Northwoods Children's Museum Receives Needed DonationSubmitted: 03/14/2013
Story By Kailey Burton

EAGLE RIVER - Where do kids learn the most? Is it at a school desk, or on a field trip? One place in Eagle River combines the best of both worlds.

The Northwoods Children's Museum is a truly special place. Some, are even moved to tears by it...

"You see kids having a really good time… Once in a while you see them crying when they have to go home," said Ken Nimmer, the museum's board president, "They really like to be here."

As the museum's board president and a retired school psychologist Ken and Lynne Nimmer understand how important playing is for children to learn and grow.

"Kids learn through doing and hands-on, and everything here is touchable."

This museum is the perfect classroom- It's 23 exhibits of fun and valuable lessons.

"Every one of them teach different things," said Rouleen Gartner, the Northwoods Children's Museum Director, "Whether it's science, reading, just how to be a professional in the work-field."

For 15 years kids have ENJOYED learning and exploring at the Northwoods Children's Museum. It's a place where families can connect and have fun. But places like this don't exist without help from the community.

"Sometimes the hardest part is just to find the money to keep things operating," said Nimmer.

Revenue for the museum dropped 30% in the last 2 years. That's more than half their budget- the rest comes from donors.

"When it decreases that much, it really hurts us," said Gartner. "So we definitely have to find other support to help keep the doors open, and keep us viable in this community."

Luckily they've got their supporters. The Nimmer's and an annoymous donor gave $15,000 to the museum. That's a lot of lessons and a lot of smiles. They'd like YOUR help to keep them coming.

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MERRILL - This weekend Northcentral Technical College hosted its fourth annual Fire and EMS University for firefighters across Wisconsin.

It provides training on firefighting and EMS techniques at the Public Safety Center of Excellence in Merrill.

In a simulation training exercise, firefighters have their hoods covering their face so they couldn't see anything when they entered a basement. They had to feel a fire hose and use teamwork to get around and save a dummy.

Firefighters from all over Wisconsin can come to the all-day event. They came to refresh their skills, teach and learn new techniques.

"We put out some classes that are very interesting and not run every day and if it applies to their department they'll send people," said Dean of the Public Safety Division of Northcentral Technical College Doug Jennings.

The school keeps adding other training tools as well. Just this year they added more training features, such as a simulator that allows law enforcement to practice driving trucks, squad cars and EMS vehicles.

On Saturday the students also trained with the aerial ladder.

"We are the only fire department in Lincoln County with an aerial ladder," said Merrill Fire Chief Dave Savone. "And so most of our firefighters have to operate our aerial ladder. And so we felt this truck operation aerial ladder operations is a great class for them to come and see."

UST Fire Apparatus brought a new aerial ladder truck for the students to practice with, and teachers from southern Wisconsin and St. Louis, Mo., also came to help coach.

Firefighters say they want to constantly re-educate themselves.

"It's great to get the extra practice," said Dean Johnson from the Town of Wausau Fire Department.

Northcentral Technical College also offers semester schedule curricula for law enforcement and fire science. 

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MERRILL - Merrill residents might have heard a lot of music in town today.

Merrill High School hosted the Merrill Marching Invitational. Three high school marching bands took over the football field at Merrill High School Sunday.

Antigo, D.C. Everest, and Merrill high schools all showcased their musical creativity.

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MILWAUKEE - A published report says unauthorized improvements have been made to a footpath on state land that a donor to Gov. Scott Walker has been trying to buy.

A spokesman for business executive Elizabeth Uihlein acknowledged that workers at her adjoining property may have cleaned up the trail slightly.

But the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1Z18WU8 ) reports those who have seen the trail say the improvements are significant.

Uihlein is seeking to buy 1.75 acres along Rest Lake, where the footpath is located. But a tentative deal with the Department of Natural Resources was put on hold after critics raised questions.

A DNR spokesman says the agency inspected the site on Thursday and found an "established trail." He declined to say whether the department had talked to Uihlein or her representatives.

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EAGLE RIVER - Eagle River hosted its 36th annual Cranberry Fest during October's first weekend.

Organizers say the weather this year brought in many more visitors.

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NEKOOSA - People in Nekoosa could go back in time this weekend.

Volunteers at Pointe Basse recreated a historical camp that portrayed the lives of people from the 1700s and early 1800s.

Volunteers from all across the U.S. had a piece of history to share.

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RHINELANDER - Harvest Hoedown started Saturday at noon at the Woodpecker Bar and Grill in Rhinelander.

The event featured a hay maze, horse-drawn carriage rides, food, and live music all afternoon.

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VILAS COUNTY - In July, Karen Wessel gave her life to save a boy from drowning in Vilas County's Star Lake.  Now she is being recognized for her heroism.

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announced Wessel as one of 22 recipients of the Carnegie medal.  It's presented to people who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while trying to save the life of another.

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