WESTON - It can be easy to take healthy teeth and a healthy smile for granted.
But for many kids in north-central Wisconsin, visiting the dentist is rare.
The annual Give Kids a Smile Day wants to help change that.
Six offices in the viewing area opened their doors for free dental services Friday, including a few dentists in the Wausau area.
"There's people out there that don't have opportunities or access to care, and it's important that we give them those opportunities when we can," says Dr. Alan Domeyer, one of the participating dentists.
"As young kids, it's important to get them involved in their dental health as soon as you possibly can, because if they start now, they'll continue those good habits into the future," says Dr. Julie Graf.
This is the 11th year of the program.
More than 10,000 dentists across the country offered free services to kids today.
They saw a broad range of patients.
"We're seeing kids that have no cavities at all, and we're seeing kids that have cavities in every tooth, so we've seen the full range of them today," says Domeyer.
"What's hard is that, for some of those kids, you can't fix all of them, so you just hope they can get it somewhere else, once today's over," says Graf.
About 75 children were welcomed for dental care Friday in the Wausau area alone.
WAUSAU - A contractor fell from a ladder and died at the construction site of the new Hilton Garden Inn in Wausau last week. Now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death.
Marathon County Sheriff's Captain Dale Wisnewski said Shane J. Cash, 45, of Wisconsin Rapids was drilling holes in the ceiling on Thursday when he fell from his ladder and died on scene.
TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk High School sporting events got an attendance boost this winter. At the same time, local charities benefited from the community's generosity.
The school's Varsity Club sponsored six nights of special events, one for each winter sport. The Varsity Club gave out T-shirts printed with team rosters. Meanwhile, fans brought donations for local charities.
"Each kid would walk in and they'd put on their T-shirt," said Varsity Club member Jackie Elliott. "When we got our student section going, they were all together, and you just had this block of white. It was awesome."
RHINELANDER - Cracked concrete, twisted rebar, and overgrown trees and bushes don't paint the most ideal picture for a park. But a Rhinelander alderman sees the perfect chance for a peaceful place to enjoy nature.
Alderman Alex Young hopes to turn an old snow dumping dock site into a "pocket park." The site sits where Norway Street runs into the Wisconsin River behind Ripco Credit Union and the DNR Service Center building.
RHINELANDER - People lived through detours, dust, and demolition throughout most of 2016 in downtown Rhinelander. Residents won't see that kind of work in 2017, but the city is planning more closures and road work to finish up the Streetscape Project.
Crews will start with the Davenport Street Bridge shutting down for a month in starting April 17. Public Works Director Tim Kingman says some sections of concrete, sidewalk, and asphalt pavement shifted, settled and cracked over the winter.
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