TOMAHAWK - The vast, serene Northwoods can be the idyllic place to hunt. But the expanse can also make it difficult to get to hunters when they get into trouble.
With safety issues an ongoing concern a new app will give a little piece of mind to hunters, and it was designed by a Tomahawk man.
When Chase Bouman moved to the Northwoods for work he started hunting in the vast wilderness. He realized how hard it would be for someone to find him if something bad happened.
"I didn't want to learn the hard way. I knew that our Android phones were capable of finding your location on the map and everything like that. I thought that there should be a way that you could see your friend's location as well," says Bouman.
So he got together with his programming designer brother and a friend to create "Hunter Elite". It uses the phone's GPS to track where the hunter is.
"You can hit the emergency button and it will send a text message with your coordinates to all of your friends and also one number that is saved as your emergency contact. That text message will include your latitude and longitude position and will come from your phone," says Bouman.
Even someone who doesn't have the app can get the text message with your coordinates. And if you're not able to hit the emergency button the app will have still sent your last known coordinates to your friends.
Right now the app is for Android smartphones. It's available on Google Play for $1.99. Bouman says he should have it ready for iPhone users within the next year.
VILAS COUNTY - More people today use maps on their phones when traveling, but some people still like those paper maps.
The Vilas County GIS just made 15 maps of the area. They give people the option to download and print them at home. A map of Boulder Junction even won an award at the 27th annual Wisconsin land Information Association conference in Middleton.
“There was a lot of interest in creating a portable, easy to use map atlas that responders, town crew, delivery entities, could take out in the field with them and find any address point any road name any water body,” says Rebecca Nordine, Vilas County GIS Specialist. “Something that they could bring out along out in the field with them.”
The atlases will give people an easier way of looking up addresses across Vilas County.
“We do offer up online mapping and that's great but if you get into an area where there's no cell phone or no internet service you'll need something a map or paper map to fall back on,” says Nordine.
Each atlas will be updated at the beginning of the year.
To download a copy of the atlases for FREE you can visit: http://vcgis.co.vilas.wi.us/vcom/.
WOODRUFF - The Olympics might be over, but the Paralympics are underway in Sochi. Teachers at one local school are using the Olympic spirit to teach students about other countries.
Students at North Country Montessori celebrated International Day Friday morning. The students learn about different countries throughout the school year.
"The children at Montessori do a huge unit on geography and world culture, and we used today as a way to express the information that we found and things that we've learned," says North Country Montessori director Candice Henderson.
This year's theme was the Sochi Olympics.
Each student dressed up as a different country and sang songs in Russian.
This was the school's 30th annual International Day celebration. It ended with a potluck meal featuring ethnic food from different countries.
ST. GERMAIN - We all love our favorite sports teams. But what would happen if you had to dress up in your rival's gear? That's exactly what happened to Bears fan, Jerry Healy.
He's the janitor at St. Germain Elementary School. Healy challenged the students to raise over $700 for charity. If they did he'd wear the green and gold.
“Mr Healy you're unbelievable thank you for doing this,” says Jerry Healy, St. Germain Elementary School Janitor. “One kid said, "all this is disgusting Mr. Healy,” and another little kid who's a diehard Packers fan came up he came up and he's got an orange and blue pair of pants on and goes I'm a bears fan, today you're a packer fan, and that was pretty cool he's in second grade.”
As you can see the students surpassed the goal. The money went to pennies for patients. It’s an organization that supports people diagnosed with leukemia. The challenge brought the whole school together.
“Well I think they rose to the occasion they understood they're helping others in an easy but fun way. They came together as a class, as a whole school and just had a lot of fun with it,” says Jeff Waltz, a third grade teacher at St. Germain Elementary School.
This wasn't the first time Jerry got to dress up as a Packers fan. He did the same thing a few years ago when students accomplished a reading goal.
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