ANTIGO - Voters in the Unified School District of Antigo faced a tough decision Tuesday. They voted against a referendum that would have closed down five of its district's seven elementary schools, renovated the remaining two, and built a brand-new, centralized school in the city.
If voters had said yes to the $25.9 million plan, North Elementary, East Elementary, West Elementary, Pleasant View Elementary and Spring Valley Elementary would have closed.
Two rural schools—Crestwood and Mattoon—would have stayed open.
The school board president thought this referendum—unlike the past three, which also failed—offered a good compromise designed to please all parties.
"With referendums that we've tried to run in the past, that has not been the case," says School Board President Mike Boldig. "It has been more 'close all the rural schools,' and this time around, the board is very cognizant of the fact that a rural presence needed to be maintained. So that's why we came up with this, basically very much a compromise-type plan to do that."
The district would have also spent almost $23 million to build a brand-new, large, centralized elementary school in the city.
Its current elementary schools were built in the '50s and '60s. Boldig believes modern education requires more modern spaces.
The new school would have also kept most of the teachers in the same building, which would give them more time with students.
"We have a lot of teachers that spend a lot of what we refer to as "windshield time," going back and forth between schools," says Boldig. "They have to pick up their supplies, go to that school, spend an hour or so there and finish up, pack everything up, and go on to the next school."
MADISON, WIS. - Former Vice President Joe Biden plans to campaign Monday in northeast Wisconsin for his second visit to the battleground state in two weeks.
Biden's campaign announced Sunday that the Democratic presidential nominee would be campaigning in Manitowoc, a city of about 32,000 that's on the shores of Lake Michigan about 80 miles north of Milwaukee. Biden did not immediately release any additional details about the visit.
The stop comes two weeks after Biden made his first visit to Wisconsin as the nominee. Biden on Sept. 7 went to Kenosha in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. His stop there came two days after President Donald Trump also came to Kenosha, where he thanked police for their response to sometimes violent protests.
FLORENCE - We have updates from Florence, Onconto, and Shawano Counties on the identification of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer species which attacks and kills all true ash species. They have been found in 57 of the 72 counties in Wisconsin.
Public Lands Forester, of Florence County, Tyler Wood explained how the Emerald Ash Borer likes to travel on firewood, to reduce the spread to other places, burn the wood in the same place you bought or gathered it.
"The Emerald Ash Borer can fly easily about a half a mile, and up to maybe 5 miles away from a host tree to find another tree in order to infect that tree," said Wood.
Though there won't be a significant impact on the environment in Florence county, not knowing if your tree is infected could lead to safety concerns around your property or for people with streets lined with the trees, dangerous roadways could occur during storms.
Forest Health Specialist, Linda Williams, spoke about how the future extinction would affect more than just the forest. The MLB uses ash trees to make their baseball bats, as well as the local Native American tribes whos culture traditions create baskets from ash.
"The Emerald Ash Borer will kill the Ash Trees. And we've seen that happening in southern Wisconsin as well as other states that have had it for much longer than us. Other species of trees tend to come into those sites sometimes they are desirable species and some are not," said Williams..
If you are a concerned ash tree owner some signs that your tree has been infested is the outer bark removed by woodpeckers, and D-shaped holes where the insects have emerged.
For people with 10 plus acres you can file a request with the DNR to have a walk through to understand how to manage the Emerald Ash Borer at mywisconsinwoods.org.
MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction violated state law when it withheld voucher students' standardized test scores for a day last fall, a judge ruled Friday.
School Choice Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, a conservative law firm, sued the department in Jefferson County court in November. The lawsuit revolved around the 2018-19 standardized test scores that the department released that September.
MOSINEE - President Donald Trump stepped up his rhetoric on cultural issues, aiming to boost enthusiasm among rural Wisconsin voters as he tries to repeat his path to victory four years ago.
Making his fifth visit to the pivotal battleground state this year, Trump views success in the state's less-populated counties as critical to another term. He held a rally Thursday evening in Mosinee, in central Wisconsin, an area of the state that shifted dramatically toward Republicans in 2016, enabling Trump to overcome even greater deficits in urban and suburban parts of the state.
WASHINGTON - Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a diminutive yet towering women's rights champion who became the court's second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington. She was 87.
Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court said.
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