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NEWS STORIES

Community Rallies Support for Local FamilySubmitted: 01/26/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


RHINELANDER - A girl from Rhinelander battling cancer got a big dose of community love today. Mayor Dick Johns proclaimed today Leanna Kossack day.

Seventeen-year-old Leanna suffers from a rare cancer that doctors are struggling to find an appropriate treatment for.

Today, friends, family, even strangers came out to show their support.

The day started with a bake sale. Then supporters held a rally and walked through downtown Rhinelander to Bugsy's bar to kick off a pub crawl.

Nine downtown pubs are participating with drink specials and raffles.

Organizers say the turnout was overwhelming.

"To support this wonderful girl that's so courageous and so brave, the small community of Rhinelander, our small business owners, tavern owners that have opened up their establishments and allowed the community to come together is an unbelievable feat," says family friend Gayle Wilmot.

"There's a lot of people here to support her. I think she's a really strong person and I'm glad she's here today. I'm so thankful for everybody who's here today, and I think she's very thankful too," says Leanna's sister Alyssa.

There's still time to support Leanna tonight. Some downtown bars are participating in a drink special until midnight tonight. You can get half price drinks with the purchase of a wristband.

The money raised goes toward Leanna's medical expenses, and a foundation to help other kids with cancer.

Participating bars until midnight are:
Quade's Place, Knight Gallery, Big Daddy's, Bugsy's, Buckethead's, Robbie's Place and Sunset Junction.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - Doctors diagnosed a Rhinelander man with lung cancer that spread to his brain last December.

Since then, the community has helped fundraise for medical bills.

Twenty-six-year-old Jonathan Ottman hasn't been able to work since he was diagnosed.

There have already been fundraisers done by Boy Scout Troop 672 and Sammy Jr's.

Friday there will be a zumba party at the Northwoods Banquet Center.

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WOOD COUNTY - A Pittsville high school senior died in a two car crash on Wednesday in Wood County.

18-year-old Kayla Ignatowski died at the scene.

It happened at 7:39 a.m. on County Highway A, between Hilltop Road and Sunset Road north of Pittsville.

Investigators believe Ignatowski's car crossed the centerline while going around a curve, hitting the other car head on.

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FOREST COUNTY - Prosecutors think a former Forest County jail worker stole phone cards from the Forest County jail and gave them to an inmate.

Melvin Donek is also accused of lying to an officer about how the cards were given to an inmate without payment.

He pled not guilty to one felony and three misdemeanors in court Thursday.

Prosecutors also believe Donek knowingly bought a stolen trailer.

He's charged with a felony for misconduct in office.

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RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Area Food Pantry uses creative ways to get food donations. One of their fundraisers, CANtastic, just finished up for the year.

Nine teams used more than 4,300 cans to build replicas of historic buildings. Then, more than 700 people used cans to vote for their favorite structure.

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NORTHWOODS - On Tuesday, a Michigan man named Steven Snyder robbed a Wausaukee bank. Before he was killed later that day, police say Snyder killed a state trooper and another person.

Bank workers in Wausaukee, like those in other Northwoods banks, likely had been trained in advance on what to do if being robbed.

In Rhinelander, the police department works directly with banks and credit unions to prepare workers for a potential robbery.

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ANTIGO - An Antigo man could spend more than 40 years in prison for allegedly biting a piece of another man's ear off during a bar fight.

According to court documents, 26-year-old James Pendleton was sitting across the bar from the victim and a woman who had a restraining order against Pendleton.

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MADISON - The number of walleye fishermen can keep could change. The DNR wants to change how it sets the walleye bag limit in ceded territory.

It wants a three walleye bag limit for all lakes and rivers in the territory.

The tribes have treaty rights allowing them to harvest fish from lakes in most of northern Wisconsin.

The Natural Resources Board will consider the proposal on April 8th.

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