RHINELANDER - Students walked out of classes at Rhinelander High School Wednesday morning.
Their protest? The potential firing of four RHS teachers.
Facing a budget tightened by $2 million dollars, Blaine Obey, Angela Schaffer, Michael Velis, and Kim DeBuhr were notified they would be laid off at the end of the year.
"The teachers that are getting fired, if they did what we're doing right now, they'd be fired instantly. So they know that they have someone that will stick up for them," said Dalton Rose, an RHS student.
Students told Newswatch 12 the effect the teachers have had on them goes beyond the classroom.
"Mrs. Schaffer always listens to our personal problems, even though she doesn't have to. She could just teach us, but no, she takes the time to actually listen to us and help us," said student Dani Hageny.
Some say the teachers, while not promoting this specific protest, instilled in them the idea of standing for their values.
"They teach us to stand up for what we believe in and have a voice," said student Haleen Guth.
Oneida County Detective Sergeant Phil Newcomb, who works with the school district, was one of the staff scrambling to get the students back to school.
"Stop protesting," Newcomb told the students while they occupied the public sidewalk outside the school. "There's a peaceful way to protest, but this is not the way."
School administration is still considering punishment options for involved students.
Principal Paul Keats sent a letter to high school parents saying he could not "allow students to disrupt the educational environment."
"Mr. Keats and I are working closely with the appropriate people to find the appropriate response, not to have a knee jerk response...fines are not going to come, and possible punishments are still being considered," said RHS Associate Principal David Ditzler.
While no fines may come from the school itself, multiple students and parents told Newswatch 12 Wednesday afternoon that some received citations from the Sheriff's Department with fines attached.
But students said the walkout today, which included more than 50 participants, was a definite success.
"We hope it keeps the teachers that actually appreciate us. We appreciate them," said student Dani Hageny.
Northwoods composite panels could mean improvements for home foundations
EAGLE RIVER - A new type of foundation could give you a better way to build a home, and the idea for the improvement starts right here in the Northwoods.
Composite Panel Systems in Eagle River builds composite panels for home foundations. Composite means anything made of two or more materials, which includes fiberglass in this case. The company describes the EPITOME Quality Foundation Wall as a revolutionary composite building solution for residential foundations.
The company makes them off site, and then they put them together on location. Composite Panel Systems' Scott Weber says that means a shorter build time compared to concrete foundations.
Gardens need some help with large temperature swings in summer
RHINELANDER - Northwoods heat the past few days forced plants to endure different weather, but you don't need to do extra gardening just because it's hot.
Experts at Hanson's Garden Village in Rhinelander say plants can manage the heat just fine. On hot, sunny days, many plants will wilt, but that doesn't mean they need more water.
"If the soil is moist on a hot day, I wouldn't water more. That's probably more harm. The plant can only take up so much moisture at a time, so I would just hold off on watering," says Sue Hanson, Hanson's Garden Village Co-Owner.
MILWAUKEE - Authorities are looking for a fourth suspect in a shooting on an interstate in Milwaukee County.
Sheriff David Clarke says people in a minivan and another vehicle were shooting at each other in a ``running gun battle'' on Interstate 43 Tuesday afternoon. One vehicle struck the other and the minivan spun into the ditch near Fox Point. Three people in the van were arrested. Authorities say a fourth person left the scene.
CONOVER - The Chain Skimmers Water Ski Team from Conover won the state title for their division last weekend in Wisconsin Rapids. Summer water ski shows are a wonderful part of the Spirit of the North.
"I don't know how to spend the summer anywhere else," said Jessica Clark.
She is one of about 35 skiers between the ages of 12 and 31 who spend their summers on Lake Pleasant in Conover. They come from Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida and Texas.
MERRILL - Members of a Northwoods union chapter gathered unique inspiration for a fundraiser - The Beatles.
Merrill-area Local 6 members gathered Wednesday on the Wisconsin flowage to raise money for groups in need of assistance. The union leaders organized boat rides, raffles, barbecues, and contests. The inspiration for the fundraiser came, in part, from the 1965 Beatles single Help!
"I found out it was the anniversary of the 'Help!' release from The Beatles record, and I decided, let's help our community," said Local 6 Vice President Valerie Nelson. "Our membership is very passionate about certain organizations within our community. One being the Lincoln County Humane Society, the local food pantry, and the American Cancer Society."
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