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Tuning into a different kind of retirementSubmitted: 08/02/2013
Story By Lex Gray

Tuning into a different kind of retirement
RHINELANDER - From the outside, Jeff Santy's house looks like a typical retiree's dream: a view of the lake, and peace and quiet.

But Santy's retirement dream is a little different.

"You don't have to be a rock star to feel like one," Santy says.

Santy helps people feel and act like rock stars. He started teaching music and bringing bands together after he retired from teaching English at Rhinelander High School in 2006.

"Sometimes the kids come to me and say, ‘Here's four or five of my friends, we want to be in a band, we've got a name for the band, we've got matching jackets,' and I'll say ‘What do you play?' and they'll say ‘Oh no, no, that's up to you.'"

It's not always kids living the rock star dream.

"I've had a gal who was retired just a few years ago from teaching, and she said I've always wanted to be a drummer," Santy says. "She was 57 years of age and when she started, she said ‘I should have started this 50 years ago.'"

Carly Reich started playing guitar and keyboard when she was 15 years old.

"My brother had put ads up all over town looking for band members and he got no responses," Reich says.

Two years ago, Reich and her brother found Santy's Tunesmith Academy. Santy helped them bring their band, Violet Skies, together.

"I tried taking private lessons, I tried teaching myself, and I tried playing as a group lesson," Reich says."I think the main thing for me was, there's an obligation to the other people in your band to keep getting better and to keep up with what you've learned. So that makes me a lot less likely to slack off."

Tunesmith Academy is fun for the bands and fun for Jeff, but how does it fit in with the quiet Lake George community?

"We got a phone call once when we were pumping the music, and I thought ‘Uh-oh, there's the sheriff's department calling me and saying you gotta shut this down,'" Santy says. "And yet it was someone across the lake calling with a request. They wanted to hear a certain song."

A certain song that brings you back to a time when anything was possible.

"I think kids dream of being sports stars or rock stars," he says. "I can't help them with the sports star end of it, but I can help them with the music end of it."

Violet Skies and other Tunesmith Academy bands will play this weekend at the Oneida County Fair.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 10/17/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

A large building in Laona that used to be a store hasn't been used for several years. Now 2 men want to put the building on the National Register of Historic Places. We talk to the men about the big plans they have for the building.

We'll show you how professionals in the heavy machinery industry are showing people in Merrill different opportunities in the field by giving them hands-on experience.

And we talk to a Rhinelander firefighter about how to stay safe while trying to keep warm this winter.

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

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RHINELANDER - The Tri County Council will hold a candlelight vigil on Friday to honor those who lost their lives to domestic violence in Wisconsin last year.

The statewide homicide report says 73 people were killed as a result of domestic violence in 2016. 

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MADISON - The leaders of Gov. Scott Walker's job creation agency met behind closed doors again to discuss contract negotiations with Foxconn Technology Group but didn't take any action.

The electronics giant wants to build a flat-screen manufacturing campus in Mount Pleasant. Walker signed a $3 billion incentives package for the company last month.

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MADISON - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he thinks NFL players should stop protesting during the national anthem.

The Republican former presidential hopeful sent a letter Monday to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith saying he believes players are showing disrespect for the flag and veterans.

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MARATHON COUNTY - A horse in Marathon County has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

The Marathon County Health Department sent out word of the positive test.

The virus can be spread to humans, horses, birds and other animals during bites from infected mosquitoes.

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RHINELANDER - Chilly fall weather might make you want to curl up next to your space heater or fire place, but those heating sources bring some fire risks with them.

You should never leave space heaters unattended.

That includes when you sleep.

Pets or small children can tip over the unit and start a fire.

This is probably the first time the furnace is on since winter, so you will want to change the filter and check your chimneys, too.

"They've been sitting all summer. You want to make sure those get cleaned. We see a lot of chimney fire this time of year," says firefighter Justin Feaker.

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MADISON - A bill would prevent University of Wisconsin employees from working part-time at Planned Parenthood.

The Republican-backed measure is due for a public hearing before the state Senate's health committee.



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