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TOP STORY

Wausau man celebrates 40 Christmases with 1 treeSubmitted: 12/25/2014
WAUSAU - Neil Olson put up a Christmas tree in 1974 when two of his boys went off to war, vowing not to take it down until all six children came home for Christmas.

The same tree is still standing in his living room, needles intact. Olson, 89, calls his 40-year-old tree ``supernatural.''

Olson's oldest son was injured in the Vietnam War. His disability has stopped him from returning Wausau for Christmas. Five of his other children live nearby in Wausau.

Olson says he still hopes his oldest son will make it home for Christmas one year. When that happens, he says he thinks all the needles will fall off.

Story By: The Associated Press

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 LOCAL NEWS
Rhinelander Lions Club gives free dinners Christmas Day Submitted: 12/25/2014

RHINELANDER - A local Lions Club hosted a free Christmas dinner Thursday.

The Rhinelander Lions Club has been putting on the dinner for about 30 years. The club starts preparing the dinner in November with help from Trigs.

"They deliver their stuff to us on Christmas Eve here," said Christmas Not Alone Co-Chairman Thomas O'Rourke. "They bake their turkeys for us in their bakery. That's a big help because this year we baked 30 20lbs turkeys."

More than 180 people ate at the Rhinelander Armory Thursday. They also delivered more than 117 meals to people who couldn't leave their house.

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Free Christmas dinner held at White Lake Community CenterSubmitted: 12/25/2014

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WHITE LAKE - A group of volunteers in White Lake wanted to make sure everyone got a Christmas dinner.

They held a free community dinner Thursday afternoon.

They've been preparing for the meal for a couple of months.

This is the second year the dinner has been held.

The group also does other fundraising throughout the year.

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Antigo Firemen enjoy working on Christmas Submitted: 12/25/2014

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ANTIGO - Many people spend Christmas away from work and with their families, but some have to work on the holidays to keep people safe.

Fireman may have to work on Christmas, but they don't seem to complain.

"This is like the holiday I mean for us we don't have to do much," said Antigo Fireman and Paramedic Brian Baginski. "There ain't very much open to inspect or do inspections. Basically it's just a day when we get calls we go on, we do our normal duties around the station."

Fireman have very important jobs but when they're on duty and not on a call they get to sit back, relax, recline, and watch Christmas movies.

"What did we start with? I forgot the first one but the second one was the Christmas story," said Antigo Fireman and Paramedic Brett Hefty.

Baginski enjoys working on Christmas because as a fireman he can help people on the holiday.

"I love my job and I enjoy helping people out, holidays you know some of the elderly people are lonely and usually that is most of our calls," Baginski said. "People are lonely and they need someone to call to."

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'Keep it Green' wreath in Merrill reminds people to stay safeSubmitted: 12/25/2014

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MERRILL - More than 400 people across the country die in fires during the holiday season each year.

The fire department in Merrill wants to help change that.

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 REGIONAL NEWS
Unemployment down in most cities, but up in countiesSubmitted: 12/24/2014

MADISON - Unemployment rates decreased in most major Wisconsin cities last month, but increased in most counties.

Numbers from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development were released Tuesday.

Unemployment rates for November went down or remained the same in 23 of the state's 32 largest cities.

Unemployment rates were up in 57 of the state's 72 counties.

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Protesters return from arena to Milwaukee parkSubmitted: 12/23/2014

MILWAUKEE - Scores of protesters have now returned to a downtown Milwaukee park where a white police officer killed a black man.

The protesters gathered at the park Tuesday evening to demand justice for 31-year-old Dontre Hamiton, who was shot by officer Christopher Manney in April. The protest followed Monday's announcement by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm that Manney would face no criminal charges.

The demonstrators marched from the park to the Bradley Center, where they surrounded the main entrance. Three busloads of police officers then arrived and formed a path through the protesters with their bodies to allow Bucks fans to enter the arena.

The protesters eventually marched back to the park.

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Some question endangered status for wolfSubmitted: 12/23/2014

MINNEAPOLIS - Some wolf experts think the animals don't need special protection anymore.

A federal judge in Washington put the wolf back on the endangered species list on Friday.

The judge's decision affects Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.

The wolves' return to the endangered list stops wolf hunting and trapping.

David Mech of the U.S. Geological Survey disputes that wolf hunting in the three states threatened the species' survival in the region.

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UPDATE:DOJ to review Milwaukee police shootingSubmitted: 12/22/2014

MILWAUKEE - Federal officials say they'll review the shooting of a black man by a white police officer in Milwaukee for a possible civil rights violation.

Dontre Hamilton, a 31-year-old man whose family said he was mentally ill, was shot to death last April in a downtown park after he struggled with Officer Christopher Manney. The Milwaukee County prosecutor announced Monday that Manney's use of force was justified self-defense, and he wouldn't be charged in the case.

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