EAGLE RIVER - After a year of revisions, Northland Pines High School will start a new policy in December: drug testing some of its students.
The school board approved the new policy earlier this week.
For District Administrator Mike Richie, this is a way to stay proactive, helping both parents and students avoid drug addiction.
"If there is a problem, how we can prevent that problem? How can we get students to realize that this problem can only get worse as they get older and continue into the workforce?" said Richie. "I think we're going above and beyond, and I think that we need to help and assist parents. This is a problem that exists all over; it's not just a northern Wisconsin problem."
To Richie, keeping kids off drugs is a collaborative effort. Students will only be put into the pool to be randomly tested if they and their parents both opt into the policy and sign the permission form. Forms for parents and students to opt into the policy will be sent out within the next couple of weeks.
"I think we have to work together," Richie said. "The school districts have to work with law enforcement and the community and reach out to these families. If we all work together, I think we can solve the problem."
The school is responsible for the cost of each test, which totals $30 apiece.
The policy will be in place for high schoolers for the 2016-2017 school year. Beginning in 2017, the policy will include middle school students starting in 7th grade. If a student tests positive, only his or her parents will be notified, not law enforcement. That policy aims to ensure that the school and the family can work together to prevent students from using drugs.
"We want to get the word out that there is a problem in society," said Richie. "If we can be part of the solution, I give our school board and our district a lot of credit for taking that step and moving forward. Not many districts would do this."
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.
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.
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.
All sorts of animals are affected by icy conditions. Some Northern Wisconsin owls dive INTO the snow to hunt small rodents. But recent freezing rain has formed an ice crust that owls can't break through. That means owls are beginning to starve.
Amanda Schirmer has been working at the Northwoods Wilderness Center for the past four years. She says that owls may hang around birdfeeders to prey on smaller birds. They may also be seen near roads.
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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