MANITOWISH WATERS - A Manitowish Waters woman wants to change the look of the area’s downtown.
Some local residents aren’t thrilled with her plans.
The town used a forum to talk things out.
Newswatch 12 was there and talked with the town’s supervisor.
"It’s creating a lot of tension in the community. I think we have to find a way to fix it and to ease their feelings." said Manitowish Waters Town Board Supervisor, Eric Behnke.
Construction can cause tension.
You can find that feeling in Manitowish Waters.
One person in the community want to upgrade a local park.
But a good portion of the funding would come from a private donor.
"It’s creating a lot of hardships, people are not happy about it and as a town we need to find a way to make this situation better." Behnke said.
Liz Uihlein owns businesses in the area.
She wants to change the look of the community and she could.
But the town hasn’t approved her proposal.
That’s why the chamber sponsored a town forum so people could talk and ask questions about the donations.
"Is there a process that you use to evaluate them? At what point do we say, you know, 'Too much of our budgets is these donations and it’s not what we have funded'?" said town resident, Scott Bertz.
"As well as how much of this is the town’s plan and how much of this is someone else’s plan?"
But many of those questions don’t have answers.
That’s because donations don’t need a vote by the town’s people.
"Unfortunately with our policy, if it’s a donation, some of the town board members can use that money without townsmen approval," Behnke said.
"I think that’s what we need to focus on."
But the possibility of voting on donation spending is still up for question.
"The one thing we can do is be open and honest with people. We have to communicate with people about what’s going on," said Behnke.
"If they don’t have an opportunity to vote on these projects, then they really don’t know about them. So I think it’s our job to communicate with the people about what’s happening and educate them on where the money’s coming from and what it’s being used for."
MERRILL - When you think of movies you probably think of Hollywood, but one man from Northcentral Wisconsin is bringing his feature film to the local screen.
Wausau’s Jarrod Crooks not only makes movies, but he also stars in them.
His latest film, "Dispatched" is based off the Elvis Presley movie, “Girl Happy,” says filmmaker Jarrod Crooks. “My character Jake is sent to go watch my bosses daughter while she’s on vacation with a friend. Then an old enemy is kind of after him while he’s on vacation, so some things happen.”
Crooks made, "Dispatched" on a $5,000 budget and it’s full of romance, action, and comedy.
“My buddy would joke with me, ‘why don’t you just pick one genre man and then just go with it'," says Crooks. "I’m like because I want to make this movie how I want to make It'." "I actually like romantic comedies, I think they’re kind of fun, and I think they’re cute. I like action films because I’m a guy, and I like comedy because Jim Carey is great.”
Crooks is only 28 and has already made 4 feature films. His passion started when he was 12 years old.
“I went over to my friend’s house and he had a video camera. I was like oh we should make a movie, and at that time I was really into, “Wishbone,” says Crooks.
“We’d always remake our own literature pieces. Then I saw my first Jackie Chan movie and I’m like, alright it’s settled we’re doing action films from now on," says Crooks. “From then on it was just a love affair with the filmmaking.”
His latest film will be shown at the Cosmo Theatre in Merrill on Saturday at 5pm.
“The fact that I’m bringing it to central Wisconsin is great because this is where I grew up," says Crooks. "All my family and friends get to see it, so I’m very excited about that and you get to see yourself on the big screen what’s better than that.”
MADISON - A federal appeals court has upheld Republican Gov. Scott Walker's public union restrictions.
The restrictions stripped most public workers of nearly all their collective bargaining rights. Two unions representing city of Madison and Dane County public workers filed a lawsuit in 2011 alleging the law violated their right to freely assembly and equal protection.
U.S. District Judge William Conley found the restrictions constitutional in September. A three-judge appeals panel affirmed Conley's ruling Friday, saying the U.S. Constitution doesn't require the state to maintain policies that allow certain associations to thrive.
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen calls the ruling ``a victory for the law and for Wisconsin taxpayers.''
An attorney for the unions tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he needs to talk to his clients before deciding whether to appeal.
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