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TOP STORY

Leadership Oneida Co. candidates to provide help, new ideas for local non-profitsSubmitted: 12/19/2014
RHINELANDER - Northwoods non-profits may struggle to find volunteers, funding, and to stay afloat. A group of people in Oneida County wants to get more involved.

Leadership Oneida County pairs those groups with those people. On Thursday, those groups met to start working towards a common goal.

"We were very pleased to have the group help us and we're anticipating great results again," said Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Executive Director Guy Hansen.

In past years, a group of Leadership Oneida County candidates helped the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry create the Weekend Backpacks for Kids program.

Candidates participate in a 9-month program to learn more about the county's resources and gain more leadership skills. They also complete a community service project to help a Northwoods non-profit.

Projects over the past five years have ranged from creating business plans to planning events. They've made a big impact on the non-profits they've helped including the Rhinelander Historical Society.

"The Leadership team that was assigned to the group actually put together a whole public meeting at night where people can come in and view historical photos of Rhinelander. A simple idea, one that really took off," said Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dana DeMet.

This year's projects include planning a day-long career prep day for students at Rhinelander High School and helping the Literacy Task Force of Northern Wisconsin find new ways to make books available to the community.

Hansen hopes Leadership Oneida County candidates can help the food pantry create a plan to raise more money for its new location.

"We were housed rent-free before in the thrift shop in Nativity of Our Lord and now we have our own building. And we've budgeted a lot more money for utilities than we had before and we just had a meeting and it looks like we're going to be very close to $20,000 for utility expenses for the building that we didn't have to incur before," Hansen explained.

Oneida County Fair organizers have struggled to get enough volunteers in years past. They hope they won't have that problem this year.

"What I'm looking for is to see if they'll write up a plan as to how to promote to get volunteers with creativity and getting different ideas," said Oneida County Fair Coordinator Nancy Gehrig.

"We're allowing our Leadership candidates to practice a lot of the leadership traits that they are learning about for the nine months that they're in the program, as well as getting directly back to local organizations that have specific projects, real world problems that need to be solved, so it's a really nice fit together," DeMet added.

Leadership Oneida County candidates can create plans to fundraise, but they'll never actively seek donations. The candidates also only work on projects for non-profit groups as opposed to for-profit organizations.

Story By: Lauren Stephenson

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 LOCAL NEWS
Students experience spirit of giving at Santa's WorkshopSubmitted: 12/19/2014

SUGAR CAMP - One Christmas tradition in Sugar Camp teaches children something very special.

Santa's Workshop helps kids experience what it means to give to others.

Parents and teachers put on the event at Sugar Camp Elementary School every year.

Children in pre-k through 6 grade write out a Christmas shopping list for their family.

They picked out their gifts on Friday.

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Camp 10 Ski and Snowboard looking for new Ski Patrol membersSubmitted: 12/19/2014

RHINELANDER - When it comes to safety on the slopes- you can turn to the National Ski Patrol.

They're on hundreds of ski hills across the country.

Camp 10 in Rhinelander is one of those hills.

The patrol wants you to consider joining.

The ski patrol dedicates its time to keeping skiers safe.

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Vilas Co. Salvation Army could still use some toys for Northwoods kidsSubmitted: 12/19/2014

EAGLE RIVER - You can help families in need give their kids a special Christmas Day.

The Vilas County Salvation Army is still looking for toys to give to families that need some help this holiday season.

"It's always the 8 to 12-year-olds for boys and for girls. So LEGOs, definitely, are a big hit, action figures. For the girls, you know, arts and crafts kind of things, hair dryers, curling irons, any of those kinds of things," said Vilas County Salvation Army Volunteer Kathy Holtorp.

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Couple sues county officials for putting down donkeySubmitted: 12/19/2014

BUTTERNUT - A Wisconsin couple is suing Ashland County officials for putting down their mammoth donkey named Jethro.

The Daily Press of Ashland (http://bit.ly/1w6ElCB) reports Patricia and Dwight Westmore have filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging the county unfairly seized Jethro and four horses from their property last year after a report of maltreatment. The complaint alleges Ashland County euthanized Jethro over the couple's objections. One of the four horses taken later died.

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 REGIONAL NEWS
Wisconsin may see the fewest number of traffic deaths since World War IISubmitted: 12/19/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin may see the fewest number of traffic deaths since World War II.

Traffic fatalities continue to decline across Wisconsin.

As of Wednesday, Wisconsin Department of Transportation Data showed there have been 480 road deaths so far this year.

That's compared to 527 in 2013.

The director of the transportation department's bureau of safety hopes there will be less than 500 fatalities by the end of the year.

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Flood Warning at Keshena may be extended againSubmitted: 12/19/2014

KESHENA - A flood warning effecting south central Menominee county could be extended again.

The warning for the Keshena area is due to run out at 10:00 p.m. Friday.

The warning will be extended if high water continues to be a problem.

The National Weather Service issued the warning after ice jams backed up water on the Wolf River.

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2 Salvation Army red kettles stolen in HaywardSubmitted: 12/18/2014

HAYWARD - Two Salvation Army red kettles have been stolen in Hayward in recent weeks.

The Salvation Army says one of the kettles contained an estimated $400.

The most recent theft happened Wednesday at Walgreen's. Sawyer County Salvation Army director Debbie Huebner says surveillance video shows someone grabbed the kettle's stand and put the whole structure into the back of a vehicle.

Huebner says that kettle had been emptied right before the theft. But a few weeks ago, a thief cut a cable to steal a kettle from Walmart. Huebner estimated it contained $300 to $400.

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Wisconsin ranks 32nd in private-sector job growth during June 2013-14 stretchSubmitted: 12/18/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin ranks 32nd in private-sector job growth for the 12-month period ending in June.

The latest figures were reported Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

They show that Wisconsin grew private-sector jobs between July 2013 and the end of June this year by 1.45 percent. That lags the national average of growth at 2.3 percent.

Wisconsin ranks 32nd nationally and behind Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development also reported Thursday that unemployment dropped from 5.4 percent to 5.2 percent between October and November. The national unemployment rate for November is 5.8 percent.

The monthly also shows Wisconsin added 16,500 private sector jobs in November.

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