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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
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/28/2014

- People living in Tomahawk will need to find another library to go to for a while. The Tomahawk Public Library will be closed for the month of September. Find out why coming up tonight on Newswatch 12.

- Laona State Bank celebrated 100 years in business today. We'll tell you how the small community bank thrives.

- And PotatoFest comes to Rhinelander this weekend, and we've got a preview.

We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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Improvements on the way for this weekend's PotatoFestSubmitted: 08/28/2014

RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's first-ever PotatoFest last year started as a charity fundraiser and way to recognize the potato's importance in our area.

After last year's success, the event will expand even more this weekend.

PotatoFest features a parade, eating and cooking contests, live music all day, and the YMCA Couch Potato Race.

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School District of Antigo loses 18 teachers to retirement, could face a similar problem next yearSubmitted: 08/28/2014

ANTIGO - The School District of Antigo will see a lot of new faces this fall.

The district hired 26 new teachers this year.

They lost so many teachers last year because of retirements and teachers leaving for bigger districts.

The district can't always pay as much as larger ones.

Especially specialty teachers like special education or science.

"We've tended overall on average to be in the middle of the pack but at some levels we're falling behind," says Antigo School District Interim District Administrator Don Childs. "Particularly in areas of high need and specialty. You'll find there are districts that are willing to pay premiums for and that sometimes draws people as well away from another district."

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Free school meals for all Lac du Flambeau Public School students this yearSubmitted: 08/28/2014

LAC DU FLAMBEAU - All students at the Lac du Flambeau Public School will get breakfast and lunch for free this year. A federal program will reimburse the school for all free meals given to students.

The program is called the Community Eligibility Provision. It's part of the 2010 Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act. Schools can participate in the Community Eligibility Provision if they have a high poverty rate.

90% of Lac du Flambeau Public School students already got free meals last year. 23 students needed to pay a reduced price and 25 needed to pay full price.

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Wisconsin governor's race remains dead heatSubmitted: 08/28/2014

MADISON - The latest Marquette University Law School poll shows Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke remain in a dead heat.

The latest results released Wednesday show little movement in the race with 10 weeks until Election Day. Polls in May and July also showed the race to be essentially tied.

The latest poll shows Walker with 47.5 percent support among registered voters, compared with 44 percent for Burke. That is within the poll's 3.5 percentage point margin of error.

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Students help incoming freshmen feel comfortable about starting high schoolSubmitted: 08/28/2014

RHINELANDER - Starting high school can be scary for incoming freshmen. One Northwoods high school wanted to help freshman before they start school.

Rhinelander High School held their freshman orientation Thursday. New students got the chance to do team building, get their Chromebooks and tour the school.

Juniors and seniors were there to help the freshmen.

"I think it helps them feel a little bit more comfortable with the high school surroundings," says Junior Emily Ditzler. "You know, walking in on the first day of high school you're not sure where to go. But orientation helps them know exactly where their classes are 'cause they get their schedules right now, and they can become familiar with the teachers and with their homerooms."

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Wisconsin mourning dove season to begin Sept. 1Submitted: 08/28/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin wildlife officials are reminding hunters that the state's new extended mourning dove season will begin next week.

Hunters will be allowed to kill the state's official peace symbol from Sept. 1 through Nov. 29. That's 20 days longer than previous seasons.

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