RHINELANDER - Budgets will go in front of county boards across the Northwoods over the next few weeks.
In Oneida County, the budget will reflect significant savings.
The county saved more than $550,000 last year because of changes to collective bargaining and retirement contributions.
Human Resources director Lisa Charbarneau says some of the changes to health care plans were minor - but the changes resulted in big savings.
"We increased the employees contribution level," Charbarneau said.
"The employees are paying an additional 3 percent towards that premium. We have seen good renewal numbers for 2013 and with some negotiating with our health insurance company and changes to deductibles we're hoping to hold that increase down to less than six percent."
She also said it gives local government a chance to look at multiple options.
"It does give us some more flexibility in order to look at those plan designs and that we can change them more often," Charbarneau said.
"With the contracts in place as they were, we used to have to bargain those changes with each individual union with the county. With if there's six, you could have six different health plans."
The county has also completed work on next year's budget.
It's now heading to the county board for possible amendments.
Charbarneau says this year's budget is even more promising.
"The final budget that is being submitted to the county board is actually below a zero percent tax levy increase," Charbarneau said.
"They've worked very hard to get it to that number. Certainly there can be additional amendments and changes made."
The county board will review the budget next month.
ANTIGO - Just a few months ago, the Moore Family was looking for a new affordable home. They filled out paperwork with the local Habitat for Humanity chapter in Langlade County and were told yes.
"We look for a number of things; we look for an identified need, and the need for housing if the current housing is not serving the family's needs," said Langlade Habitat for Humanity President Paul Grinde.
For the home to become theirs, the Moore's must put in 500 sweat-equity hours divided between themselves and volunteers. Leaders say it doesn't matter what set of skills you have, all you need to do is donate a little bit of your time.
HAWKINS - You could face challenges trying to get kids to sit down and read during summer. But kids in Hawkins believe they're doing more than reading this summer. It's all part of a country wide theme called Fizz, Boom, Read.
"The whole idea is to get kids excited about reading, to keep them coming to the library to check out great books, and hopefully have some happy teachers at the end of the summer," says Hawkins Library Director Arlene Mabie.
MOLE LAKE - Health workers often face different challenges on the Sokaogon Chippewa reservation in Mole Lake compared to elsewhere in the Northwoods.
"I think they're a little different. We have a (few) more challenges. Sometimes, for a lot of people, it's more crisis than prevention, or preventative services," said Tammy Queen, who works at the Sokaogon Chippewa Health Clinic. "A lot of times, they'll come in when something's bad instead of coming in before something gets really bad."
On Thursday, the tribe wanted to get people thinking about their health before problems occur.
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