EAGLE RIVER - Northwoods schools struggle to find teachers for some classes like Mandarin Chinese.
In the past, that meant students couldn't take those classes.
But thanks to technology, students can take classes even if their schools don't offer them.
"I figured that Mandarin was pretty popular so it would have a lot of use," says Northland Pines High School Sophomore Daniel Livingston.
He didn't want attending a smaller Northwoods school to stop him from learning what he wanted.
Livingston started taking Mandarin classes in September.
"It's just different because the teacher's not in [the classroom] but it's similar because they're still there," he says.
Livingston takes his Mandarin classes in the Northland Pines Distance Learning Lab.
When class starts, a TV monitor turns on, and his teacher appears.
She and Daniel's classmates greet him from a high school in Mosinee.
"The distance learning lab that we have here in the high school is a program designed to give kids choices in curriculum that we wouldn't necessarily be able to provide due to staffing and numbers of students that are taking certain courses," says Northland Pines High School Principal Jim Brewer.
Northland Pines belongs to the Northern Wisconsin Educational Communications System (NWECS).
50 Wisconsin schools team up to offer courses to students across the state.
"Being the only one in here, you don't get the distractions you do with other people," explains Livingston.
He isn't the only student taking classes in the Distance Learning Lab.
Students also take Calculus, Geometry, and Speech from teachers across the state.
"We want to individualize education as much as possible. We want to tailor it to the interest of the kids," adds Brewer.
Northland Pines will also reverse the flow of learning.
The high school will offer a "20th Century Global Conflict Class" to students from other schools in the fall.
"It's a great way to get into a subject that you'd want to learn. It's a great way to stay focused and get everything out of it as you can...I have people I know that speak Mandarin so I think it'd be cool to talk to them in their language," says Livingston.
LINCOLN CO. - The Lincoln Co. Sheriff's Office is calling a death east of Merrill on Thursday a homicide.
In a press release on Friday morning, the sheriff's office said a 77-year-old woman was found shot and killed around 8:30 a.m. on Thursday. In the same home, a 78-year-old man was found critically injured from a gunshot wound.
It happened at a home on Range Line Road in the Town of Pine River.
The sheriff's office said it believes the shooting is isolated and the public is not in danger.
The Lincoln Co. Sheriff's Office and Wisconsin Department of Justice Crime Lab worked to process the scene.
WOODRUFF - Shoveling snow can hurt your back. But some may not know that staring at all that snow can hurt your eyes.
The term albedo tells us the amount of light that's either absorbed into the ground or reflected back up. On days like Friday, the snow pack will really make it look brighter out and boost the albedo amount. That's hard on the eyes.
Dr. Kirby Redman is an Optometrist in Woodruff. He says there are simple ways to protect your eyes from the sun's damaging rays.
THREE LAKES - Plenty of Three Lakes High School students didn't know what they want to do for a career as of Friday morning. By Friday afternoon, many still weren't sure, but dozens got an inside look at possible careers.
The school held its annual Career Day on Friday morning. About 25 presenters included police, an FBI agent, college teachers, and graphic designers.
The school first held Career Day in 2009. Organizers hope students realize they have plenty of opportunities close to home.
RHINELANDER - A former contracted janitor accused of sexually assaulting a Rhinelander student appears headed for a trial.
Stavros Iliopoulos appeared in Oneida County Court on Friday afternoon. Attorneys told Judge Michael Bloom they had not reached a plea deal. Bloom decided to schedule one final pre-trial conference for late August before a two-day jury trial was set for Sept. 4 and 5.
In late November, police said Iliopoulos, 65, took a girl into a dark closet and hugged, kissed, and touched her inappropriately at Northwoods Community Elementary School, a public charter school in Harshaw.
Iliopoulos worked for a contracted company, Victory Janitorial, at the time.
SEYMOUR, IND. - A chain-reaction crash in southern Indiana killed a Minocqua couple on Wednesday morning.
Glenn Cardelli and his wife, Kathryn, both 57 years old, were traveling in south an RV near Seymour, Ind., on Interstate 65. The RV was behind a semi and an SUV, both of which slowed due to highway maintenance.
Another semi failed to slow down behind the stalled traffic and crashed into the Cardellis' RV. The crash killed the couple and John Mumma, 67, an Illinois man driving the SUV.
The vehicles caught fire. Interstate 65 was closed for about eleven hours for cleanup and crash investigation.
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