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NEWS STORIES

Newswatch 12 Reporter Quizzes Kids for Thesaurus DaySubmitted: 01/18/2013
Story By Kailey Burton


RHINELANDER - When's the last time you pulled out a thesaurus? In the news we use this reference a lot, so on National Thesaurus Day we decided to quiz our local elementary students.

Our first question: Would kids in a digital age even recognize a thesaurus?

"You know, we had a couple say it was a dinosaur..." say's Central Elementary's Library Para-Professional, Laurie Lenten

During a "JEOPARDY!" style game with kids at Central Elementary School, we found out old-fashioned book smarts are still essential for tech-savy youth.

"I think we have kids that, you know, they're texting, so they're using "text language" and it even slips into papers," says Lenten.

"A lot of our language is lost in the ‘LOL's' and the abbreviations," says fourth grade teacher Jenny Prom.

Flipping through a thesaurus may feel like an ancient task for kids more familiar with Google, but a commanding vocabulary can give strength to student's voices.

"I want to show them that there's more ways than just saying something is ‘nice'," says Prom.

And students seemed to agree. They shared many of their favorite reads, including ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians'. The also participate in "writing cafes" where they're encourage to cook up saucy stories.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - Fields of an invasive plant called phragmites stand all along Wisconsin's Lake Michigan shore. Invasive species workers hope most of the plants stay away from the Northwoods.

Workers chopped down a stand of phragmites on Monday. It stood on Highway 8 just west of Rhinelander. It had been chemically treated in the fall. Hopefully, that will help control the spread of the species.

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RHINELANDER - Last year, a valve malfunction in eastern Wisconsin sent natural gas leaking into the air. A similar situation in the Northwoods could cut off gas supply to a whole city and be dangerous to people in the nearby area.

Wisconsin Public Service wants to be ready in case something like that happens. A natural gas station near the intersection of Highways 8 and 47 provides natural gas to most of Rhinelander. Workers rushed there on Monday, simulating their response to a leak.

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EAGLE RIVER - Many people enjoy freshly roasted coffee. But, the process to roast those coffee beans can be a science.

"We start with green coffee. It comes in 130 to 155 pound sacks of coffee," said owner of Eagle River Roasters Dan Beihoff.

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MERRILL - The Community Warming Center in Merrill finished up its first winter season a few weeks ago. The center provides a place to stay for people in need from November through April.

The guest's ages ranged from 22 to 45 years old. The center is run through the Merrill United Way. The Warming Center's director said its first year went much better than expected.

"It's kind of like building the field of dreams and not knowing if anyone will come to play, or to stay in our case," said Merrill United Way Executive Director Dee Olsen. "But what ended up happening was the community was responsive and we ended up with 11 guests throughout the season with 90 user nights."

The center is already preparing for the next season. They have new blankets and pillows ready for their next year.

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ANTIGO - Dealing with allergic reactions to bee stings can be one of the biggest health threats to students.

"If we were seeing a reaction, for example a tingling of the mouth, swelling of the throat, a visual that a student might give us if they are unable to breath at that time, we would immediately administer an EpiPen," Director of Pupil Services Unified School District of Antigo Karen Baker.

Teachers watch carefully for possible allergic reactions, especially at recess and on field trips.

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Local kids help protect batsSubmitted: 04/27/2015

RHINELANDER - Seventh graders in Rhinelander will help protect bats this summer. That's thanks to help from the U.S. Forest Service.

Kids in Rhinelander Monday learned about endangered bats across Wisconsin on Monday. A bat expert with Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest showed the importance of keeping bats healthy. The students helped local scientists by building new homes for the bats.

"Ms. Swaney showed us a presentation about the bats with a speaker and now we're building them," said 7th grader Jackie Wells.

"They have predators and it will kind of keep them safe in their little bat homes," said 7th Grader Connor Lund.

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WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court is struggling over when jail officials should be held accountable for using excessive force against inmates who are accused _ but not yet convicted _ of crimes.

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