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.
STOUGHTON - Police in Stoughton are investigating a threatening letter that was sent to a black teenager, with a photo that depicted him as the victim of a lynching.
The letter had a Madison postmark but no return address. The family told the newspaper it contained a photo showing two men hanging from a tree, with a mob watching. A picture of the 18-year-old was superimposed onto one of the men.
MERRILL - When you think of movies you probably think of Hollywood, but one man from Northcentral Wisconsin is bringing his feature film to the local screen.
Wausau’s Jarrod Crooks not only makes movies, but he also stars in them.
His latest film, "Dispatched" is based off the Elvis Presley movie, “Girl Happy,” says filmmaker Jarrod Crooks. “My character Jake is sent to go watch my bosses daughter while she’s on vacation with a friend. Then an old enemy is kind of after him while he’s on vacation, so some things happen.”
Crooks made, "Dispatched" on a $5,000 budget and it’s full of romance, action, and comedy.
“My buddy would joke with me, ‘why don’t you just pick one genre man and then just go with it'," says Crooks. "I’m like because I want to make this movie how I want to make It'." "I actually like romantic comedies, I think they’re kind of fun, and I think they’re cute. I like action films because I’m a guy, and I like comedy because Jim Carey is great.”
Crooks is only 28 and has already made 4 feature films. His passion started when he was 12 years old.
“I went over to my friend’s house and he had a video camera. I was like oh we should make a movie, and at that time I was really into, “Wishbone,” says Crooks.
“We’d always remake our own literature pieces. Then I saw my first Jackie Chan movie and I’m like, alright it’s settled we’re doing action films from now on," says Crooks. “From then on it was just a love affair with the filmmaking.”
His latest film will be shown at the Cosmo Theatre in Merrill on Saturday at 5pm.
“The fact that I’m bringing it to central Wisconsin is great because this is where I grew up," says Crooks. "All my family and friends get to see it, so I’m very excited about that and you get to see yourself on the big screen what’s better than that.”
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