RHINELANDER - The School District of Rhinelander renewed a grade school teacher's contract as he faces drug-related charges in Oneida County Court.
District Superintendent Kelli Jacobi told Newswatch 12 Anthony Klein's contract was renewed Monday night, however those discussions were separate from any legal troubles Klein faces. Klein teaches fourth grade at Central Intermediate School.
Jacobi explained contract renewals routinely happen each spring.
"His performance and contract is a completely separate thing from the court process," Jacobi said in a phone conversation Wednesday morning.
Klein, 33, was arrested March 26 after deputies found him in a "very lethargic" state in a car outside the Shell gas station on Highway 47 and County K around 7:30 p.m.
Officers described him as drowsy, moving slowly, and taking a long time to respond to questions. Klein said he had not been drinking, but noted he took his Adderall prescription at 5:30 a.m.
Deputies asked Klein to get out of the car to perform several field sobriety tests. Klein used the car door to balance himself and had a hard time standing upright, according to the criminal complaint.
He failed all three sobriety tests, including a heel-to-toe walk in which Klein didn't make proper foot contact, made a wrong turn, and counted to 12 instead of 10.
Police arrested him on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. They searched Klein and found a pill bottle with seven different prescription pills, including some narcotics like Acetaminophen Hydrocodone (a schedule II narcotic), Alprazolam (a schedule IV controlled substance), and an anti-psychotic drug.
Klein was placed on paid administrative leave on March 27. Jacobi said he is still on paid leave as of Wednesday. Klein is in his sixth year teaching with SDR, according to his online biography.
Jacobi said further discussions about Klein's future with the district will be decided once court proceedings play out.
Klein will enter a plea to a felony narcotic drug possession and misdemeanor controlled substance possession charges May 20.
PHELPS - Today, the Robbins family broke ground on their new home, courtesy of Habitat for Humanity.
"This is really exciting," said Dave Havel of the Northwoods Habitat for Humanity chapter. "With all of the issues we've had as a nation as a community. It's really great that we're moving forward and able to help this local family here in Phelps."
Excavation will start in the next few weeks - the next step in what both Rebecca and Cory call their dream home.
"They'll never know what this means to this family," said Rebecca Robbins. "They'll never know what this means to us. I have shed a few tears already and I'm sure a lot more to come. They'll just never know what this means to our family."
It will mean some freedom for Rebecca's daughter Jade.
"I will finally have my own room, after sharing a room with my older brother, then sharing one with my little brother," said Jade Robbins.
Cory works with Select Builders, the local contractor out of Eagle River hired by Habitat for Humanity.
"I can't believe I can do this," said Cory Robbins. "I mean, I've always dreamed of owning my own home and now I'm actually going to help build it."
This will be the 23rd home that Habitat for Humanity has helped build in the Northwoods, and the first one in Phelps.
MILWAUKEE - For the first time in 53 years, summer in Milwaukee won't have a Summerfest.
The crown jewel for the City of Festivals, and the largest music festival in the United States, was canceled for the first time, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Thursday morning in a unanimous vote by the board of Summerfest's parent company, Milwaukee World Festival Inc.
"Given the information available today, and the uncertainty surrounding very large gatherings, we cannot in good conscience proceed with the festival this year," Don Smiley, Milwaukee World Festival CEO, said in a statement. "The immediate future presents multiple levels of risk for our fans, and we choose the side of safety."
Refunds for Summerfest general-admission tickets are available at summerfest.com through July 17. 2020 general admission tickets and passes will also be honored for Summerfest 2021. Summerfest officials said dates for next year will be announced in the coming weeks.
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