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On Oct. 3 The Star ….

On Oct. 3 The Star News questioned the action of the county personnel committee in ending discussion on filling a position. “Preventing discussion took away transparency in the matter leaving voters guessing as to the motives of their elected officials while creating unnecessary friction with county employees who rightly are concerned that their opinions don’t matter.”

The Star News also celebrated the positive impact newspapers have on the community as part of National Newspaper Week.

On Oct. 10 The Star News called on people to attend listening sessions to help look at the future of Medford Area Senior High. “In terms of building lifespans, 50 years is far from being used up. But it is a time to pause, take stock and look ahead to plan for what will be needed for the next 50 years.” The Star News also called on the federal government to end its disconnect with the plight of independent family farmers. “It is time to end the disconnect between Washington, D.C. and rural America and remember America’s strength has always rested on its ability to weather storms and bounce back stronger than before. This is largely due to the strength of rural communities supported by the backbone of farm families.”

On Oct. 17 The Star News cautioned that all day fouryear- old kindergarten (4K) programs should be expanded for educational, not financial needs. “In making that decision school leaders must use care not to view 4K students as potential cash cows, but instead ensure the programs put learning first.

On Oct. 24 The Star News called on the Medford School Board to change insurance providers in order to save $560,000 a year in premium expense. “Putting that money toward improving the education of children in the Medford school district is a far better use than sending it off to sit in an insurance company’s bank account.”

The Star News also questioned the price disparity between two engineering companies for the rebuild of Chelsea Lake Dam. “The question is what does the dam, and by extension the county, actually need from the project.” On Oct. 31 The Star News called for the county and schools to build a culture of security that works to eliminate risks. “A culture of security begins with instilling in all employees that security is everyone’s responsibility and not just a single person’s job.” The Star News also addressed the announced retirement of the UW System president. “The next leader for the UW System needs to look to the system’s future while protecting its history and continuing its mission.”

On Nov. 7 The Star News called for the discussion that began at the community meetings regarding the Medford Area Senior High School to continue. “As the process moves forward it is essential for residents to continue to give that feedback to ensure any future projects address the wants and needs of the community.” The Star News also said there needs to be a return to a balance of power in Madison. “If Robin Vos wants to be governor he should file his nomination papers and start campaigning for that office. Vos won’t do that because he already has all the power while only being answerable to voters in his district.”

On Nov. 14 The Star News called on families and friends to talk with older veterans about their experiences and record them so that their stories are not lost to history. “These stories of service and sacrifice must not be allowed to fade into the darkness, but instead should live on through the retelling and remembrance of future generations.” The Star News also called for support of a group seeking to bring a homeless shelter to the county. “As long as there are people who fall through the cracks of the system and who lack secure and stable housing, Taylor County has a homeless problem.”

On Nov. 21 The Star News wished all hunters a safe and successful gun deer season. “The annual gun deer season is an important time of year for both hunters and non-hunters in the state, providing an important economic boost to rural areas and bringing a sense of excitement as people celebrate and share in other hunters’ success.” The Star News also praised the committee’s passage of a new program to help provide financing for updating private septic systems. “The program is a win/win scenario for residents and taxpayers.”

On Nov. 28 The Star News staff shared what they are thankful for this holiday season. “It is a day to humbly and without ulterior motive, express gratitude for the blessings and challenges in our lives over the past year.”

On Dec. 5 The Star News called for the federal government to back off when it comes to wolf management. “It is time for the federal government to declare victory in restoring wolf populations and to back off and allow the states to manage existing populations.” The Star News also objected to a proposal to allow retired teachers to come back full-time and collect both a salary and retirement. “Bandaid approaches, such as the retirement changes proposed by legislators, do nothing to address the underlying reasons why quality teachers are in a hurry to leave the profession.”

On Dec. 12 The Star News praised the efforts of Jill Fortin to try and set a new world record for making clay pots. “If this was a Hollywood movie, or even a lowbudget after school special, the finale would be having Fortin overcoming the slow start to edge past the record in the final seconds. This isn’t a movie though, it is real life and Fortin’s attempt to set a new record fell short of that goal. But that is OK.” The Star News also called for compromise in management of the county forest. “As with most issues, there is a wide middle ground with opportunity for compromise and cooperation to look out for the interests of taxpayers and residents.”

On Dec. 19 The Star News called for the state to stop punishing county taxpayers and drop the case against Steve Bowers. “When it comes to an ongoing felony case against deputy Steve Bowers, Taylor County taxpayers continue to be the only ones being punished.” The Star News also objected to a Rib Lake Village Board policy that would limit public comment to just items on the agenda. “ Imposing limits on what people can say during public comment periods is an affront to liberty.”