Boulder Junction Book Club Beats the Winter BlahsSubmitted: 03/17/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

BOULDER JUNCTION - With the holidays long gone, the ice and snow melt around the corner... what's a girl to do during that in-between period in the Northwoods? Some ladies in Boulder Junction know just how to beat those winter blahs.

The Boulder Junction Book Club has been at it for eleven years.

"Once we start talking we can't stop," says Missy Drake, a Boulder Junction Library Volunteer.

The club gathers every January to select ten books for the year. Then once a month they come to the Boulder Junction Library to talk about the book for that month.

"It started originally meeting here. We all really like that because it doesn't put the onus of preparation on anyone," says Drake.

And it helps keep them on topic without the distractions of food and drink many other book clubs have.

Co-founder Missy Drake says input from other people on the topics they read about can be enlightening.

"It draws out so many different ideas not only just from the book but everyone comes to the story with a different background. You learn so much about the people that you're talking to," says Drake.

This group likes a challenge-- you'll find no "Chick Lit" here.

"We don't do those. We do tackle some really good literature, I think," says Drake.

Members say it's the perfect way to spend your time when things might be a little slow at the beginning of the year.
"We're all very active. But there are many days, up here especially, that are indoor days and great reading days," says Drake.

Most importantly you don't have to be a woman, and you don't have to be able to make every meeting if you're a seasonal resident. Meetings usually have anywhere from eight to 16 people.

"Everyone's invited. Everyone is very welcome. We are just an open group and always welcome more people," says Drake.

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MINOCQUA - Every year thousands of kids go hungry. 

On Saturday nearly 600 volunteers from the Northwoods decided to help feed some of those children. 

The "Food for Kidz" organization, invited people to Lakeland Union High School, to help package non- perishable goods.

 The packages will be donated worldwide and to nearby food pantries.

Within the past eight years volunteers have packaged one million meals.

 Last year was the first year the organization started donating to local food pantries. 

This year volunteers will give 30,000 meals to the Northwoods community.

"It's just the recurring exuberance of the people that come in and do the packing we have many, repeat people that come year after year," said "Food for Kidz" Co-chairman John Breiten. 

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Recent history doesn't favor Merrill in the playoffs. It has lost six straight playoff openers, dating to 2009.

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Foval talks about bringing people out of state into Wisconsin, but doesn't give a reason why.

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MINOCQUA - By the time most of us finish breakfast, we already start planning what to eat for lunch.

For some kids all around the world, that next meal sometimes never comes.

The Food for Kidz Minocqua committee will lend a helping hand to change that Saturday morning.

Lakeland Union High School's common area will transform into a full-blown assembly line.

Food for Kidz volunteers will pour and pack ingredients into plastic bags.

The goal is 175,000 packed meals.

Food for Kidz needs more volunteers by tomorrow to meet that goal.

"If you haven't experienced this, come out and try it and you'll go away with just a great feeling," said Food for Kidz co-chair John Breiten.

Kids and adults of all ages are welcome to walk in to volunteer.

The food packages will be shipped off to anywhere from Honduras to Mozambique.

Some special meals will be set aside and sent to local communities in the Northwoods.

"It's just a great, fun community event. I think the kids especially take something away that they are giving beyond themselves," said Food for Kidz sponsor and Lakeland Union High School Spanish teacher Karen Roerich.

Walk-in volunteers are welcome to attend either packing shift tomorrow morning.

The first shift is from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The second shift is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

If you can't make it out to Lakeland Union High School Saturday, donations are always welcome.

Call John Breiten at 715-686-7570 for more info.

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WAUSAU - People often leave unused prescriptions in their cabinets at home. But Wisconsin's Attorney General hopes you turn those prescriptions in Saturday to help solve a growing problem.

October 22 is Wisconsin's Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Attorney General Brad Schimel said more people die from accidental drug overdoses in Wisconsin than from car crashes.

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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the systems known as manure digesters also help farms manage waste, which has become an increasingly controversial issue in Wisconsin as the size of dairy farms grows.

Wisconsin Public Service Commission officials say they're considering spending $10 million to $20 million on manure digester technology.

The commission also voted Thursday to authorize at least $7.7 million in funding for rebates for solar, wind and geothermal projects around the state that would keep a rebate program in place for energy consumers.

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