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NEWS STORIES

Taking the Plunge for Angel On My ShoulderSubmitted: 01/05/2013
Story By Kailey Burton


ST. GERMAIN - Today many of us at Newswatch 12 joined the ranks of brave and chilly souls jumping into Big St. Germain Lake... It was definitely cold, but the cause for the jump, warmed our hearts.

This year was the 13th Annual Northwoods Original Polar Bear Plunge benefiting Angel On My Shoulder- a foundation started in St. Germain that helps families affected by cancer.

"It's hard to put into words until you see the kid's faces that wouldn't have an opportunity to get away from their problems, get away from the things that are affecting them, forget about life in general for a while, and just have fun being a kid. Until you see that expression on their face, it's almost impossible to put into words," said Matt Reuss, a popular returning plunger, dressed this year as a shark.

The crazy antics bring in big donations for Angel On My Shoulder.

That means dozens of kids can take a break from cancer in their lives, and just be a kid at Camp Angel, and thankfully, Polar Bear plungers are ready to pull out all the stops..

"The higher we set the bar the higher they donate to us," said Reuss, "This year $750. A couple thousand over the years."

The annual Polar Bear plunge is sponsored by WRJO Oldies. In the past 5 years they've raised over $250,000 for Angel on my Shoulder.


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Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - The Hodag Country Musical Festival kicks off on Thursday.

But there are already plenty of people camping out for the big event in the Northwoods.

Those campers benefit businesses in the Northwoods both new and old.

Johnny Nickolaou, who opened his liquor store in Sugar Camp around Thanksgiving, understands the importance of tourism.

"Huge, you know you depend on locals year round and they are great, but if it weren't for them I could never afford to be open," said Nickalaou. "But it's really nice getting this push to hopefully get us through the winter months."

Nickolaou set up a deal in preparation of Hodag Country Festival. He discounted around 10 large orders.

"15 case orders, most of them which is quite a bit I thought," said Nickalaou.


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LINCOLN COUNTY - A Tomahawk homeowner was able to scare off burglars back in March, even after being hit in the face with the hatchet. Now, a Merrill man will need to find 25 dollars in cash to get out of jail.

28-year-old Chad Staehle was charged with four felonies for breaking into a home in Tomahawk. Police believe he and three other men broke into the home with a hatchet and crowbar.

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RHINELANDER - Most of the time when you give blood it's in a clinic. But once a year in Rhinelander, organizers bring the process outside.

Tuesday, tents filled up with donors at Pioneer Park for the 6th annual "Hodag MASH Blood Drive."

More than a dozen nurses and workers with the Community Blood Center interviewed, tested and collected blood from donors.

Organizer Jerry Shidell chose the military theme as a unique way to reduce people's anxiety.  Shidell says it doesn't matter what reason you choose to give as long as you do.

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EAGLE RIVER - If you want a new summer activity, look no further than Eagle River. A new art studio offers many different classes to kids and adults. 

"We've been here for a month, but the organization has been together for about three years," said Summer Program Director Erica Bush. "We're very excited to be in our own building finally."

Classes can cost anywhere from $20 to $50. People can sign up for classes ahead of time or just walk into the center. Program directors think it's important for kids to get involved in art early on.

"It's the creativity that the kids learn about," said Bush. "Creativity can go into all different aspects—math, science—it's everywhere. So enforcing art when they're really young will really lead to a more intelligent future for these kids."

The center offers anything from painting to pottery to cooking. Kids shared why they love to take art classes.
"You could just grab a piece of paper or something and then you can just doodle on it," said 4th grader Nicholas Fluegel. 

"It's really calming, and there's no bad way to do art," said 6th grader Grace Florence.

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MADISON - Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says Gov. Scott Walker's office had a hand in crafting a budget amendment scaling back the state's open records law.

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"It's a little more high pace, a little more intense, but it's a lot of fun," says Ben Groen of the World Barefoot Center.

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MADISON - The state Senate has approved a raise for state troopers and a new compensation plan for other state workers but has delayed debate on the state budget.

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