WAUSAU - A new school year means new teachers, new friends, new books.
And in many school districts this year, it also means new or beefed up security systems.
Wausau Public Schools changed the way visitors get into its buildings this year.
School office staff will have to buzz people in once school hours begin.
At the front door vestibule visitors will need to explain why they're there.
Then the staff can unlock the second set of doors.
Last winter the district-wide Safety Committee looked at the security level in the school.
It decided it should add some extra measures.
"You look at what happened at Sandy Hook and those are our youngest learners and that strikes a chord for the majority of people. It certainly strikes a chord for parents. I think they can easily put themselves in that type of scenario," says Dr. Jeff Lindell of the Wausau Public Schools
That assessment began after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.
A gunman entered the school and killed 20 children and 6 staff last December.
The district installed the new security systems over the summer.
But that doesn't necessarily mean it's finished with safety upgrades.
The District tells us it will continue to evaluate schools' security.
PHILLIPS - About seven years ago, a driver killed a pedestrian walking across Lake Avenue, the main street in downtown Phillips. It was dark and misty that night, and the walker was trying to cross in the middle of a block.
But pedestrians are often at risk in Northwoods downtowns, even on sunny days, and even when they're using crosswalks.
HAZELHURST - You won't find any alligator-filled moats at an upcoming medieval festival in Hazelhurst. But you will get the chance to step back in time during the Northwoods Medieval Faire at Tommy O's Playhouse next weekend.
NORTHWOODS - Children went back to school across the Northwoods Tuesday. That's why it's important to make sure you're prepared for anything.
Emergency workers say it's important to have a plan in place for all possible emergency situations. That plan should include emergency contacts, safe meeting locations, and emergency kits in homes and cars. Officials say taking time to plan and practice is crucial.
"Look at things before it happens," says Dawn Robinson, Oneida County Emergency Management Program Assistant. "Make sure your family, your loved ones, your neighbors, make sure everyone has a plan and practice those plans. That way when something does happen, it becomes more, that you know what to do, so be prepared as much as possible, and practice."
Part of being prepared is communication and knowing who to contact. Officials encourage parents to make sure that schools have up-to-date emergency contact information, especially for small children.
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