Governor Walkers Tax Proposal Discussed at Education Meeting Submitted: 04/02/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

PARK FALLS - Governor Walkers plan to put more state money into private schools doesn't make everyone happy.

Last evening, people in Price County got together to talk about it.

"People are deeply concerned about Governor Walkers direct assault on public education," said Senator Bob Jauch.

"It's considered the most anti-public education budget in decades if not in the entire history of the state that prides itself on education."

Jauch had a sympathetic audience in Park falls.

The governors budget freezes spending on public schools, but turns around and increases spending on private school students.

Chequamegon's transportation cost alone is $700 to $900 per student.

"It is unjustified; it is incomprehensible that a governor would disinvest hundreds of thousands of students who benefit from our public school systems to help a few parents at tax payers' expense to go to private schools." said Senator Jauch.

Chequamegon School District Superintendent Dave Anderson is worried governor walkers tax proposal will lower property taxes.

"That's quite a drop in one year," Chequamengon School District Superintendent, Dave Anderson said.

"At $7.70 cents per thousand we're already $2 below the state average mill rate and the lowest mill rate in this area."

In the Prentice school district, the superintendent has taken on more roles than he could imagine.

"I've got five willow kids, if you don't know where willow is, it's 25 miles from Prentice," said Prentice School District Superintendent, Randy Bergman.

"East of III and north another 15 miles. I've got five kids out there. I'll transport them up to suburban up there to get them home. And that's just what we have to do in Prentice to make ends meet."

The park falls community hopes this discussion will lead to a better future.

"I expect that you're going to see whole sale changes. I hope that his voucher plan expanding subsidy of private educations is removed," Senator Jauch said.

"I hope that his proposal to weaken the department of public construction to create charter schools and give it to an unelected, unaccountable group of people is abandoned as well."

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MINOCQUA - By the time most of us finish breakfast, we already start planning what to eat for lunch.

For some kids all around the world, that next meal sometimes never comes.

The Food for Kidz Minocqua committee will lend a helping hand to change that Saturday morning.

Lakeland Union High School's common area will transform into a full-blown assembly line.

Food for Kidz volunteers will pour and pack ingredients into plastic bags.

The goal is 175,000 packed meals.

Food for Kidz needs more volunteers by tomorrow to meet that goal.

"If you haven't experienced this, come out and try it and you'll go away with just a great feeling," said Food for Kidz co-chair John Breiten.

Kids and adults of all ages are welcome to walk in to volunteer.

The food packages will be shipped off to anywhere from Honduras to Mozambique.

Some special meals will be set aside and sent to local communities in the Northwoods.

"It's just a great, fun community event. I think the kids especially take something away that they are giving beyond themselves," said Food for Kidz sponsor and Lakeland Union High School Spanish teacher Karen Roerich.

Walk-in volunteers are welcome to attend either packing shift tomorrow morning.

The first shift is from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The second shift is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

If you can't make it out to Lakeland Union High School Saturday, donations are always welcome.

Call John Breiten at 715-686-7570 for more info.

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Wild Instincts was one of 22 organizations to get a 2016 Cellcom Green Gift. Cellcom gave almost $38,000 in funds out this year.

Wild Instincts has helped rehabilitate wildlife across the state since 2011. Director Mark Naniot explained that with a growing need to help animals comes a growing need for space.

The Green Gift program uses funds from Cellcom's cell phone recycling program to fund green non-profit initiatives.

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But the true first responder is often the person they'll never meet.

It's Nicole Lea's job to be at her best when you're at your worst.

"There's no other reason your calling us to say, 'Hey, hope you're having a great day.' It is their worst day when they're calling us," said Lea.

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RHINELANDER - The Northwoods Land Trust helps protect about 12,000 acres of natural lands in six northern Wisconsin counties.

That amount of conservation is a big job. But the organization employs just one full-time and two part-time staff members.

The Land Trust relies on the help of about 40 volunteers to accomplish its mission, volunteers like Nancy Richmond.

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MADISON - About 30 percent of all absentee ballots cast in Wisconsin so far come from the state's most heavily Democratic counties.

The latest data posted on the Wisconsin Elections Commission website shows 55,000 ballots cast in Milwaukee and Dane counties.

21,700 have come in from three conservative counties near Milwaukee.

Over 183,000 were cast statewide.

Republican candidates typically must do well in those Milwaukee suburban counties to counter the Democratic votes in Milwaukee and Madison.

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MADISON - Wisconsin may be the dairy state, but we've seen a decline in the number of dairy farms.

A report from the federal Agriculture Department shows that Wisconsin lost almost 400 dairy farms in the last year.

About 94-thousand dairy herds were active in the state as of October 1st.

Wisconsin Dairy Business Association President Gordon Speirs says the number of lost farms this year is low compared to previous years.

Annual losses reached as high as 1-thousand in some years.

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GREEN BAY - MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker says Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has to accept results of the election, even though Trump hasn't said whether he will if Hillary Clinton wins.

WLUK-TV reports Thursday that Walker said following an event in Green Bay that "The bottom line is whether he does or doesn't, there's going to be a new president."

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