NEWS STORIES

New Merrill superintendent looks ahead to future, back on district he's leavingSubmitted: 02/13/2013
Story By Lane Kimble

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PHILLIPS - A Northwoods school leader will make a big leap this summer to a larger community.

Phillips Superintendent Wally Leipart accepted the open Merrill Area Public Schools superintendent job.

He expects to sign a contract with Merrill by February 25th. He'll replace interim superintendent Don Stevens.

Leipart is excited for the move, but knows Phillips helped him develop into the leader he is.

"They gave me the opportunity to take on a leadership role at a district level, and I'm very grateful for that opportunity and theres a lot of great people that I'm going to miss here, and I wish them the very best," Leipart said.

Leipart joins a Merrill School District with funding problems similar to Phillips.

This year, the Price County district is asking voters for an additional $650,000 a year.

Merrill voters rejected a multi-million dollar referendum in 2009. Leipart knows he'll need a plan from day one.

"Make sure people understand the value of investment that they are making in education and just being open with them and answering questions," Leipart said. "Develop relationships built within the community and the students and staff and just bring everybody together and talk about what's good for education and what's good for the community of Merrill."

Leipart's last day with Phillips will be June 30th.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Ice skaters dedicate their lives to become talented skatersSubmitted: 11/25/2014

MINOCQUA - It takes a lot of perseverance to become a talented ice skater.

Between long practices and competing, ice skaters might not have much free time.

Danielle Wolosek has been skating since she was four.

"To be good, you have to like pretty much dedicate your life," says Danielle.

That dedication sometime means a lot of time driving.

Danielle and her sister Tessa travel from Wisconsin Rapids to the Lakeland Hawks Ice Arena in Minocqua every week.

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Phillips man gets two years in prison for failing to register as sex offenderSubmitted: 11/25/2014

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MADISON - A Phillips man will spend the next two years in federal prison, according to a U.S. Department of Justice release.

Mark Harder, 51, didn't register as a sex offender. It was required after he was originally convicted of indecent behavior with a juvenile back in 1998. That was in Louisiana.

Harder will serve five years on extended supervision after he's released from prison. He pled guilty to the crime back in September. He was sentenced Tuesday.

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Man sues Wisconsin police over Facebook arrestSubmitted: 11/25/2014

MADISON - A man who was arrested after he posted Facebook comments calling a southern Wisconsin police department racist has filed a federal lawsuit alleging one of the agency's officers violated his constitutional rights.

Police arrested Thomas Smith in 2012 after he posted profanity-laced comments on Facebook calling police officers in Arena racists.

He was convicted of disorderly conduct and illegal use of computer communications. A state appeals court tossed out his convictions this past July, ruling Smith's remarks were protected speech under the U.S. Constitution.

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Frederick Place needs your help during the winter monthsSubmitted: 11/25/2014

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RHINELANDER - It may be winter but Frederick Place in Rhinelander still has many empty beds.

The Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing provides emergency temporary housing for area counties.

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Students donate 2,000 pounds of food, get to dye teachers' hairSubmitted: 11/25/2014

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RHINELANDER - Teachers at one Northwoods school wanted to encourage their students to give back to the community in time for Thanksgiving. They did that by offering up their hair.

Students at Zion Lutheran School in Rhinelander got to see two of their teachers dye their hair some of the colors of the rainbow on Monday. That's because students donated 2,000 pounds of food to a local food pantry.

Two students and a teacher also used the occasion to cut their hair for Locks of Love.

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Newswatch 12 reports: Teen birth rate drops in the United States, still higher than other countries; Sexual education could decrease rate even moreSubmitted: 11/25/2014

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WISCONSIN - Teen birth rates dropped significantly across the country in the past few years.

Despite the decline, the United States still has the highest teen birth rate compared to other developed countries.

There are many reasons the rate is going down, and there could be many explanations to why the U.S. is behind other countries.

Education could decrease the rate even more.

That could prevent more people from having to go through the difficulties of being a teen parent.

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After Ferguson, focus on body cameras for officers; many departments in Northwoods already use themSubmitted: 11/25/2014

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TOMAHAWK - On Monday, a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri refused to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

After that decision, Brown's family urged all police departments in America to start using body cameras to document situations.

A camera recording in the Michael Brown shooting could have given us a better sense of what happened.

We wanted to know if Northwoods police departments think body cameras are a good idea.

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