NORTHWOODS - Two school districts in the Northwoods may be facing tough times after failed spending referendum votes Tuesday.
But one district is feeling good about its financial prospects.
Close votes left school administrators in the three districts nervous until final results were tallied late Tuesday night.
The School District of Phillips wanted $650,000 each year for the next five years.
Voters rejected the referendum by just seven votes.
A few absentee ballots are still out in Phillips.
The tally will probably go to a recount.
"No matter what happens with a recount, if that happens, we do know that we have a split community on the issue. I think that's something we need to respect," says Phillips Superintendent Wally Leipart.
If that result stands, Phillips will need to cut an extra half-million dollars from their school budget.
Voters in the Wabeno area also refused to pay more on their property taxes.
They rejected their referendum by 34 votes.
"I was a little bit surprised. I had anticipated that it was going to be a very close vote, but I was hopeful that it would have gone in the right direction. I wasn't shocked, but I was surprised," says Wabeno Area Superintendent Dr. Kim Odekirk.
Wabeno will go to referendum again next year.
If that fails, the district will likely close.
One school district in the Northwoods got good funding news.
Voters in Elcho approved an extra $400,000 a year for four years.
"Our goal was to get the information out to the voters on what the district needs were. Ultimately, we trust in their judgement," says Bill Fisher, Elcho's Superintendent.
The money will allow Elcho to continue its academic and community programs at their current level.
ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Do bugs seem to be everywhere in your home, even though there's snow outside? One type of bug in Wisconsin spends the winter inside our houses! They look like Lady Bugs, but they are actually not native to this country.
"They're actually called a multi-colored Asian Lady Beetle. They can be anywhere from a pale yellow to a darker orange and they have black spots on them but you'll see some that don't have spots," says Kerri Ison, UW Oneida County Extension.
RHINELANDER - Our record breaking snow storm left more than 6,000 people across the Northwoods without power.
WPS had to rely on 20 extra crews from Green Bay, Wausau and Menominee to restore power.
But getting to the outages was a challenge.
A representative for WPS says workers are expecting even more outages to be reported.
"Not all of the back roads are plowed yet and that's where a lot of outages are located," said Leah Van Zile, WPS Community Relations leader. "Throughout the day as the temperatures warm, we expect to receive additional calls due to the unloading of snow off of the tree branches."
Eagle River had one of the highest number of customers affected by the outages.
Representatives for WPS say this was one of the hardest winters they've had to deal with.
"We've had some really, really severe wind chills which has really made the temperatures below zero. Typically, only in emergencies do we work in those conditions," said Van Zile. "But pretty much any other time, whether it's a rain storm, a snow storm, a wind storm, our guys are out there working, getting that power back on."
The number of outages dropped below 4,000 since earlier today.
If you're still without power to call 1800-450-7240.
MERRILL - A Lincoln County jury found a Merrill–area man guilty of three charges in court Wednesday in connection to the disappearance and murder of his wife.
The jury deliberated for more than 7 ˝ hours over a two day period. That was also after six days of testimony and evidence from both the prosecution and defense.
50-year-old Mark Bucki will get a mandatory life sentence for his first-degree intentional homicide conviction.
His wife Anita went missing after going to the couple’s house on the evening of April 25, 2013. Bucki claimed the two had an emotional conversation about the coming divorce between the two of them.
According to testimony, Anita wanted to get back together with Bucki, but Mark was seeing another woman and wanted to move on. He said he went to bed around midnight that evening. He said she was gone just before she woke up at five the next morning.
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