RHINELANDER - You may already grow your own vegetables, but people in Rhinelander could soon also raise their own chickens. The city's Protection of Persons and Property Committee met today to consider just that.
The committee heard a proposal to allow backyard chickens within the city limits. If they approve, the full city council will vote on weather to adopt the ordinance.
Rhinelander resident Jen VanOrder made the proposal. She also submitted examples of regulations that other cities use.
"It's pretty basic, common sense stuff. They have to have an adequate shelter; it has to be kept sanitary and clean. Obviously the rule is no roosters; you don't need roosters to have egg production. You are only allowed four hens and you have to get a license from the city," says VanOrder.
Fire Chief Terry Williams will work with VanOrder to fine-tune the regulations they'll propose to the city. They'll bring it back up with the PPP committee next month, and then the full council can vote.
Sue Schneider lives just outside of Rhinelander in Pine Lake. She's been raising chickens for years.
She understands concerns people might have about their neighbors keeping chickens, but says hers have never had a problem.
"They're easy to keep clean; shovel out their cook, you know, once a month and that keeps down any odor or anything like that. As far as taking care of them, that is always a possibility. They need to be watered and fed every day. But like I said, it only takes five minutes," says Schneider.
We asked our Facebook friends what they thought. There were a few people who were not crazy about the idea. They worried about cleanliness and people not taking proper care of the chickens. But most people said if their neighbors followed the rules they wouldn't mind. Some even said they thought it was a good idea.
Future Wisconsin Project wants to bring more workers, manufacturers to Wisconsin
RHINELANDER - The Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce group held a seminar at Nicolet College in Rhinelander Tuesday, to plan how to make Wisconsin more attractive to skilled workers and manufacturing businesses.
WMC's president believes the shortage in younger people in the industry has to do with two big misconceptions about manufacturing.
"The younger kids, as do their parents, have a perception on what manufacturing looks like and it's about 40 years out of date. If you're in an advanced manufacturing facility now, it's clean, it's high-tech, the engineers and technicians are working together," said Jim Morgan."We have a perception problem. I think we still have a definition of success that's says unless you have a four-year degree, you're not successful."
Morgan says groups like WMC work to change that perception. He believes workers with a two-year degree are just as successful in the industry.
So far, WMC held seminars at nine other technical colleges. For Rhinelander, more manufacturers could mean more economic independence.
"The Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce is looking to see how it can help and partner with local manufacturers to make the Rhinelander area a more favorable place for them to locate their businesses, as well as to attract and retain skilled workers to make those businesses successful," said Dana DeMet, Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce director.
Over the next six months, WMC will continue to look for ways to attract more workers and businesses to the state.
In December, it hopes to have 1000 representatives for a meeting in Milwaukee focusing on how manufacturing will benefit the state.
WMC also works with the University of Wisconsin system and the Wisconsin Technical Colleges.
TOMAHAWK - The Tomahawk School District will need to make big budget cuts in the next year. The district will need to cut more than $500,000. Rising transportation costs along with declining enrollments challenge many Northwoods School Districts.
“We have a lot of issues in Northern Wisconsin that many districts in the state of Wisconsin don't have,” says Cheryl Baker, Tomahawk School District Superintendent. “For instance in the Tomahawk School District there's about 425 and I'm rounding that off, square miles of terrain that has to be covered everyday two times a day to pick kids up, to bring them to school, and to take them home.”
“That cost is our cost,” says Baker.
The school district does not plan to cut any electives. Instead they are moving from an 8 to a 7 period day.
“We're moving from an 8 period day to a 7 period day purely for economic reasons,” says Baker. “In other words had we not gone to the 7 period day for next year we would have had to of cut entire classes, electives, and or start cutting down teachers full time positions.”
The school district will also need to cut its full time social worker.
RHINELANDER - Warm temperatures and lingering snow on roofs doesn't make for a good combination.
Around 3 p.m. Monday, the weight of the snow on the roof of the building next to the Elbo Room in Rhinelander caused major damage to the building.
The awning to the building fell down onto the Brown Street sidewalk.
Fire leaders say it's important to remember to how dangerous heavy snowfall left on roofs can be this time of year.
“Well with this heavy snowfall this winter there's a lot of snow load with warm weather today the snow melting it created a lot of weight and it can damage structures with all the weight from the snow,” says Josh Schmitz, Rhinelander Fire Deptartment Deputy Chief.
No one was injured in the collapse. The fire department is not sure when cleanup will begin.
------------------------ An earlier version of this story indicated that the facade of the Elbo Room awning had fallen. That was incorrect. It was the building next to the Elbo Room. That has been corrected in the story above.
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