.

Patrick J. Eppolite, Jr., 22; Michael A. Beck, 27; Jeremy J. Hess, 36; and Amanda M. Bender, 32, are currently in jail on probation holds, but investigators believe they're connected to some counterfeit 20 dollar bills in the area, according to the Wausau Police Department.

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