NEWS STORIES

From Cheetos and TV to a SpeedoSubmitted: 12/05/2012

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EAGLE RIVER - Multiple Sclerosis attacks a person at their core.

It affects your nerves and makes life's most simple things difficult.

But there's hope. All it takes is a little determination to get past the cheetos....and into a speedo.

"I looked at him and didn't say anything, but thought, this guy's crazy," That was what Bruce Platta said when he first met YMCA Personal Trainer Kevin Schweer.

Platta figured he'd work on his upper body and core when he started at the YMCA in Eagle River back in January.

"There's no way that I could physically do this."

But now Platta can. All it took was a New Year's Resolution. He didn't want Multiple Sclerosis to tie him down any longer.

"I basically watched TV a lot, and read, and basically thought that at the age of 51 at that time, that that was going to be my life for years to come," Platta said.

Cheetos and TV.

His life hasn't been the same since he met Schweer.

"Just complete confidence," Platta said.

"I do things, I didn't think possible before. As a disabled person you have a mindset that you're disabled, and therefore you can't do certain things."

Things like walking normally...going to the grocery store....going to a friends house.

"He didn't have much confidence in himself," Schweer said.

"You could see it by the way he walked, he couldn't talk when he walked. He dragged his foot instead of lifting it."

The pair work together every week - making progress one step at a time.

Now he's punching, kicking, and laughing.

"Bruce is an inspiration for anyone with a disability," Schweer said.

"When he started this program, he put it in his mind that he was going to change his life for the best again."

So instead of TV and books….

"My goal would be to run at least a 5k in my lifetime again," Platta said.

"That's truly what I'd like to do."

Schweer knows it'll happen.

"I get choked up every time I think about when Bruce came in here and how he lives now. His life is just totally different."

Oozing the confidence only Bruce can when talking about his 2013 New Year's resolution.

"Get into a Speedo by June," Platta said laughing.

That a sight Schweer isn't sure he needs to see.

Story By: Matt Doyle

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Walker signs bill prohibiting cellphone trackingSubmitted: 04/23/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin police could not track cellphone locations without a warrant under a bill Gov. Scott Walker has signed into law.

The measure Walker signed Wednesday passed the Legislature in February with no opposition.

Under the new law, police would have to present details about their investigation when seeking a warrant to track a cellphone. That includes the phone's owners or whoever is possessing it, the subject of the investigation, a statement of the crime and a statement of probable cause about how tracking the cellphone is related to criminal activity.

The bill was among 55 bills Walker signed privately.

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Man accused of stealing cars and taking them across state linesSubmitted: 04/23/2014

MARSHFIELD - Police believe a Marshfield man stole three cars in Illinois and brought them to Wisconsin.

He now faces four charges of stealing cars and taking them across state borders.

Police say Bradley Greene, 28, stole three cars in December 2013.

They also accuse him of stealing $5,000 worth of other items.

Those included a car hauler trailer, a flatbed trailer and trailer accessories.

Greene faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison on each count.

The charges against him are from an investigation by the Marshfield Police Department and Northern Illinois Auto Theft Task Force, according to a Department of Justice press release.

The prosecution of this case will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Anderson.

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Army tank on the way to the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 04/23/2014

WOODRUFF - You can find an Cobra helicopter outside the VFW in Hurley.

They use the machine as a symbol to honor veterans.

Now another Northwoods community plans on using war machine to honor veterans.

VFW Post 7898 will soon get an army tank.

The tank will be right off of highway 47, between the post office and Aspirus Woodruff Clinic.

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Home sales on the rise in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 04/23/2014

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NORTHWOODS - Home sales fell in the state of Wisconsin, but they're on the rise in the Northwoods.

Real Estate experts say home sales are up 5% in Oneida County. Home sales for the Northwoods are up 4%. Experts say right now it's a buyers market.

“If you're a seller right now you are probably going to be seeing some low ball offers,” says Ashlei Highfill, Century 21 Sales Associate. “We just encourage people to respond to any offer that they get not to just reject it or be offended but these days we are seeing a lot of buyers coming in and offering a lot less than what sellers are asking for.”

Experts say fewer homes are being foreclosed. This allows more families to make first time home purchases.

“It’s great to see that people are obviously getting back to work so they can afford to take that opportunity to put their family in their first home it's exciting for all of us,” says Highfill. “We're always happy to see somebody get that first house for their kids we're seeing some people that are making more money now so they're buying a move up house.”

Overall home sales in Wisconsin fell 11% compared to this time last year.

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Kids learn about hospital Submitted: 04/23/2014

MERRILL - Hospitals can sometimes scare kids and even many adults.

That's why one Northwoods hospital wants those kids to be comfortable with doctors if they ever need their help.

Merrill kindergarteners visited Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center on Wednesday.

The kids got to see an ambulance, physical therapy and x rays.

"We try to show them that you know what, the hospital isn't so scary. And we bring them through different areas that they may experience when they come in or they have a family member here. And a lot of times children, if they don't know, they're very afraid. A hospital can be very intimidating, says Jane Bentz, Director of Foundation and Community Outreach.

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Library requests bids for expansionSubmitted: 04/23/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - A library in the Northwoods met their fundraising goals for a new addition.

Now the Walter E. Olson Memorial Library in Eagle River could see changes to their original plan.

The Eagle River city council members told the library trustees to look for new bids.

This could result in changes to the design that the library fund-raised for over the past two years.

Design and Build by Visner in Eagle River designed the expansion plan they fund-raised for.

"I think there was some disappointment on the part of the person that created the conceptual design that we fund-raised with," said Library Trustees President Tina Koller. "But they've stepped up to the plate and are willing to participate in the bidding process. So this is where I think we can really move forward today."

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State increases fines for parking in handicap spotsSubmitted: 04/23/2014

MADISON - It will soon be three times more costly for drivers to park illegally in a disability parking spot in Wisconsin.

Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill Wednesday increasing those fines starting Friday.

The new law will increase minimum fines from $50 to $150. The current maximum penalty of $300 won't change.

The law also creates a fine for building owners to not provide enough disability parking spaces on site. Building owners or occupants with at least 26 parking spaces must reserve disabled parking spaces or pay between $150 and $300.

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