NEWS STORIES

Students Get New Outlook on Learning with Outdoor ClassroomSubmitted: 11/02/2012

BUTTERNUT - Most students want to get outside for recess. Now, students in Butternut will have a whole new outlook on learning thanks to an outdoor classroom and student forest.

"The community can come and use it, the school can come and use it, it'll be here for years and years," says High School Science Teacher Dawn Ertl.

But this outdoor classroom and forest is seven years in the making. The Butternut School District raised nearly $50,000 to get kids out of the classroom and into the world.

"We don't have the resources larger schools do so having the community come together has made all the difference," says Ertl.

Students here will use the outdoor classroom and forest in a number of ways. English students can take a walk through the trails and do some creative writing, and Biology students can study the environment at its best.

"There's so many mathematical learning opportunities through these kinds of projects. It's a great way to get people engaged and understand the world around them better," says DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp.

Students from classes that helped build their new classroom are taking away lasting memories.

"This is the only class I know of that you get to actually come outside, was the Field Biology class. And getting to make it so other kids can come out too is probably the best part," says junior Liz Pritzl.

Story By: Lyndsey Stemm

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 IN OTHER NEWS
"See Tracks, Think Train" campaign stresses caution near Wisconsin railroadsSubmitted: 04/15/2014

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TOMAHAWK - The number of crashes, injuries, and deaths on Wisconsin railroads shot up last year.

Many more drivers and walkers got hurt or killed with trains than in 2012.

Railroad safety leaders say people run into two major problems around tracks.

Some people are unsafe while at railroad crossings.

Others trespass onto or across tracks, using them as a path or shortcut.

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Bringing more art to the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 04/15/2014

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THREE LAKES - A local library wants to bring more art into a Northwoods community.

The Demmer Memorial Library is featuring M.C. Escher's artwork this week.

The exhibit is there to help the public celebrate national library week.

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Jaeger will become Minocqua's new police chiefSubmitted: 04/15/2014

MINOCQUA - Lt. David Jaeger will be Minocqua's new police chief.

Minocqua has been operating without an official police chief since last October.

That's when former chief Andy Gee resigned.

Earlier in the fall, the Town of Minocqua had reached a $100,000 settlement with Gee's former administrative assistant, Julie Mager.

That was after Gee accused Mager of yelling at him so loud it could be heard throughout the department.

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Mark Bucki takes stand in murder trialSubmitted: 04/15/2014

MERRILL - A man accused of killing his wife in Lincoln County speaks in his own defense.

Mark Bucki is on trial for the murder of his wife Anita.

She disappeared about a year ago.

Anita Bucki's body was found a few weeks later in a Taylor County swamp.

She had been strangled and stabbed.

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Wisconsin silver alert bill helps save at-risk adults Submitted: 04/15/2014

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WISCONSIN - Six out of ten people with Alzheimers and dementia will wander off at some point.

That puts them at risk for injury or even death. And not all of those people are found quickly enough.

That's why Governor Scott Walker recently signed a bill that will help find them quicker.

The Wisconsin Silver Alert bill will create a program that works like an Amber Alert for missing children.

An effective alert system is crucial to the Northwoods because of the growing aging population and severe winter weather.

For advocacy groups like the Alzheimer's Association, the new bill is a huge victory.

"Family caregivers of people who have Alzheimers, or another type of dementia are worried and concerned about whether or not their loved one might wander away from home," said Julie St. Pierre, an outreach specialist for the Alzheimer's Association in Rhinelander. "It's very important that those caregivers out there know that there are important resources that can help keep their loved ones safe in the home. The Silver Alert is certainly now a part of that safety net that we have in place."

The Alzheimer's Association was just one group that worked closely with the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network to get this bill passed.

A coordinator for the network believes this system will save lives.

"This bill really advances [us] one step forward in addressing the needs of an aging population. And that's extremely important in the Northwestern part of Wisconsin," said Joe Libowsky, coordinator for the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network. "In the Rhinelander area, where you have fairly severe weather, it makes the urgency of getting out the alert as quickly as possible even more important."

The alert system will heavily involve all 500 law enforcement agencies in the state to respond to at-risk adults who are reported missing.

Wisconsin joins 30 other states with a silver alert system.


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Roads to blame for 2 car crash in Minocqua Submitted: 04/15/2014

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MINOCQUA - People need to drive slow since roads are still icy. There was a two car crash at 8 a.m. Tuesday on Old Highway 70 in Minocqua. Two people were transported to Howard Young Medical Center. Police say road conditions were a factor.

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Rhinelander man who shot uncle pleads out, may avoid further punishmentSubmitted: 04/15/2014

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- A Rhinelander man admitted to shooting and injuring his uncle last August.

But now, he may get all charges dropped without further punishment.

Marcus Alsteens pleaded guilty to one felony charge Tuesday in Oneida County court.

In a deal, prosecutors dismissed three other charges, including attempted murder.

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