MERRILL - Sounds of dedication and motivation filled Merrill High School.
"We worked really hard since June and July. A lot of twelve hour days, five and a half hour days," said Antigo drum line section leader, Isaac Cuellar.
"We're just out in the hard sun learning drills, learning our music just doing a lot of reps over and over again."
All that repetition paid off at the Marching Band Competition in Merrill.
Eight teams performed on the football field Sunday afternoon.
"What the bands are getting judged on a series of different categories. There's a visual execution or just the general effect of whether their show really speaks to the viewer." Merrill band director, Kevin Short said.
"That was like kind of a chaotic thing. It was supposed to be the spy's running around the neighborhood type thing," said D.C. Everest trumpet player, Jared Bartnik.
"It was like creating kind of an awesome ghetto, not like weird, but fun thing to do. It was like a brawl kind of."
But not everyone was there to compete.
"We just did exhibition again just to kind of show off. Just like yesterday, we did it to have fun, show off our field show and have a blast." Bartnik stated.
Band director say the non-competitive energy rubbed off on everybody.
"It's way more than just about the band directors. It's actually not very much about the band directors at all to be honest," Short said.
"It's about the kids. It's about the herd of parents that we have here today to make all this happen."
"There's like no enemies here. It's all friendly competition," said Bartnik.
"We're all cheering for each other. We're all hoping each other to do the best we can. We're just rooting for each other."
And that's the product of hard work and team work.
MERRILL - The school bells rang Tuesday morning for students across Wisconsin.
Another school year has begun with kids looking forward to a new year.
It also means that drivers should be on the lookout around schools.
In Merrill, police keep a close watch around school zones the first few weeks of class.
Speed limits drop dramatically as drivers enter school zones.
Merrill Police Chief Ken Neff says it's important to be especially observant this time of year.
"Especially the first week or two of school because kids are excited, and maybe not so excited, about getting back to school," Neff said. "They're thinking about their friends and maybe not paying attention to traffic."
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.
RHINELANDER - We'll enjoy great weather this week, but we know it won't last too long. Workers at golf courses across the area know that incoming fall weather spells the end of their season, so they're trying to capitalize on the next few weeks of warm forecasts.
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