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NEWS STORIES

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

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.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Rhinelander food pantry volunteers Submitted: 04/17/2014

RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Area Food Pantry relies heavily on volunteers. Here is a look inside the operation.

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Record breaking snowfall knocks the power out Submitted: 04/17/2014

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 get the job done.

But getting to the outages was a challenge.

A representative for WPS says workers are expected 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.

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Asian Lady Beetles come out after winteringSubmitted: 04/17/2014

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.

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New suit filed over gay marriage banSubmitted: 04/17/2014

MADISON - A same-sex couple wants the Wisconsin Supreme Court to strike down the state's gay marriage ban.

The couple filed a lawsuit directly with the high court Wednesday, bypassing the trial and appellate courts.

The lawsuit says the pair lives in Milwaukee County and married in San Diego.

They claim Wisconsin's gay marriage ban denies them federal rights afforded to opposite-sex married couples.

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House demolished to make way for new construction project Submitted: 04/16/2014

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MINOCQUA - Imagine seeing the home you grew up in being torn down to make way for a construction project. That's exactly what happened to one family in Minocqua. Here's a look today as they began tearing down the house.
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Northwoods landfill increases recyclingSubmitted: 04/16/2014

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RHINELANDER - A landfill near Rhinelander saw more recycling last year.

The Oneida County Solid Waste Department had an increase in recycled materials in 2013.

People might be buying more because of an improving economy, but that's not the only reason for the increase.

The contracts from disposal companies also play a major role.

"The contract for the city of Rhinelander had come up and it was re-bid," said Oneida County Solid Waste Superintendent Brian Dutcher. "Northern Waste at the time was awarded that bid or that contract. All of the materials that they picked up for the city came out here."

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Meth bust in town of Pine LakeSubmitted: 04/16/2014

RHINELANDER - Police arrested four people in a meth bust near Rhinelander.

The Oneida County Sheriff’s Department says the bust went down yesterday in the town of Pine Lake.

Arrested were 38 year old Gerry Frederick, 55 year old Thomas Franz, 40 year old Scott Dumpprope and 46 year old Carrie Steinmetz.

Potential charges include conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house.

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