WIAA board passes football practice changesSubmitted: 06/26/2014
Story By WIAA

STEVENS POINT - The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control convened for its annual summer meeting and acted on coaches advisory committee recommendations for winter sports and a football player-on-player contact policy that impact the 2014-15 season regulations Thursday.

The Board approved a recommendation supported by the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association, the Sports Medical Advisory Committee and the Executive Staff that places limitations on player-to-player contact that simulates live game action in practices. Player-on-player contact drills are divided into five categories, and limitations are placed on the competition/full contact designations. For the first week of practice, no full contact is permitted. In the second week of practice, full contact is limited to 75 minutes per week, excluding a scrimmage; and for the third week and beyond, 60 minutes of full contact is permitted per week, excluding games.

The Board approved the use of video replay to review and verify questionable goals and to correct the game time at the State Boys and Girls Hockey Tournaments beginning in 2015.

Six of the recommendations made in basketball received Board approval. A six-quarter waiver will be provided to programs that have 12 or fewer players across two levels beginning in 2014-15. Also passed were provisions to increase the number of games for freshman-only teams from 20 to 22 and to allow head coaches of programs in grades 9-12 to use the coaching box.

Beginning with the 2015 tournaments, Division 5 teams will now have the same provision as Division 4 in deallng with conflicts that arise when a school's girls team is scheduled to play a sectional semifinal on Thursday evening, the same night as the school's boys team is scheduled to play in the State semifinal. In these instances, the girls sectional semifinal will be moved to Wednesday evening. In addition, a three-point field goal shooting competition, scheduled for the Saturday prior to the boys and girls State Tournament finals in 2015, received the go-ahead from the Board.

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PARK FALLS - Many people in the Northwoods go to church on Sunday mornings, and for some of them it may be begrudgingly.

But there are plenty of people, often elderly or sick, who want to go to church but have a hard time doing so.

Peace Lutheran Church in Park Falls wanted to change that. Since May, they've been undergoing some construction. On Sunday, the church had a dedication ceremony for a special new addition—an elevator.

Now people like 100-year-old Ruth Olson can worship with greater ease.

Before the elevator, Olson said she would get to church by literally pulling herself up the stairs using the railing.

Olson's story is like many. As the older population grows, church buildings don't evolve with them. The buildings are often old and sometimes lack accomodating features for the elderly or disabled, and takes money to update the buildings.

"We have churches where the people are getting older and it's very hard for people to get around," said Rev. Dwayne Lueck, the district president for the North Wisconsin District Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod.

Some parishoners couldn't do what Ruth used to do, and so they would have to worship at a service held across the street in the day care center, instead of in the beautiful church.

"Now all the services can be over here," said Rev. Dale Heinlein, the pastor of Peace Lutheran.

The congregation at Peace Lutheran believed in an elevator, so they paid for it.

"We been talking and planning this for...a long time," said Dick Ross, president of the congregation. "Pretty hard for some of the people, and I think you saw them, pretty hard for some of the people to worship here, so it was time."

"You can see it in their eyes more than anything when they know they have access and when they come up here and just enter the building and no steps, it's a great thing," said Buzz Peters, a parishoner who helped design the new elevator and space.

"We can finally have access for everybody to get into the worship facility, free access, that's what this is all about," Heinlein said. 

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Stroebel says the swap would save money by removing local projects from burdensome federal regulations.

He has been a vocal advocate for doing away with prevailing wage statutes, which require minimum salaries for workers on government-funded construction projects.

Spokeswomen for GOP legislative leaders didn't respond to inquiries about the bill's chances.

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