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A new year brings new leadership to Tomahawk schoolsSubmitted: 09/10/2013
Story By Lex Gray

A new year brings new leadership to Tomahawk schools
TOMAHAWK - The Tomahawk School District started the new school year with new leadership.

Sherry Baker took over the superintendent job in July, but now that students are back, she can get to the part of the job that she really likes.

"My stamp is to be out and about and in the classrooms and talking to the kids. Like when they're out there eating, I'm out there talking to them and talking to the teachers. I'm a teacher at heart," Baker says. "It's difficult for me to do the CEO work without being out there. I figure, there are evenings in my life, that's when I can do this paperwork."

Baker taught for more than 20 years in Rhinelander. She spent the last eight years as superintendent in Turtle Lake.

Baker doesn't plan on making major overhauls in the district, because the whole educational system is already undergoing big changes.

"My job here as the superintendent is to help the staff, to help the administration to make all of those changes doable, and yet do very well at them," she says.

One of Baker's first project is creating a new compensation plan for teachers.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

VILAS COUNTY - Two people were sent to the hospital after a rollover crash in Vilas County early Tuesday morning.

At 1:38 am the Vilas County Sheriff's Office got a call of a one-vehicle rollover on Highway 70 near Lake Road in the Town of Washington.

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RHINELANDER - Some giant pumpkins are standing out in Rhinelander.
A few are even homegrown.

Glenn Bessey owns Bessey's Meat Market in Rhinelander but that's not all he's known for.

"I belong to Wisconsin Giant Pumpkin Growers," said Bessey. "The biggest pumpkin I ever grew was 680 [pounds] and that was 12 years ago."

Growing his current 380 pound gourd takes a lot more effort than just some fertilizer.

"It pretty much is a full time job," said Bessey.

This year, his pumpkin means a little more to him than just another powerful pumpkin.

"My father has always been growing pumpkins and once he passed away this winter, I got back into growing giant pumpkins," said Bessey.


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RHINELANDER - Every job requires some level of training. That's especially true when your job is to save other peoples' lives.

But even with the desire, becoming an emergency medical responder doesn't happen overnight.

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PARK FALLS - Last month, Vilas County supervisors rejected the idea of hiring a county administrator.

An administrator would take care of the day-to-day operations of the county. However, surveys showed the board had little interest in that plan.

But the city of Park Falls might want to give a city administrator a try.

"It's just a silly way to run a $6 million enterprise," said Alderman Michael Bablick of Park Falls' system that foregoes a full-time administrator.

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WASHINGTON D.C. - More than a hundred veterans just wrapped up a once in a lifetime experience. 

The 34th Never Forgotten Honor Flight had an unexpected delay Monday, a surprise meet and greet, and many more unforgettable moments.

From beginning to end the Honor Flight was filled with ceremony and gratitude.

"To see all those hundreds of people applauding us in the [D.C.] airport was the most moving thing," said Vietnam veteran Gill Buettner, who served in the Air Force.

"It seemed like the whole city was there to greet us," said Vietnam veteran Ernest Harris, who served in the Army. 

There was an unexpected stop in Pittsburgh due to bad weather.

"I think we lost about an hour fifteen, an hour and a half there," said Vietnam veteran Larry Anklam, who served in the Air Force. 

But the rest of the day went off without a hitch.

"You get to see some things otherwise we'd never get to see," said Buettner. 

The veterans got to see the Vietnam, Korea, and Air Force memorials among many more. The group also met the founders of the Honor Flight program, who were honored at a wreath laying ceremony. 

"To hear their story, that was special too, and nobody is likely to ever have that opportunity," said Buettner.
It's a day the 103 veterans will never forget.

"It was just super," said Harris. 

They hope all veterans get a chance to experience it.

"If you served, you really do deserve it and you ought to go, and you don't have to be a combat vet, you just have to have helped something along the way," said Buettner. 

Tune into Newswatch 12 at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. for the rest of the week to see stories about a World War II veteran, the one and only female veteran on the flight, and another, who at the last minute, got to bring his grandson along as his guardian.

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MERRILL - Someone stole the tires and rims off nine vehicles at a dealership near Merrill this week.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office reports the thefts happened early Monday morning at Stark Automotive along Highway 51.  Surveillance footage shows a white cargo van going into the lot around 1 a.m. on Oct. 15.  The suspects used a device to raise the trucks off the ground.

One of the vehicles slipped off the device, hit the van's bumper, and may have caused damage.

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BARRON - Update:

Authorities say a Wisconsin teenager who has been missing since her parents were found dead in their home isn't a runaway and that they think she's in danger.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said during a media briefing Tuesday that he can't reveal why authorities believe 13-year-old Jayme Closs is in danger because it could compromise the investigation. But he repeated his plea for the public's help in finding her.

Deputies responding to a 911 call found the bodies of 56-year-old James Closs and 46-year-old Denise Closs at around 1 a.m. Monday in their home in the western Wisconsin town of Barron. No cause of death has been released but authorities said gunshots had been fired.

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