Making Schools SaferSubmitted: 02/04/2013
Story By Lex Gray

Making Schools Safer
MOSINEE - When you think back to Sandy Hook, you probably think of the name Adam Lanza.

He's the man who gunned down 20 children and six adults at the elementary school in December.

That tragedy has led to a tense gun control debate…and talks about how to deal with mental illness.

It's also made us talk more about school security – but Lanza didn't just walk through those front doors.

They were locked, but he easily shot through a window and got in.

When Dick Peterson of Mosinee heard that part of the story, he thought he could help.

Peterson's daughter and three granchildren live in Newtown.

"The day of the shooting, my daughter called in the morning, and she said 'Dad turn the TV on, there's something that's happened here,'" Peterson said. "It wasn't quite so bad the first day, but then she found out some of her friends lost their children and kids, when she picked them up. It was tough."

Peterson makes his living putting energy-saving film on glass windows and doors.

But he also installs bomb-blast security film.

"I've done 8 ml bomb blast film to protect people like senators, FBI officers, and big credit card companies," Peterson said.

So why not schools? Peterson decided to experiment.

He put bomb blast film on a glass frame, then fit the border with a retention system.

Bullets could still go through, but Peterson's idea is that if the glass doesn't shatter like it did at Sandy Hook, students and teachers would have enough time to evacuate or call police before an attacker broker through.

And unlike bulletproof glass, Peterson can easily retrofit current windows and glass doors with his design.

"It's just like any of the tinting that I do – it's the most efficient way of saving energy," he said. "The security film is the most efficient way of protecting yourself."

Peterson went through two rounds of tests, shooting at the glass prototype and beating it with a bat and gun.

His second prototype worked out well enough that he's ready to show it to school officials and law enforcement Wednesday.

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WOODRUFF - The state will no longer use county-by-county rules to attempt to slow the spread of deadly emerald ash borer (EAB).

Next Friday, all of Wisconsin will be under an EAB quarantine. That means ash wood can now move freely around the state.

In the current system, individual counties are quarantined only if the tree pest was found there. The state restricted the movement of ash wood between infected counties and those free from EAB, trying to keep more areas "clean."

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CRANDON - An inmate in the Forest County Jail committed suicide Wednesday morning. 

According to a press release from the Forest County Sheriff's Office, jail staff found the man shortly after 6:30 a.m.

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CRANDON - A Crandon parent group wants school board members removed in a recall election. That process started Wednesday.

Last Thursday, the board suspended superintendent Dr. Doug Kryder while he's under investigation by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.

The group, Citizens United for Education, supported that move, but its concerns extend beyond Kryder. It says the board is unwilling to listen to its concerns.

Community member Jeff Albrecht plans to run in the recall election. Last Monday, he spoke before Kryder, the board, and about 200 people at a school board meeting.

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CRANDON - A jury found a Crandon woman guilty Wednesday of trying to sneak narcotics into the Forest County Jail. 

Patricia Kirker was found guilty on all five felonies. 

The jury made its decision in less than an hour.

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RHINELANDER - The ground won't thaw for another month or so, but you can start planning your garden now.

You'll have to wait until mid-May to plant flowers, but you can get away with some vegetable seeds.

Bare root plants are also a good option for early-spring. Those include apple trees, blueberry and raspberry bushes.

"We can help out here when you come out and make sure you get everything you need to get started."

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EAGLE RIVER - You typically find cotton or denim running through her sewing machine, but Chris Gaffron has been sewing a lot of plastic lately.

"It's just straight stitching, so anyone can do it," Gaffron said.

The "StitchIt" custom embroidery store owner worked on sewing old plastic feed bags from a friend's horse barn, which don't biodegrade.  Gaffron and her friend talked about ways to make better use of the trash and came up with an idea to help the homeless.

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ASHLAND COUNTY - The Ashland County Board has rejected a $9.5 million wrongful death claim from the family of a 14-year-old boy who was fatally shot by a sheriff's deputy.

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