RHINELANDER - Two art groups will come together to offer art classes to kids this summer. Leaders of both groups feel more children need to express themselves artistically. Old School and ArtStart will offer a kid-friendly art program every Friday through August 15th.
"Having an opportunity to meet some of the volunteers of the volunteers and folks from over there, we decided on some collaboration with the program that we're doing and some of the artists that work there as well," says Old School Learning Administrator Louise Perrault. "They have some ideas that are really suitable to working with kids."
The program is intended for children 7 or older. The kids will focus on paper craft projects, including trading cards and altered books. Program leaders say that there has been a lot of interest in the class. There is still more room for kids to join the program.
"We're bringing kids over from Old School and we run 12 to 15 kids," says Perrault. "We have had some other families that have been calling us, and some were maybe just coming in the one time, but we could take 20 kids or even more. We'll find a way to squeeze everybody in that wants to join us."
Anyone can sign up for the classes, just contact Louise at 715-420-0300.
MADISON - The Wisconsin Elections Commission has agreed to lift overseas ballot restrictions to avoid a legal battle.
The U.S. Department of Justice warned earlier this month that it's preparing to sue because Wisconsin law doesn't let temporary overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically or to submit downloadable back-up ballots in case they don't have time to return an official ballot.
Federal law allows all overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically and submit back-up ballots. Assembly Republicans passed a bill that would have aligned Wisconsin's statutes with the federal law but the measure died in April after Senate Republicans added language limiting special legislative elections.
MADISON - Wisconsin Elections Commission staff plan to hire a half-dozen new employees and upgrade software to bolster election security.
The commission received a $7 million federal grant in March to upgrade security after Russian actors tried to access a state Department of Workforce Development system before the 2016 election.
Staff told the commission Thursday that the Department of Administration has approved hiring six new four-year security positions, including an information technology project manager, an elections security trainer and a voting systems specialist.
MERRILL - Three years ago, Lincoln County got good news.
The federal government planned to spend $1.5 million to help give rural parts of the county broadband internet access. It was part of Frontier Communications' agreement to accept $283 million for broadband expansion nationwide.
But then, the contractors, equipment, and better internet were slow to arrive.
Now, Frontier is finally at work, but plenty of people are still waiting anxiously for their high-speed connection.
MERRILL - People on the west side of Merrill will need to put up with the sound of construction this summer. What was once an empty lot will now be the site of the Stonebridge Apartments. The apartments are a new source of affordable housing in Merrill and should be complete by the late summer.
When you're looking at Park Place apartments in Merrill, you might confuse the building with something else.
"I think Park Place looks like a 1970s dormitory at UW Madison," said Merrill Area Housing Authority Executive Director Paul Russell.
But a new apartment complex being built just across the street is going to offer a different look.
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