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Local restaurants cook for a causeSubmitted: 02/19/2017
TOMAHAWK - Patricia Tholl from Rodeo Saloon in Tomahawk put her cooking skills toward a good cause Saturday night.
 
"Today I made a bratwurst soup. It's a beef base, your regular onions and carrots and celery," said Tholl.

Tholl is the defending champion of the Empty Bowls soup competition. 

"The prize is a little ladle. It's a lot of fun, I was really happy to have this honor for a whole year," said Tholl.


This year, five local restaurants put their soup skills to the test. Five judges tried all of the soups, and then chose a winner. The Happy Snapper won top honors for their stuffed pepper soup. 

"It was an honor to be asked to do it this year, everything that we have tasted this year has been amazing, this is a very difficult decision," said the executive director of the Tomahawk Chamber of Commerce Jesica Witte.

The event is more than just a cooking competition. It's a fundraiser for Our Sisters' House, a homeless shelter in Tomahawk. 

"We allow them to stay there for up to 90 days and during the 90 day stay we try to find them employment, housing try to work on any skills they may have, even if it's just a little bit of a skill we try to enhance that," said the director of Our Sister's House Tina Elvins. 

The shelter is completely funded through donations and fundraising events like Empty Bowls. The public could either buy a bowl or make a donation to the shelter. Then they sampled soup from each of the restaurants. 

"We need fundraising events like this to help pay the light bills to pay the water bills to help allow us to give the resources that we can give to the residents we have," said Elvins. 

The fundraiser is about more than just food a little friendly competition. It also has a message. 

"As a reminder that when you see an empty bowl that there's some family or some individual somewhere that goes hungry each night," said Elvins. 


Story By: Rose McBride

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SUGAR CAMP - Update Feb. 17, 2017 10:20 p.m. -- The woman who runs an Oneida County animal rescue could face animal mistreatment charges.

Oneida County Deputies booked Stephanie Schneider on Thursday. She is due in court on Feb. 27.

Last week, deputies removed 39 dogs from Schneider's "It Matters to One" in Sugar Camp and put them at the Oneida County Humane Society.

Police are recommending charges to the district attorney, which include failing to provide food and water, mistreating animals, and obstructing officers.

People who know Schneider say they can't believe this is happening.

"I'm just heartsick about this, and I'm sick at heart for her," said LynnAnn Thomas, a Sugar Camp resident who says she's friends with Stephanie Schneider.

"Those are her children. She would never, ever , ever mistreat them," Thomas said.

But that's exactly what police believe Schneider did. Last week they removed the dogs from the facility after a weeks-long investigation that was prompted by complaints and concerns from several people.

"People that had worked or volunteered there were concerned about the conditions that the dogs were in and the fact that they were not receiving food or water," said Oneida County Sheriff's Capt. Terri Hook.

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Thomas added she got her own dog from It Matters To One a few years ago.

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Since the dogs were removed, It Matters to One posted certificates of veterinary inspections on its
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"Just to ensure that all the dogs are healed and make sure they've received all the care they need," Hook said.

Newswatch 12 has reached out to It Matters to One and has been communicating with the rescue via email.

The state Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection is helping the sheriff's office with its investigation and will decide if the rescue can keep its license.

Newswatch 12 also reached out to the veterinarian who conducted the inspections for the rescue, but has not yet heard back.




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