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A different approach to the first day of schoolSubmitted: 09/03/2013
Story By Lex Gray

A different approach to the first day of school
RHINELANDER - The first day of school usually means a long day of new schedules and different expectations. But teachers at Rhinelander High School mixed it up this year.

Dozens of high schoolers running around a field doesn't look like a typical first day of school. That's exactly the point.

"We decided it would be a great way to ease the kids into the school year," said Allie Johnson, an English teacher. "[We can] get our expectations out, walk them through procedural changes that have happened, go over the rules, and also give them some time to bond."

Time to bond doesn't just mean catching up on what happened over the summer. Students did team-building exercises with their classmates.
"We were working together to get across the line," said junior Morgan Blaser. "We all have to move at the same time, act at the same time, and react at the same time, and by doing this, that might help us build stronger relationships in the classroom, and help us learn how each other works."

Teachers hope the day will set the tone for the year. They're rolling out a second year of PBIS, or Positive Behavior Intervention Systems.

"The focus is on teaching good behavior and expectations," Johnson said. "So walking kids through these areas in school, teaching them the behaviors, hopefully will reinforce them, and then everyone gets the same message, the same expectation is out for everybody. So to start the school year this way will definitely have an effect in the hallways and in the classrooms."

Blaser says the school felt more like a family because of PBIS - and it helped the whole school behave a little better.

"Our focus last year was tardies, and tardies went down immensely. I think the number was 15 percent over the course of the year, and so it has had a great effect," Johnson said. "It's also affected the school climate. I think kids are much more positive. Kids are more respectful and responsible because those are our key values in PBIS."

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/29/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

On this Memoria Day, we take you on the Honor Flight to Washington D.C. with a Vietnam veteran from Arbor Vitae.

A Tripoli resident found a plaque in his home that turned out to be for a veteran of World War I and World War II. We'll show you what the American Legion in Tomahawk did with the plaque to honor the veteran.

And a three thousand acre wildlife area about 10 miles west of Rhinelander is managed by the DNR, but now it's getting help to care for the land from a local sportsmen group. We'll show you how the Wisconsin River Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society is helping to preserve the area.

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

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Nearly 60,000 names line the walls of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, more than eight million men and women served in the Vietnam-Era conflicts in the 1960s and early 1970s. More than seven million veterans who served in the Vietnam War are alive today.

Last week more than 80 Vietnam-era veterans from north-central Wisconsin boarded the 28th Never Forgotten Honor Flight.

To them, those 60,000 names are personal.

"I've lost some good friends," said Gerald Streeter, a Vietnam veteran from Arbor Vitae. "Great people."

Streeter served in the Marine Corps in the early 1960s, before the Vietnam conflict began to ramp up.
Streeter was also sent to Panama after the Bay of Pigs Invasion and then was sent to a Pacific island for nuclear tests. He recalls hearing of two people who died in helicopter crashes.

"We thought that was terrible that two people were already killed because of Vietnam," Streeter said. "And a short time later another one went missing. One was my drill instructor in boot camp."

Sometimes it can be hard for veterans to find the name of their fallen friends on the wall.

"You called them by last name or the rank and last name, but you never used first names," Streeter said. "So trying to locate on this wall the ones that I was aquainted with I can't find. I've tried several times with the books and manuals they have, the directories. Just unable to find them."

Streeter says his experiences don't measure up to what his younger brother endured. John Streeter, who was also on the Flight, joined the Marine Corps and went to Vietnam in 1965, according to his brother.

"He saw the worst, did the worst," Streeter said. "He was a door gunner on medivac helicopters. He's my hero."

If you want more information about the Never Forgotten Honor Flight, the link to its website is at the bottom of this page.


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ST. GERMAIN - A popular Northwoods tradition draws in thousands of flea market fans.

Visitors from near and far attend the St. Germain Flea Market each year in search of treasures old and new. There's something for everyone.

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ARBOR VITAE - Firefighters in Vilas County called a trailer home a total loss.

Jane Fosch left her home to visit family Monday. 

Not too long after, her house was up in flames.

Jane's daughter- in- law, Linda Fosch, was at the home just before the fire started.

When she returned a few minutes later she saw crowds of people and smoke surrounding the home.

Fosch says she thinks the fire started in either the kitchen or bedroom.

"I went down to my brother in law's house [when I came back] there were all kinds of people and smoke by the house. So it happened that fast after I left," said Fosch. 

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WOODRUFF - Anyone with a craving for "Chicago Style" hot dogs or french fries know they can count on Hoggie Doggies in Woodruff.

This season, dedicated customers will see a new face behind the counter.

This month Steve Pletta celebrated his first season as the owner of Hoggie Doggies.

Pletta's been in the food business for 30 years working at schools and big institutions.

But this is his first venture on his own.

"Food is common to me, but owning a small business like this is a new adventure," said Pletta.

Pletta said the community has welcomed him with open arms, and the transition to owner went smoothly. 

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ARBOR VITAE - Firefighters never leave the station without their gear because they know it could save their lives. That's why it's important they have the best equipment.

Arbor Vitae Fire and Rescue recently put 11 sets of brand new turnout gear into service. Fire Chief Mike VanMeter says the new gear replaces the 12 year old equipment they've been using.

VanMeter also says newer houses are using more plastic, which generates hydrocarbons in the smoke and can harm firefighters. This new gear will help keep firefighters safer.

"To protect out firefighters from these toxic carcinogens so the newer gear is actually built to a better standard to help protect firefighters from those toxic chemicals," said VanMeter.

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MARINETTE - A Wisconsin attorney has decided to resign, saying an unmanageable workload and a lack of resources is driving him away.

WLUK-TV reports that Marinette County District Attorney Allen Brey is resigning next month. He and other Wisconsin prosecutors have been asking for more resources for years.

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