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High School Students get a Financial Reality CheckSubmitted: 04/29/2013
Story By Kailey Burton


Photos By Kailey Burton

MERRILL - If you lose the board game of Life, that's ok.... Financial failure in real life is not. Today Merrill high school students took a page from the reality "checkbook" .

Students chose a job, and were assigned "obligations". Those could be a mix of children, spouses, loans, and credit card debt.

"The students go through each station and they have to make decisions and it's determined by how much money they have in their budget for that month," said Deb Brunett, Business Teacher at Merrill High School, "I've heard quite a few of them say, 'Oh my gosh, I'm stressed out and I don't even have to do this yet!"

Learning to balance a checkbook is one thing… Learning about life is another. Brunett hopes her students will learn to prepare for the unexpected.

"If the furnace goes out, you don't always have three thousand dollars you can just take out. So hopefully getting them prepared for some of those unexpected things will help them out in the future," said Brunett.

In the real world of rising debt, and a sluggish economy, more students could probably use this kind of lesson. Their teachers hope this generation won't make the same mistakes.

"If you look at the last five years the foreclosures, they don't have emergency funds. People don't anymore. Some do but there's a lot that don't and times became hard, and they didn't have anything to back themselves up"

A number of area businesses added some realism to the event. The volunteers manned booths to represent different necessities.


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 07/28/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We look into the history of the Eagle River man who was shot and killed by officers outside of Merrill Tuesday morning after he was pulled over in Antigo, shot at a police officer and lead police into a chase that took them to Lincoln County.

We'll introduce you to the founder of the Raptor Education Group in Antigo which helps nurse injured birds back to life and returns them to the wild.

And today was "Miracle Treat Day" at Dairy Queen as the restaurant raises money for the Children's Miracle Network.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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ANTIGO - When you can't catch fish, it's easy to blame the lure. If you need something different, people in Antigo make a lure that you might want to try. The Mepps assembly plant is located right off Highway 45.

Mepps fishing lures were originally made in Paris, France, starting in 1938. Back in the 1970's, a local Antigo sporting goods store owner, Todd Sheldon, decided to buy that facility and moved it to Nice, France. His son, Mike is now the president of the company.

"The guys that own the Mepps company in France were getting old enough to where they wanted to retire so we bought the Mepps company in France in 1972," said Sheldon.

One detail that makes the lure number one in the world is that they use actual animal tail fur.

"The tails are washed, dyed and tied back there," said plant worker Kim Wiegert. "And they're dehydrated. They will store a long time, so they can last 3 to 5 years."

There are many benefits to using real hair as opposed to artificial hair.

"The hair is hollow and goes through a lot of wear and tear," said Wiegert. "Other hairs would disintegrate, and fall apart. With these, it'll last longer, the fish can bite on them and it'll take a long time before they'll actually chew them apart."

Along with the hairs, there is a secret way to put the lures together that makes Mepps the best.

"We have a certain wind that we have and we can tell when we put them together, how it should be. All of our spinners are field tested before they actually go out," said Wiegert.

Even though the company distributes their product around the world, the Sheldon's still enjoy being based in Antigo.

"It's home. I grew up here and my parents grew up here and of course my kids did. And it's such a different pace of life here than the rest of the world," said Sheldon.

Everyone putting the little pieces together are women. Kim is just one who works in the plant that has been there for nearly 40 years. She also gives tours of the facility to the public.

"I like to react with the people when they come in, especially ones that have fishing stories to tell you. It's interesting here and you get to meet other people," said Wiegert.

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ALLOUEZ - A state senator says some radios didn't work at Green Bay's maximum security prison the day a corrections officer was attacked.

State Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, is requesting an independent review of problems at the Green Bay Correctional Institution in Allouez.

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MADISON - Wisconsin's top health officials says the state's long-term care programs for the elderly and disabled will be available statewide by early 2018.

The programs Family Care and IRIS, which stands for Include, Respect I Self-Direct, are designed to keep 55,000 elderly and disabled people out of nursing homes by offering care in their own homes. Wisconsin Department of Health Services Interim Secretary Tom Engels announced Thursday the programs would expand to the final seven of Wisconsin's 72 counties.

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WAUSAU - In less than two weeks, Wisconsin voters will head to the polls to vote in the state's primary.

That's why former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) is encouraging people to vote on August 9.

He faces another Democratic Senate candidate on the ballot, Kenosha's Scott Harbach.

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MADISON - Unemployment is down in nearly all Wisconsin cities and counties.

The state Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday that unemployment rates decreased or remained the same in 29 of the state's 32 largest cities in June. The rates also went down or remained the same in all but four counties.

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FLORENCE COUNTY - Driving through the Northwoods, you can see plenty of deer, cows, and horses…but bison? Those are a little rarer--unless you travel to a ranch in Florence County, where the Rock family thinks they've tapped into a special and healthy food source.

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