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NEWS STORIES

Rural Schools Task Force recommendations expected by AprilSubmitted: 03/09/2014

RHINELANDER - Superintendents at rural schools face challenges like growing poverty, declining enrollment, and high transportation costs.

The State Assembly formed the Rural Schools Task Force to find ways to help.

12 members of the State Assembly make up the task force.

They've traveled to schools around the state for the last six months.

They made two stops in the Northwoods.

The task force turned to superintendents, business leaders, and other community members to learn more about the challenges the schools and communities face.

The state did increase funding for schools in their most recent
budget.

But some rural school superintendents said the $150 per student budget increase this year wasn't enough.

They want the state's funding formula to change.

"Initially when we brought the task force together, the task force was charged to find solutions that didn't necessarily - weren't fiscal. And so what we found is these school districts are doing the best they can with the money they have. And unfortunately, a lot of these solutions will be fiscal. And so that could potentially be pointing to the next budget cycle," said Republican Rep. Rob Swearingen of Rhinelander, the Rural Schools Task Force Chair.

He says high transportation costs, poor broadband service, declining enrollment and lower teacher retention rates will most likely be addressed in the recommendations.

"The report is going to be generated hopefully here in the next week or so by legislative council. And then the task force will get a chance to look at the report and give our final recommendations to Speaker Vos."

The report is expected to come out at the end of this month or the beginning of April.

Story By: Lauren Stephenson

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 07/22/2014

- The state Supreme Court made a ruling today that could impact what evidence can be used in rape cases. Find out more tonight on Newswatch 12.

- We'll show you how a downed electrical wire started a fire in the Rhinelander woods.

- A survey of deer across the state reveals just how tough the winter was on deer in the Northwoods.

- And competitors from across the Northwoods face off in the Rhinelander District Library's Annual Worm Race. We'll tell you who won the crown and how kids come up with their strategy for winning.

We'll have the details on those stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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Laona man faces meth chargesSubmitted: 07/22/2014

FOREST COUNTY - Prosecutors believe a Forest County man made meth and had other people buy ingredients for him.

36-year-old Shandon Tallier of Laona faces four felony charges.

Police became suspicious when Tallier bought ephedrine or pseudophedrine more than 50 times during the last year. Those are drugs commonly used to make meth.

Tallier was also blocked from buying the drugs more than 20 times in the last year. That's because he already bought more than the federal limit allows in a 30 day period.

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Library Page Program benefits studentsSubmitted: 07/22/2014

ANTIGO - The Antigo Public Library can help high school students better prepare for college.

The library's page program helps students become familiar with all of the library's resources. The students get paid to work at least 12 hours a week during the school year. They have a lot of responsibilities like shelving books and helping the librarians.

Librarians think getting them familiar with library will help them succeed in college.

"It's surprising how many kids go to college freshman year and they don't understand how the Dewey Decimal system works," says Children's Librarian Jackie Rammer. "They don't understand how to find a book in the library. Getting experience at a small library, such as the Antigo Public Library, will help you."

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Art competition winners announced Tuesday nightSubmitted: 07/22/2014

RHINELANDER - Artists will find out if they'll take home a prize Tuesday night at the Northern National Art Competition reception.

Artists from across the country submitted artwork to the art competition held at Nicolet College in Rhinelander this year.

Organizers expect about 200 people at the reception.

Some of the artists that submitted work will be at Nicolet.

The artists are competing for $8,500 in prize money.

The entries come from all over the country, but there is art from the Northwoods on display.

Artists from Rhinelander, Antigo and Lake Tomahawk have work in the show.

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Sexual assault victim advocate responds to Tuesday's state Supreme Court rulingSubmitted: 07/22/2014

RHINELANDER - The state Supreme Court made a ruling Tuesday that could impact what evidence can be used in rape cases.

It reversed the decision of a state appeals court in a 2011 case.

A defendant argued evidence of a previous consensual relationship with the victim should be allowed in court.

But the Supreme Court said evidence of a previous relationship falls under the state's rape shield law.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court rules on whether past sexual relationships can be considered in rape casesSubmitted: 07/22/2014

MADISON - The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled today on whether a prior sexual relationship can be considered in rape cases.

A Milwaukee man found guilty of rape challenged his conviction.

That's because the trial court refused to allow evidence that the man previously had consensual sex with the woman.

The Supreme Court decided it was proper to exclude that information at his trial under Wisconsin's rape shield law.

The court on Tuesday reversed an appeals court ruling that found in favor of the Milwaukee man.

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Shoppers enjoy strawberry social and bazaarSubmitted: 07/22/2014

BOULDER JUNCTION - Early Tuesday, Northwoods shoppers enjoyed an old fashioned Strawberry social and bazaar in Boulder Junction.

It was the 28th year the Community Church of Boulder Junction hosted the event. The bazaar featured many handmade items such as quilts, note cards and purses. There was also a White Elephant sale, tables full of baked goods and collectable cookbooks to purchase.

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