RHINELANDER - Leaders at the Rhinelander School District hope a new clinic will keep teachers and the districts bottom line healthier.
The school held a ribbon cutting Tuesday afternoon at the new clinic.
School leaders say the clinic will help the district's health costs.
Marta Kwiatkowski, Director of Business Services, says that will save taxpayers money.
"This will be a great service to our employees," Kwiatkowski said. "It will help save the district money but ultimately its going to keep our employees in school and decrease the absenteeism."
The center is only open to staff and families covered under the district's health plan.
Kwiatkowski says the district spends about $5 million in health care coverage. She says about one fifth of those costs came from claims and health care usage at facilities that are more expensive, like emergency rooms,than what the new clinic can provide at a cheaper cost.
The facility will be open Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Fridays from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
It will also be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.
The district says the on-site clinic will reduce absenteeism, reduce school district insurance costs, enhance productivity of the school district employees and provide long term cost savings.
A provider will be on-site for 12 hours per week.
The School Board President Ron Counter hopes the clinic can become a model for other businesses and health organizations in the Northwoods.
"It's my hope that the community will take a big look at this," Counter said. "And if it's accessible it will spread through the other employers in the community."
The new clinic is part of a collaboration with Aspirus. The clinic is named as the Aspirus School District of Rhinelander Clinic
EAGLE RIVER - These unseasonably warm temps can make it hard for snowmobilers to enjoy the trails. The Wisconsin Snow Report says snowmobile trails in Eagle River are overall in poor condition.
On many of the trails, you'll see more gravel and dirt than actual snow.
"You don't know if the season comes to an end at this point because you never know when Mother Nature will throw a twist at things and give you a 20 inch snowstorm because that can happen. You know, the big lake is still open up north and if the winds come down that way, we could see a lot of Lake Affect snow yet," said Eagle River Sno Eagles Trail Boss Brian Scheid.
STEVENS POINT - A former Portage County doctor could go to prison for sexually assaulting his patients. Wilton Calderon pled guilty to three felonies Friday.
Calderon was a caregiver at the Plover Family Practice until leaving it in 2015. He then moved to Connecticut.
At least seven women accused Calderon of sexually assaulted them during appointments. Some patients said Calderon placed his genitals in their hands and performed unwanted gynecological exams by penetrating them with his fingers.
SUGAR CAMP - Update Feb. 17, 2017 10:20 p.m. -- The woman who runs an Oneida County animal rescue could face animal mistreatment charges.
Oneida County Deputies booked Stephanie Schneider on Thursday. She is due in court on Feb. 27.
Last week, deputies removed 39 dogs from Schneider's "It Matters to One" in Sugar Camp and put them at the Oneida County Humane Society.
Police are recommending charges to the district attorney, which include failing to provide food and water, mistreating animals, and obstructing officers.
People who know Schneider say they can't believe this is happening.
"I'm just heartsick about this, and I'm sick at heart for her," said LynnAnn Thomas, a Sugar Camp resident who says she's friends with Stephanie Schneider.
"Those are her children. She would never, ever , ever mistreat them," Thomas said.
But that's exactly what police believe Schneider did. Last week they removed the dogs from the facility after a weeks-long investigation that was prompted by complaints and concerns from several people.
"People that had worked or volunteered there were concerned about the conditions that the dogs were in and the fact that they were not receiving food or water," said Oneida County Sheriff's Capt. Terri Hook.
Those accusations baffle Thomas.
"I been over there several times, it's always been meticulously clean, happy dogs," Thomas said.
Thomas believes whatever condition the dogs were in, they came to Schneider that way.
"She does get some really, really, really desperate cases, and I imagine that they take a long time to heal," Thomas said.
Thomas added she got her own dog from It Matters To One a few years ago.
"I got my little Hankey, he came in in really bad shape, and she wouldn't let me have him until he was nursed back to health," Thomas said.
Since the dogs were removed, It Matters to One posted certificates of veterinary inspections on its Facebook page for most of the 39 dogs. The Sheriff's Office has seen those and is including them in its investigation, which is ongoing and may not end soon.
"Just to ensure that all the dogs are healed and make sure they've received all the care they need," Hook said.
Newswatch 12 has reached out to It Matters to One and has been communicating with the rescue via email.
The state Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection is helping the sheriff's office with its investigation and will decide if the rescue can keep its license.
Newswatch 12 also reached out to the veterinarian who conducted the inspections for the rescue, but has not yet heard back.
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