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.
BOULDER JUNCTION - Pilots find very little room for error when they make a landing. Wings, flaps, and landing gear all need to work properly. Then there's the runway itself, which needs to be flat and smooth.
So, when pilots found ruts and divots torn into the grass runway at Boulder Junction's airport, folks were more than upset, they were worried about safe landings. Airfield president Jeff Long thinks someone used a pickup truck to do the damage. It happened right before the airfield's busiest weekend of the year, the Musky Day fly-in.
"To see somebody disregard that, disrespect that, and then again the safety, where somebody could get hurt that we're inviting up here for summer fun, doesn't make you feel very good," Long said.
RHINELANDER - The City of Rhinelander and Oneida County will consider borrowing $15 million to help develop a manufacturer in Rhinelander, according to an Oneida County Economic Development Corporation release Tuesday.
The money would help Rhinelander Coated Products start work inside the former Printpack building on Kemp Street.
CRANDON - For some Northwoods families, it can be hard to find the money to pay for their kids' school supplies every year, but a back-to-school program in Forest County is giving children the supplies they need to succeed.
KNOWLTON - When you think of Wisconsin, you probably think of the Packers, dairy, and beer. One of the quintessential things that make this state great is its cheese, and you'll find no shortage of that in north central Wisconsin. The largest family-owned cheese factory is right in our own backyard, and it continues to push its limits in the industry
For Bill Mullins, the cheese business is all in the family.
"My other two brothers are in the business," said Bill, Co-Owner of Mullins Cheese. "My brother has four boys in the business full-time. My mom did accounting for us until she was 88."
EAGLE RIVER - Cities across the Northwoods drop tens of thousands of dollars every winter on crack sealing roads. The Eagle River Airport is no different. The airport spent about $25,000 in 2016 patching up its main runway.
Arguably, that runway is even older than most roads people drive on. The runway was last redone in 1971. On a busy day, the 5,000-foot runway hosts upwards of 80 takeoffs and landings. Airport manager Rob Hom showed Newswatch 12 a number of places where the pavement is buckling and cracked. That can lead to dangerous landings for small planes.
"Relative to a car or a truck [a prop-powered airplane is] pretty light relatively speaking, so having a smooth runway is imperative," Hom said.
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