Preliminary Budget Approved at Annual Tomahawk School Board Meeting Published on 09/13/2017 under News A sparse crowd of residents heard the proposed Tomahawk School district budget and approved the necessary tax levy to support the budget at last night's annual meeting.

School Administrator Terry Reynolds briefly walked through the various figures for those in attendance. In the end, the numbers added up to a levy of $13.7 million dollars, up from $11.3 million last year.

This year is the first under the voter approved $3 million dollar referendum passed this spring.

The district's portion of the levy amounts to a $9.75 mill rate.

Reynolds noted these figures are preliminary. They still await both finalized enrollment numbers, as well as approval of the state budget which includes education funding.

The final budget will likely be back before the board at a special meeting in late October.

School Board Recap

Following the annual meeting, it was the regular September board meeting.

The board approved consent agenda items with minimal discussion. The list included the hires of Theresa L'Esperence as an elementary teacher; aides Alex Martino, Margie Welke, Julie Theis, and Sara Pfarr; as well as Joe Lilley as a custodian.

A majority of the meeting was staff reports and updates related to the start of the school year. High School Principal Ryan Huseby noted that their registration event went well this year, as did the transition to utilizing online registration and sign up forms. He estimated about a 75% attendance for the freshman orientation.

Likewise, Middle School Principal Wendell Quisenberry their open house went well overall, as did their technology night outreach for parents. He briefly went over a small change to their PBIS reward program. Traditionally the students received 'Hatchet Cash' as a reward, to use on themselves. This year they will introduce a program that allows those students to spend their rewards for community outreach causes. They'll be selected on a rotating monthly basis.

Elementary Principal Penny Antell briefly mentioned their 'kindness slips' theme, as well as a Kindness Quilt being hung within the halls of the cafeteria.

There were just a few action items at the meeting. Due to a schedule conflict, the board will meet a day early next month. As part of the ongoing several year project to update and modernize policies, the board approved the first reading of what was described as four boiler plate policies.

The board then entered closed session for superintendent evaluation.

In Other News

Tomahawk Provides Thanksgiving Community Meal
Published on 11/23/2017 under News The Tomahawk community will once again provide the opportunity for people to enjoy Thanksgiving with some new friends and neighbors. Volunteers have once again been busy in the kitchen this morning for the annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner. Organizers are planning on serving up a traditional holiday meal including turkey and all the trimmings. They say its a way to provide for those that may otherwise be alone on Thanksgiving. The best part is that the meal is free. Those same volunteers will also be out in the community this afternoon delivering meals for those that aren't able to leave their homes. For those that would like to stop by, the meal is at St. Mary's Corpus Christi Center from 11am to 1pm.
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Remember Food Preperation Safety Over the Holidays
Published on 11/23/2017 under News People throughout the Northwoods are opening their homes to friends and family for a Thanksgiving feast today. The Lincoln County Health Department is reminding home cooks to think about food safety during this holiday season. Kristin Bath is a public health educator with the Lincoln County Health Department. She noted that carrying food from one location to another and sharing dishes with a crowd means more opportunity for bacteria or food poisoning. To make sure everyone enjoys a healthy holiday season, they offered up some additional food preparation tips. Starting with the typical main course, the turkey. Always keep raw poultry seperate from other foods and be sure to wash hands, knives, and cutting boards after coming into contact with raw meat. Once the bird is in the oven, make sure it reaches a temperature of at least 165 degrees in the inner most portions of the thigh. Speaking of food temperatures, the health department highlighted the 'danger zone.' Always keep hot food hot, above 135 degrees; and keep cold food cold, below 41 degrees. Bacteria grow more easily in the temperatures between. Finally, if you have any left overs remaining, try to refrigerate them within two hours after serving.
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Runners Burn Off Thanksgiving Calories with 'Turkey Trot'
Published on 11/23/2017 under News While many will be feasting this afternoon and evening, a group in Price County will be burning off some calories before their big meal. The Park Falls community is hosting their annual Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving morning. Organizers said the participants won't feel as guilty about indulging in Thanksgiving dinner after hitting the course. A number of other communities including Wausau host similar events. Proceeds from the run in Park Falls will go to benefit their local food pantry. To continue with their Thanksgiving theme, the first male and female finishers of the race will be presented with a free turkey.
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Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest Launches Interactive Map for Feedback
Published on 11/23/2017 under News The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest has launched an interactive map to help gather comments on campgrounds, boat landings, picnic areas and beaches as it works to develop a sustainable recreation program. Jeff Mell, Lands, Recreation and Wilderness program manager for the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, "The interactive map allows visitors to click on specific recreation sites and share their comments on how they use the site and why it is important to them." The Forest is looking to develop a long lasting sustainable program that balances the economic, social and environmental benefits with changing public needs and flat or declining federal budgets. The comments received will be combined with the Forest's internal analysis and used to develop a draft proposal for a sustainable recreation program. The Forest anticipates sharing a draft proposal in spring 2018.  They'll continue to accept public feedback through the end of the year. Link to Feedback Page and Interactive Map
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Hunters Embracing Online Deer Registration
Published on 11/23/2017 under News Over the years the state has transitioned into an online deer registration system known as GameReg. As part of their opening weekend summary, the DNR says that hunters have embraced the change. They said that 62 percent of the registrations have occurred via the internet. They noted that a call-in phone option is still available and has worked well for other hunters. The DNR also has a number of in-person sites that assist the hunter in using the GameReg system. Hunters are still required to register their deer by 5pm the day after the harvest. Big Game ecologist Kevin Wallenfang added, "Since the registration process is so critical to the management of Wisconsin's deer herd..." He reminds "hunters who forgot to register their deer to complete this process, even if beyond the 5 p.m. deadline."
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Opening Weekend Deer Registration Up in Northwoods
Published on 11/22/2017 under News While the opening weekend deer harvest was down statewide, here in the Northwoods hunters actually registered more deer than last year. The DNR released the preliminary registration totals for opening weekend yesterday. Statewide, hunters registered just under 103,000 deer opening weekend. Last year, that opening weekend total was 116,000. The DNR said that some decline could be due to rainy and windy conditions in southern Wisconsin. In the 19 county region known as the 'Northern Forest Zone,' there was an 11 percent increase in 2017. The region includes Lincoln County which saw a 36 percent increase. This year hunters registered 1,397 deer in Lincoln County, after registering 1,029 deer opening weekend of last year. Oneida and Vilas Counties saw smaller increases in registration this year, but increases nonetheless. In Oneida County, there were 1,132 this year up 11 percent. In Vilas County, there were 723 deer this year, 26 more than last year. The 9 day deer season runs through Sunday.
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Tomahawk Receives 'Exceeds Expectations' in Latest School Report Card
Published on 11/22/2017 under News It's school report card time... Not for the students, but for the school's themselves. Earlier this week the Department of Public Instruction released their annual school report cards for all 422 districts around the state. Rather than letters, the grades are separated into whether the district 'meets expectations.' The districts are graded in 4 categories:student achievement, district growth, closing gaps and post secondary readiness. Here in Tomahawk, the district as a whole received an 'Exceeds Expectations' score. The mark was buoyed by a 'Significantly Exceeds Expectations' grade in the Elementary. That's the highest score possible. We'll have more on the individual Tomahawk scores in the coming days. Administrator Terry Reynolds will also be sending out those scores to parents, as well as a letter highlighting some other achievements within the district.
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Kindergartner Bags Buck in Taylor County
Published on 11/22/2017 under News MEDFORD, Wis. (AP) -- A kindergartner from north central Wisconsin is among the first youngsters to bag a buck under the state's new law that eliminates the state's minimum hunting age. Six-year-old Lexie Harris is no stranger to the woods. Her dad, Tyler Harris, has taken her hunting since she was three. But, it wasn't until Gov. Scott Walker signed the law on Nov. 12 that Lexie could legally shoot a deer. Harris has taught his daughter how to shoot with a youth rifle and has attached a smart phone to the scope to make it easier to see her target. Harris carried his daughter's gun to their hunting stand Sunday in Taylor County. He helped her set up the shot. But, Harris says Lexie is the one who pulled the trigger and shot the 6-point buck.
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THS One Act Play Wins Numerous Awards at State
Published on 11/22/2017 under News The Tomahawk Drama Department had one of their best showings at the state festival in Whitewater this past weekend, bringing back a number or recognitions. We heard from Director Michelle Balda yesterday who said the cast and crew of 'Gossip' saved their best for that final performance. In fact, they brought home the programs most awards in more than 15 years. Among that impressive haul was the Outstanding Ensemble award, which Balda described as the 'Critic's Choice.' Four individual performances were also highlighted achieving 'Outstanding Acting' awards. Those went to Grace Latzig, Olivia Fellers, Marci Trapp and Kiana Callahan. This was Latzig's second consecutive year receiving the honor. The first time a Hatchet has received back to back honors since Renee Raasch in 2000-01. Coincidentally, Balda says that Raasch was honored in this year's festival program as a member of the  WHSFA Acting Hall of Fame for that reason.
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Two Local Donations Provide $12,800 for Honor Flight
Published on 11/21/2017 under News More than two dozen veterans will be able to take part in the Never Forgotten Honor Flight thanks to a pair of donations made in Tomahawk last week. Wrapping up a busy few weeks of Veterans Day events, the Tomahawk VFW held a check presentation. Between those two checks, the Never Forgotten Honor Flight received nearly $13,000 overall. The first check came from the Taj Mahal and Friends in Rhinelander. They provided the local honor flight with $6,800. The second check came from the Tomahawk Wurl-Fiend-Ingman VFW Post, who provided another $6,000. The money came from a number of fundraisers held the past few months including: Road Lake pool tournament, Sew Pieceful quilt raffle, Burroughs Lake, the Farmers Market and Prince of Peace Church, and some individual donations. That $6,000 donation, brought the running total for the Tomahawk Post to more than $41,000 overall. Honor Flight organizer Jim Campbell noted that is the highest total of any VFW within their 12 county region. Over the past few weeks, the Never Forgotten Honor Flight received more than $20,000 from a variety of donations across their region.
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