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Bill wants school districts to pick start dateSubmitted: 09/13/2013
Story By Adam Fox

Bill wants school districts to pick start date
RHINELANDER - September means the start of school for kids in the Northwoods.

State law requires schools to start after Labor Day. But some state legislators think school districts should pick the start day.

Crandon Elementary Principal Jamee Belland believes it would give her district more flexibility.

"I think in this area we would maybe move the start day up a little bit," Belland said.


The law, along with snow days, usually pushes the school year well into June. An earlier start would fix that. Belland thinks it would also help students prepare for state required tests.

"The PALS test already starts on Monday," Belland said. "First grade has to give that test and then within another week kindergarten and the other grades fall in line, so it's early to be testing to where maybe a few more weeks would give us ample time."

But tourist based businesses worry they would lose teenage workers during the busiest part of the season. Republican State Rep. Rob Swearingen also owns a dinner club outside of Rhinelander. He thinks a change would hurt businesses.

"We really only have that eight weeks to make hay," Swearingen said. "So when you take that second or third week potentially out of our workforce it really is a struggle."

Republican Sen. Jim Ott introduced the bill. He believes it won't hurt tourism because elected school boards would make the changes.

"Changing the law would not require that schools to start before September 1st," Ott said. "It would just simply give the local school board the right to start whenever they wanted to."

But many business would rather have their workers in late August than early June. Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lara Reed fears tourists might not be around if a cold spring stretches into summer.

"Weather and never knowing, that thought kind of makes you a little nervous to think about shifting it that direction," Reed said.

The bill sits in the Wisconsin State Assembly Tourism Committee. Many businesses hope it goes no further than that.



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 IN OTHER NEWS
Oneida County Fair fundraiserSubmitted: 06/17/2018

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RHINELANDER - The new Oneida County Fair Coordinator wants to see the fair grow and get the community fully involved.

It's Tom Barnett's first year as fair coordinator and Saturday at Pat's Tavern in Rhinelander he hosted a fundraiser.

He said he didn't have a financial goal for Saturday's event, but says every dollar is more than they had before and makes a difference.

"We really want to bring the community into the fair. We want them to be involved a lot more. With the support from the community the sponsorship, it's only going to help the fair grow bigger and better. We need that sponsorship we need the support from the community to make the fair grown and make it more successful than it has been," said Barnett.

Pixy the Clown and Ms America were two of the many guests at the event.
There was also food, drinks and raffles.

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MADISON (AP) - Madison is ending its compost collection program because residents were putting too many non-compostable items in their carts and the city can't afford its own biodigester.

Bryan Johnson is the city's recycling coordinator. He tells The Wisconsin State Journal that ending the program will give officials time to study other options for collecting food scraps and other compostable materials.

The program currently has about 1,100 households and 40 businesses involved.

Johnson says separating non-compostable materials is a labor-intensive and slow process that requires additional water. The digester's operator, GL Dairy Biogas, charges a $200-per-ton fee to separate debris from compostable material.

Mayor Paul Soglin says he hopes the city can find ways to work with larger producers before integrating the process into the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District.

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RHINELANDER - It took a local author 30 years to publish his book.Jay Woolf was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia or CLL. He decided to use his pain from the disease to help others cope.

Woolf is from Winchester, Wisconsin. He started writing the book "It IS a Laughing Matter," when he was diagnosed with cancer 30 years ago. He just finished the book last year.

"Every death joke that I knew, started coming to mind and every time it came out I realized it was helping me. If it helps me, maybe it could help somebody else," said Woolf. 

Woolf wanted to use his jokes to help people.He sells his books and also does talks at local libraries. Woolf has been in remission for about 17 years.


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EAGLE RIVER - A week long workshop in Eagle River shows students they're not alone in their passion for nature. Kids from all over the Midwest arrived at the Trees for Tomorrow campsite for the first day of The Natural Resources Career Workshop.

Out of towners visit the Northwoods to escape noise, and enjoy some peace and quiet. 

"I just like being out in nature instead of one of those people playing video games constantly," said 16-year-old Austin Shimeck.

The Natural Resources Career Workshop turned the benefits of visiting the Northwoods into a classroom. 

"Giving them the experience that some of these students may not have had," said Trees for Tomorrow Coordinator Vernon Gentele. 
 
High school students from all over the mid-west came to the camp to explore the unique environment. 

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GRAND RAPIDS - Saturday afternoon a boat crash in Wood County caused multiple injuries according to DNR Conservation Warden Korey Trowbridge.

The single boat crash happened around 12:30 p.m. on Lake Wazeecha in Grand Rapids. Five people were on board when the boat collided with the shore line.

Multiple people were transported to a hospital for their injuries. The extent of those injuries is unknown.

The Wood County Sheriff's Department, the Grand Rapids Police Department and the DNR are all investigating the crash. 

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MINOCQUA - T-shirts and running shoes are typical at a 5K race, but paws and doggy dish prizes, not so much. 

"There isn't anything like this, in this area at least," said Blue Raven Race Productions organizer Karen McCabe.

The first-ever Paws on the Run 5K was held in Minocqua Saturday to support the Northwoods Wildlife Center. 

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MINOCQUA - In just a couple months, the democratic primary will decide which party candidate will run against Governor Scott Walker.

On Saturday, five of those candidates spent time in Minocqua answering citizen's questions at a candidate forum.

Mike, McCabe, Tony Evers, Matt Flynn, Kathleen Vinehout, and Dana Wachs were all in attendance. The forum had candidates answer audience questions on education, healthcare, the environment, and economy issues. 
 
Organizer Jackie Cody said the event was a way to get people informed on each candidate before the democratic primary. 

"At this particular point we need to have democrats, and independents, and those who are questioning what's going on with answers before the magic date of August 14th, and this provides people with information," said Cody.

More than 100 people attended the event.

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