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NEWS STORIES

One Thumb Up, Two Thumbs Down to Northwoods School ReferendaSubmitted: 04/03/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


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.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MERRILL - A Rhinelander man went to the hospital after his motorcycle hit a deer near Merrill.

Lincoln County deputies tell us a call came in just before nine Wednesday night.

The caller did not have an exact location, but believed they were on State Highway 107.

A deputy found the crash site on Highway 107 near Sugar Maple Road.

The driver, a 51 year old-man from Rhinelander, suffered injuries that could be life threatening.

He's being treated at a hospital in Wausau.

The 49 year old woman riding on the back of the motorcycle was not hurt.

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The center could use your help preparing for the babies.

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Community members gathered with workers to discuss what the group needs to do to evolve and cater to the next generation of Wisconsinites. They also needed to figure out how the group would move forward with possible budget cuts looming. Less funding for UW-Extension might end up hurting rural areas the most here in Wisconsin.

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RHINELANDER - Students at Rhinelander High School hoped they would be driving home in a new car Wednesday afternoon. The prize was part of the school's year-end celebration. The car was the top prize connected to the school's Positive Behavior Initiatives and Supports initiative.

This is the third year that the school district has been involved with the initiative. Throughout the year students who display good behaviors such as being on time and assisting others in the classroom can receive special green cards.

These cards are collected and are put into drawings where students can win prizes such as free pizzas from Dominos. The drawings are a weekly event but the green cards are also held over the year for an end of the year grand prize drawing.

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