Possible downtown reconstruction discussed at open forum
Story By Shardaa Gray
MANITOWISH WATERS - A Manitowish Waters woman wants to change the look of the area's downtown.
Some local residents aren't thrilled with her plans.
The town used a forum to talk things out.
Newswatch 12 was there and talked with the town's supervisor.
"It's creating a lot of tension in the community. I think we have to find a way to fix it and to ease their feelings." said Manitowish Waters Town Board Supervisor, Eric Behnke.
Construction can cause tension.
You can find that feeling in Manitowish Waters.
One person in the community want to upgrade a local park.
But a good portion of the funding would come from a private donor.
"It's creating a lot of hardships, people are not happy about it and as a town we need to find a way to make this situation better." Behnke said.
Liz Uihlein owns businesses in the area.
She wants to change the look of the community and she could.
But the town hasn't approved her proposal.
That's why the chamber sponsored a town forum so people could talk and ask questions about the donations.
"Is there a process that you use to evaluate them? At what point do we say, you know, 'Too much of our budgets is these donations and it's not what we have funded'?" said town resident, Scott Bertz.
"As well as how much of this is the town's plan and how much of this is someone else's plan?"
But many of those questions don't have answers.
That's because donations don't need a vote by the town's people.
"Unfortunately with our policy, if it's a donation, some of the town board members can use that money without townsmen approval," Behnke said.
"I think that's what we need to focus on."
But the possibility of voting on donation spending is still up for question.
"The one thing we can do is be open and honest with people. We have to communicate with people about what's going on," said Behnke.
"If they don't have an opportunity to vote on these projects, then they really don't know about them. So I think it's our job to communicate with the people about what's happening and educate them on where the money's coming from and what it's being used for."
VILAS COUNTY - Whether you're in the Northwoods for Labor Day Weekend or you call it home, you will have to be more careful around mosquitoes.
A dead crow in Vilas County tested positive for West Nile Virus, which is carried by mosquitoes.
According to a Vilas County Public Health Department press release, this is the first bird this summer to test positive for it.
Gina Egan of the Vilas County Health Department said over the years the county has found infected birds.
Egan suggests avoiding mosquitoes and wearing bug spray. She also suggests getting rid of standing water outside your home, such as bird baths or gutters.
Public health nurses stress that most people who do get West Nile do not get sick.
"Twenty percent of the people have it really mild," said Oneida County public health nurse Dawn Klink. "Eighty percent of the people have no symptoms. And less than one percent get really really deathly ill. And those are usually the ones that get tested for it and go in. Other people just think they've got a bug and don't go in."
Nurses want you to call the local health department if you do see a dead bird.
If you do feel you have severe symptoms of West Nile, nurses say to go to your doctor to get tested.
RHINELANDER - This year the PotatoFest in Rhinelander will still have the favorites, like the French Fry Frenzy and Polka Sunday.
But there will also be a few new additions like a beanbag toss tournament, and potato pantyhose bowling.
"The pantyhose bowling that's where you wear a pantyhose on your head and it's filled with a potato, and then you have to swing your head to knock pins, or knock the ball down to knock the pins over," said DRI Executive Director Maggie Steffen.
MINOCQUA - Heading back to school makes many students stress about what they are going to wear, especially when it comes to that first day look. And educators at one Northwoods school want their students to know that dressing for success, is more important than dressing to fit in.
At Lakeland Union High School, the dress code is designed to promote making wise fashion choices. Administrators say they want students to get in the routine of dressing, as if they're going to work.
"We're teaching them how to get ready for college and how to get ready for a career that they're going to be going into, 'career and college readiness', we want to make sure that they understand 'dressing for success', and a lot of times we spend a lot of time talking from that point of view," said Lakeland Union High School principal Jim Bouche.
Lakeland Union High School doesn't require uniforms, but they do have specific guidelines in place. They don't spell out what students can wear, but instead tell them what they can't. The overall goal is to keep kids focused in class.
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