A Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) project to replace seven miles of Highway 63 concrete north of Hayward officially began Monday, April 1, but the detour that will route traffic around the construction zone will not begin until next Monday, April 8.
The concrete on the identified section of Highway 63, from the Hayward city limits to Larsen Road south of Seeley, had reached the end of its useful life and the long-term solution is to crush the concrete for gravel and cover it with five and a half inches of asphalt.
The detour will direct traffic eastward along Highway 77 to Highway OO. The detour for trucks, including logging trucks, will go north on Highway 27 all the way to Highway 2.
Matt Dickenson, DOT project manager said work officially began April 1 on the County Highway OO detour with sign placement and surveyors taking readings.
For businesses and residents along the impacted area of Highway 63, access will be routed from the north until the crushing operation moves beyond the northern entry point of their
homes. Once there is gravel on the road, Dickenson said, there will be local access from the south.
Access for all others will be allowed once a single layer of asphalt has been laid. Traffic will be reduced to one lane as the second layer of asphalt is applied.
Other major work includes realigning the intersection of Hospital and Airport roads, with Hospital Road to be moved south, and replacing nine culverts along with sections of guardrail. In addition, the paved shoulder area will be widened from three feet to five feet.
The goal was to have crushing completed on Highway 63 by the end of June and to have through-traffic moving by mid-June.
To keep the public informed, Dickenson said the DOT's 511 website (https://511wi.gov/#:Alerts) would provide updates and an email notification system to keep persons living along
Hayward High School Principal Daniel VanderVelden said during the 2016-17 school year there were one or two "vaping infractions" in which students were caught using an e-cigarette. For the 2017-18 school year, there were six to seven vaping infractions.
With the 2018-19 school year still underway, there have been 40 such infractions.
"So you can see the trend is growing rapidly with vaping," VanderVelden said.
The principal was speaking at a community forum Monday, April 1, at the high school called "The new look of nicotine addiction: Talk with your kids about the dangers of vaping."
Joining VanderVelden on a panel were Charmaine Swan of the American Lung Association and Northwest Wisconsin Tobacco-Free Coalition; Dr. Harry Malcolm, a general care physician with Hayward Area Memorial Hospital & Water's Edge and a school board member; and Eileen Simak, Sawyer County Health Officer, who served as moderator.
E-cigarettes are devices that use a battery to heat a coil that turns a liquid solution into an aerosol that is inhaled and absorbed.
When first introduced in 2009, e-cigarettes looked like and were used like conventional tobacco cigarettes or cigars. Early users often touted the devices as healthier alternatives to tobacco smoking. Today some e-cigarettes can look like iPod or thin cell phones and some even are powered on a computer's USB port.
According to a 2018 youth tobacco survey, the percentage of high school students using e-cigarettes has risen form 7.9 percent in 2014 to 20.1 percent in 2018, or roughly 20 percent of all high school students.
With the rise of e-cigarette use — also know as vaping, juuling or souring — there is a growing concern about a new generation becoming addicted to nicotine and the related impact to their brains and overall health.
VanderVelden held a bag of confiscated vaping devices that he shows to teachers and parents to raise awareness. He said when students are found with a vaping device, they are asked why they. Often the response is they believe it is healthier than smoking or they are hooked and can't stop.
Individual students who cannot afford an e-cigarette, VanderVelden said, will pool their money to buy one device and each will buy an individual "pod" of liquid, passing the device around but consuming their individual pods.
In December 2018, Swan said, the U.S. Surgeon General released an advisory on e-cigarettes over concerns of "nicotine addiction and associated health risks."
Swan said Juul and Sour, the two biggest brands and providers of pods, both offer a liquid that is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream very similar to tobacco. She attributed the wide use of e-cigarettes to the many youth-oriented vaping flavors manufactures offer.
"Flavors attract new users," she said. "Almost nine out of 10 new users in Wisconsin are saying 'I wouldn't have tried e-cigarettes if it wasn't for the candy-flavors.' I think that is really telling."
hospital, Malcolm said, he's seen seven men under age 40 die from heart attacks; all were tobacco users.
Tobacco use, he said, also has a detrimental impact on quality of life, causing some to have pains in their legs or pain breathing without assistance from oxygen. Malcolm said when he graduated from high school in 1977 smoking by high school seniors was at 29 percent, but by 2015, after decades of concerted effort to lower teen smoking, it had dropped to 6 percent. Now, vaping is threatening to overturn that hard-won trend.
"This vaping epidemic, and it's truly an epidemic, is going to turn this around overnight," he said.
In addition to expressing concerns over the addictive and detrimental impacts from nicotine, he also expressed concern over propylene glycol in vaping fluid, which he is "pretty sure" would be shown to be a carcinogen. He added there are also trace amounts of formaldehyde, heavy metals and organic volatile compounds (OVCs) in the vaping liquids that are carcinogens.
He also spoke of the susceptibility of the "adolescent brain" to addiction.
Men's brains are still forming between ages of 16 and 25 (women are younger) and until they have an adult brain are much more prone to addiction. Just vaping 15 to 16 times, Malcolm said, might be enough to establish an addiction.
The vaping product initially gives the user an enjoyable buzz or small high, he said, but as they get addicted the use is more about keeping away withdrawal symptoms when they become restless and unable to focus.
"We are hearing this from kids: 'I've got to vape so I can concentrate, so I can do my homework,'" he said. "They are addicted."
VanderVelden said vaping is impacting school performance because kids addicted to vaping liquid are unable to concentrate until they "get a hit."
Tobacco products, Malcolm said, are allowed only the flavor of menthol so as not to attract youth, but vaping has over 7,000 flavors — something he called an obvious appeal to a younger market.
The panel took a number of questions from concerned parents who asked if they could see symptoms of vaping use and wanted advice for what they should do.
The parents were encourage to learn more about vaping and the language youth use when discussing it.
One parent said more should be done to support students who don't want to vape but feel peer pressure.
Swan said a new youth anti-vaping movement needs to be formed to make a statement that not all kids vape. She encouraged empowering the athletes to take a stand. She also encouraged local municipalities to pass ordinances banning public vaping because the 2009 Smoke Free Wisconsin Act implemented in 2010 that banned public smoking doesn't ban public vaping.
Dr. Malcolm said there is a need for legislation that restricts the numbers of vaping flavors.
VanderVelden said more education is needed for parents and youth, and he encouraged parents to have a "hard discussion" with their children.
At a special meeting Monday, April 1, the Hayward Community School Board was presented with a draft letter strongly opposing a proposal pending before the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Board of Control to transfer the Hayward varsity football team from the Heart O' North Conference to the Great Northern Conference.
Board member and letter author Dr. Harry Malcolm gave a copy of the letter to the Record. He wrote: "Our biggest concern centers around the distance, time, cost and safety of travel. Students would leave school at mid-day and miss significant classroom instruction time on multiple occasions each fall."
Malcolm adds that the WIAA board and its individual members "could bear some potential organizational or personal legal risk by forcing us into the GNC and its long travel distances."
He adds, "We also fear that being forced into the GNC will be the death knell for our football program in Hayward."
"It's a very big deal," said Board President Linda Plante.
The board did not act on the matter Monday, since it was not on the agenda. Supt. Craig Olson said he would review the letter Tuesday and give direction to the board. The deadline to submit the letter is April 15.
In personnel related action at its Monday meeting, the board:
• Accepted the resignation of head football coach Billy O'Brien (see separate story in the sports section).
• Accepted the resignation of Intermediate School aide Jaime Harris.
• Hired Stacy Weimer and Yasmin Turner as Intermediate School intervention support staff.
• Hired Elizabeth Buettner as third grade special education teacher.
• Hired Holly Holly as third grade teacher.
• Hired Dalton Hessel as a second grade teacher. His mother, Stacey Hessel, who is a member of the school board, abstained from the vote.
• Approved the recommended transfer of third grade special education teacher Michael Lewandowski to intellectual disabilities borderline (IDB) teacher.
• Hired Stacy Phillips and Jillian Johnson as 4K aides.
Elementary Campus Principal Ronda Lee presented a proposal to the curriculum committee for an expanded summer enrichment program for first through fourth graders, including camps such as foreign language, and outdoor activities such as archery. It would run for three weeks, Monday through Thursday, at no cost to students and with no bus transportation.
The school board will act on the summer program at its April 15 meeting.
The board's facilities committee referred to the finance committee a proposal from head softball coach Julie Zawistowski to replace the current dugouts on the varsity field with new block and concrete dugouts at a projected cost of $21,291.
The Hayward Youth Softball Association has raised $15,000 including donations and will need approximately $6,000 more to do the project. The new dugouts will be 10 by 30 feet, longer than the current dugouts, and would be built in late summer or fall. The labor will be donated free of charge and lumber donated at cost.
Billy O'Brien, athletic and activities director, said staff are looking at "fixing what is there" now with the baseball dugouts at Larry Somerville Field.
Paul Anderson, coordinator of technology infrastructure, informed the facilities committee of needed upgrades in the audio and video systems in the high school auditorium for a projected cost of $27,000 for video and $35,000 to $50,000 for the audio. The systems would be digital.
The committee also discussed the need for a wrestling room; Hayward is the only school in the Heart O' North Conference without one. Olson said one alternative is to move the high school weight room upstairs to the balcony gym and use the freed-up space for a wrestling room. The baseball and softball hitting and pitching cages in the upper gym would be moved to the primary school.
Quotes would be obtained for the cost of adding on to the weight room, Olson added.
Wrestling is a "very cost effective sport" and participation by Hayward students is growing, Olson added. Wrestling academic adviser Darlene Kirchdoerfer said, "A lot of fantastic talent is coming up" from the younger age levels.
The board's policy committee decided not to have a policy regarding student overnight and out-of-state field trips, but to leave it up to the administrators to decide on trip requests on a case by case basis.
Curriculum and programs coordinator Kelly Ryder said ACT testing was conducted in March and Forward testing is underway for middle school and elementary students.
Ryder said a youth risk behavior survey has been sent to parents, which is voluntary and anonymous. The information is used by the school district to get grants that are very helpful to the school, she said.
Only a few people were aware of what Misty Jackson would be wearing to the American Indian Higher Education Consortium Conference (AIHEC) fashion show competition on Monday, March 19, in Billings Montana, but everyone was talking after Jackson made a short runway appearance.
Jackson wore an eye-catching, four-panel, red skirt with silver lining, trimmed with silver, white and black ribbons. But what really caught peoples' attention were its haunting hand impressions with a name and tribe written across each image: Sheila St. Clair, Bad River; LaVonne Frank, Lac du Flambeau; Tamara Lafromboise, Standing Rock; and 13 more.
Each hand print represented a missing or murdered Native American woman, most of them from northern Wisconsin. The missing include three from Bad River and four from Lac du Flambeau. The others are from North Dakota, Montana and Washington.
Jackson, a Lac du Flambeau member, is a student at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College (LCOOCC). She was one of the college contingent who made the trip west March 16-19 to compete in a number of categories.
Originally, Jackson was going to submit a skirt in an art show, but then learned the competition also featured a fashion show and that one category was best red skirt or dress for murdered and missing indigenous women.
Jackson retired from the Army and spent a couple of years in Montana, where she met her adopted Crow family. Her Crow auntie Amy Yellowtail offered suggestions on the dress, and then Jackson and her mother spent 24 hours cutting fabric, sewing panels and ribbon and painting handprints on the outside and four images of clan animals on the inside.
Originally, Jackson intended to add just a couple of hand prints. Then she asked for names of missing and mur dered Native women on social
media and was overwhelmed with responses.
"When I started this, I didn't know how many there were from the Bad River and Lac du Flambeau communities," Jackson said. "I knew about two of them. I put a message out on Facebook and then I had more than enough names."
Jackson said a missing and murdered indigenous women (MMIW) movement began in earnest in Canada and then became prominent in the United States. It calls attention to the many Native/Indigenous women who have been subject to human trafficking, gangs or domestic violence, and to those who have disappeared or died.
"Indian Country is not OK with all these women going missing and murdered, and we need to stop it in tracks as much as possible and bring attention to it and help each other," she said.
As Jackson researched the women's names she discovered most also had two or more children they've left behind, a legacy of young tears.
One of the women is her stepmother's sister, who was murdered in early 1990s by a serial killer of Indian women in Minneapolis. The woman was killed when her three children were young. Jackson witnessed firsthand how those children suffered without their mother
"Things like this really affect families and communities," she said. "Even right here in Flambeau, we have a young woman who was murdered in 1990 and they've still never found the persons responsible for it. There are still a lot of feelings involved in things like this. There's a sign on the Lac du Flambeau Reservation asking for any information on this woman's murder, any suspects."
That murdered woman was Susan Poupart.
Nearly daily on social media, Jackson said, she receives posts of missing Native woman or youth asking to share information. There is so much of this sharing, she said, because there's an impression in Indian Country there's less urgency by law enforcement and the media when it comes to a missing Native person, so the community feels more of burden to raise awareness on its own.
"Basically, if you are not a pretty, white girl with blue eyes and blonde hair, nobody seems to care," she said, but she notes the attention received by non-brown persons is greater and is given sooner. "That's the general perception," she said.
Reaction to the skirt
As soon as Jackson left the short catwalk in Billings, the buzz started about the garment.
"People came up to me and told me it was really beautiful," she said.
A Crow woman from Montana recognized the name of her sister and hugged Jackson.
"I just hugged her and prayed for her," she said. "She felt honored by it, by putting her sister's name on the skirt and bringing attention to this matter."
Jackson didn't place in the MMIW fashion competition in Billings, but the skirt was recognized in the Creativity category. However, what fashion statement the skirt failed to make on the judges it more than made up in giving attention to the MMIW issue.
On social media, images of the skirt were shared more than 30 times. Several told Jackson they didn't realize so many MMIW were from northern Wisconsin.
In the future, Jackson might submit the skirt in an LCOOCC art show and it might also make appearances at MMIW awareness events in Bad River and Milwaukee.
The skirt may even receive international attention.
Jackson, a member of all-female, military Native color guard, is set to attend the 75 th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy France and she is considering wearing the skirt there or creating a series of skirts for the color guard members.
"I'm hoping people will ask about the hands and I have a chance of talking about MMIW and raise awareness," she said.
And she'll do it in style.