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NEWS STORIES

Merrill School Board Candidates Want to Move ForwardSubmitted: 03/07/2013
Story By Hayley Tenpas


MERRILL - Some big changes could be coming to a school near you.

The school district of Merrill will have a new Superintendent next year.
Come April 2nd they'll have a new school board too.
Candidates in the school board race are ready to fight for one of the three open spots.

We spoke with four of the six candidates and the tone was the same.

They want to move the district forward.

"The past is the past, let's move forward and move on," said candidate Norbert Ashbeck.

" I want to make sure that our district, is able to move forward and into the 21st century," said candidate John Schull.

They are two of the six candidates vying for a spot on the Merrill School Board.

Others include former school board president Jeff Verdorn, incumbent Chuck Bolder, current school board president Lin Kautza, and newcomer Linda Yingling.

"I understand that there have been divisions on the school board in the last few years," said Schull.

Merrill's school board has struggled with issues in the past, including political divisions.

"My biggest concern is stability with the board. I think we got to learn to work together and if you don't agree with the majority result, we don't need to be bantering about it in the newspaper," said Bolder.

An open minded board could make tackling issues like a budget crisis easier.

"There's going to be a continual problem over the next years with declining enrollment and we'll be losing thousands of dollars each year," said Schull.

That's something the district can't afford. It had to close a 1 point 5 million shortfall for this school year.

"I would make every effort to try and find monies in the system to keep the system quality and at a high standard without raising taxes," said Ashbeck.

The candidates want to move forward, but they can't do it without the voters.

"I just hope that people in the community vote for a good school board," said Bolder.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/29/2015

- A Northwoods group that strives to help make students job-ready got special recognition from Governor Scott Walker on Wednesday. Find out which group and why.

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

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RHINELANDER - Northwoods supermarkets want to be prepared for the Superbowl this Sunday. Some local stores have ordered a lot more food for this week to make sure they don't run out of Superbowl staples.

The assistant store director of Trig's in Rhinelander has ordered extra shipments of soda, pizza, and snack food. The store wants to be prepared but it doesn't expect food to sell as quickly as it does during other times of the year.

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SUGAR CAMP - A recent grant might help students at Sugar Camp Elementary stay healthy this school year. The NFL and the National Dairy Council gave the school a $900 grant last week. The students get in shape by taking part in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.

"Our kids are tracking physical fitness points and nutrition points every day on the Fuel Up to Play 60 website," said 4th Grade Teacher Robin LeMoine. "They are involved in the 100 Mile Club that we started here this fall, where we're walking one mile every day."

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CRANDON - The School District of Crandon needs a new superintendent midway through the school year.

Jim Asher told the school board Monday he was retiring, effective immediately.

Asher told us he had been wrestling with the decision since November.

He said he made the decision "for him," and that it had nothing to do with the district.

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RHINELANDER - A Northwoods group that strives to help make students job-ready got special recognition from Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday.

Rhinelander-based Partners in Education, or PIE, was one of 17 individuals and groups honored with the 2014 Wisconsin Financial Literacy Award.

The non-profit started in 2009.

It works with local businesses and community leaders to offer additional educational opportunities to School District of Rhinelander students.

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Children and adults at Lac du Flambeau Public School worked hard to construct a traditional Ojibwe Winter Lodge.

People worked together for nine months to build it.

The entire lodge is made from natural materials. Both the gathering of materials and the construction of the lodge were done in a spiritual way: acknowledging and thanking the earth.

"Native people, we look at the trees, we look at the animals, we look at the fish. We revere those things as our relatives. A lot of non-native people look at those things as a resource," said Ojibwe Language and Culture Instructor Wayne Valliere.

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MINOCQUA - People in Minocqua brought back a Northwoods tradition this year when they rebuilt the city's giant snowman.

For a few years, the giant snowman didn't get built, because of poor weather conditions.

"Who doesn't love to build a snowman?" asked Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Krystal Westfahl. "And to have the opportunity to build a 30-foot snowman brings out every kid in us."

Volunteers in Minocqua helped build the enormous snowman, named Snowmy Kromer, just outside of the Chamber of Commerce. He used to be built near the Island City Ice Cream store. But this year, they wanted to try a new spot.

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