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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 - You know summer in the Northwoods will soon be here when seasonal businesses start opening up again.

Wildwood Wildlife Park opened up Saturday in Minocqua.

Hundreds of people rushed to the gate today to see all different types of animals, some local and some exotic.

"We are so busy today but it's a beautiful day to come out to Wildwood," said the park's director Judy Domaszek. "This is one of our baby aoudads, it's an African sheep, and as you can see in the background there are many people busy playing with the baby goats, and the sheep and the pigs and the tortoises, and they're just enjoying their day."

On Saturday the park had a giraffe feeding.

Workers also have been renovating and expanding the park.

The park has many new animals on the way, including some baby animals that were born there.

"The mouflon sheep are new, we've got some new reptiles, we have some new babies that we're going to have down in the nursery in a little while," Domaszek said. "We actually had a baby badger born here at the zoo. And we have a baby kangaroo. Those guys are all coming down when it's safe to come down."

Wildwood is open every day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Then after Memorial Day the park stays open till 5:30 p.m. for the summer. 


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NORTHWOODS - Prescription drugs play an important role in our health.

They help us recover if we're sick, cope if we have a chronic condition and help manage pain.

But those drugs can expire or just stay in the back of our medicine cabinets for months or years.

And if those drugs get into the wrong hands—such as toddlers or abusers—that's a problem.

That's why many local police and sheriff's departments participate in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back program.

It's run by the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Saturday was National Take-Back Day.

"We're keeping the controlled substances in the hands they're supposed to be in, especially with the pill epidemic now, it's important that these stay out of the hands of people that are abusing them," said Minocqua Police Officer Matthew Tate. 

Several area police departments hosted drop-offs Saturday. 

You can drop off prescription or over-the-counter pills, ointments, patches, non-aerosol sprays, vials and pet medications. You cannot bring in inhalers or aerosol cans, and you cannot drop off illegal drugs or needles.

All the drugs are brought to the state Department of Justice where they will be incinerated.

That's better than just flushing them or throwing them out in the trash.

"It's very important that it's not getting into our ground water is the main thing," Tate said. "We just don't want people dumping them in toilets or in their garbage."

If you have prescription drugs you want to get rid of safely, don't worry if you missed Saturday's opportunity. Many area police stations have drug drop-off bins in their lobbies, so you can drop them off any time of the year.


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WISCONSIN RAPIDS - We now know who were the three people killed during Wednesday's double-murder suicide in Wisconsin Rapids.

The Wisconsin Rapids Police Department says  36-year-old Justin Bohn of Wisconsin Rapids shot and killed his 5-year-old daughter, Paige, and his 3-year-old son, Devon.



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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 04/29/2016

- Local schools have stepped up to show their support for the Antigo community after last weekend's prom shooting. We'll show you what that effort looks like at Lakeland.

- Plus, a local greenhouse that was destroyed by a tornado in 2011 and was rebuilt is celebrating it's20th anniversary. We'll take you to the celebration.

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

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RHINELANDER - Making sure nearly 400 families get enough to eat each month takes a lot of resources.

That's why the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry hopes a new spring fundraiser will help.

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MINOCQUA - Lakeland and Antigo generally square off as rivals in Great Northern Conference competition. But on Friday, nearly a week removed from the prom shootings in Antigo, Lakeland wanted to show that it was on Antigo's side.

"It's hard to react to something like this, because you want to be concerned, and you want to help, but it's hard to know how to help," said Maggie Laurence, a Lakeland sophomore and Student Council member.

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MERRILL - Five years ago, the tornado in Merrill destroyed Zoellner's Greenhouse.

"They all went down," says April Zoellner.

But the Zoellner family didn't give up. The family was able to rebuild thanks to help from the community.

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