MERRILL - A 90 year old World War 1 memorial in Merrill says, "Lest We Forget"... Current members of the VFW want us to always remember 49 soldiers who lost their lives in that war.
Now they have a lasting way to do that. It's probably 100 years old-- made entirely of bronze- and weighs about 400 pounds. It lists 45 soldeirs who died in WW1. What they don't know about this plaque, is who made it.
"We suspect there was a group of veterans in Lincoln County, WW1 veterans, that commissioned it many, many years ago, but they're all gone now. So we don't know who actually made this plaque, but we want to display it next to this World War 1 memorial," said Steve Sabatke motioning to the cenotaph memorial in Merrill on the corner of Prospect and Main streets. Sabatke is a member of VFW post 10203, and organizer of the memorial addition.
Now the plaque sits in Fillmore Metal Crafter's workshop. It's got years of dirt dulling its shine, but Scott Fillmore has donated his time to restore it.
"We're just trying to bring back what somebody did a long time ago... This thing was hiding somewhere on a wall, and now it's going to be out for everybody to see," said Fillmore.
The VFW's research found 4 more soldiers who died in WW1, in addition to the 45 listed on the plaque. They envision the memorial as a simple and dignified way to remember each of these very young lives lost.
"They probably died in their early teens or 20's, so lest we forget all these guys who basically gave up their lives for us, their very young lives, we want to make sure that we remember them," said Sabatke.
The VFW posts of Marathon and Lincoln Co. want to dedicate the new memorial this coming Memorial Day.
They hope to raise $2,500 for paving stones for the additional soldier's names, and a walkway to the plaque. You can donate to the VFW's memorial fund. Make checks payable to VFW Post 10201, 14641 City HWY F, Hamburg WI 54411, Memo: Cenotaph Fund. Or, contact a local VFW member of posts 10203, 1038, or 2087.
WISCONSIN - Mud, debris, and damaged property still cover parts of Northern Iron County after a storm ripped through there more than two weeks ago.
The lack of money to repair certain areas is largely keeping the rebuilding process from getting started.
That's why the Federal Emergency Management Agency came to Iron County Tuesday.
It surveyed the damage because of its severity and the extreme costs to fix.
"Really if it's beyond the scope of local jurisdiction, and even the states that respond," said FEMA External Affairs Officer Troy Christensen.
Wisconsin Emergency Management currently believes the damage caused by the mid-July storm is around $38 million across 10 counties and Bad River Reservation. Around $15 million of that happened in Iron County.
FEMA relies on local government like the ones in Iron County to help it assess damage.
"They have sights selected so they will be showing us a lot of these sights." Said Christensen.
Those sights included multiple towns, Saxon Harbor, and crumbled highways.
This week Iron County gave its damage estimates to FEMA.
RHINELANDER - Building a robot may seem like a pretty lofty summer camp goal, but teens in the Northwoods love the technological challenge.
It's all part of a summer camp that's heavy on science and social interaction.
13-year-old Sean Timm says the eight day robotics camp at Nicolet College mixed the best of both worlds.
"I like technology a lot more than I do outside stuff," Timm said. "It's kind of nice to have technology like drones to bring me outside. It's really fun."
Camp Instructor, Mike Wojtusik has many years of experience as a technology education teacher and robotics advisor. He wants kids to see the importance in learning these skills.
"The kids are getting experience from a mechanical engineering side, electrical engineering side, design, prototyping," said Wojtusik. "We try and cover as much as we can about the whole entire system."
Learning about robotics isn't the only thing these students do. Some of them are also exercising skills they'll need in the future.
"I think it's a great experience for them to understand what really goes on in the real world as far as a career," Wojtusik said.
Certain careers that often require teamwork.
"Challenging part is working with a team because you don't always agree on the same thing," said 12-year-old Louis Malais. "When you build a robot you do the most teamwork than I think in any other job."
As their final project, students design and build their own version of a remote control robot.
They are required to work in teams to sketch a vision, make prototypes and design a working model with aluminum.
"It's not just you know operating a piece of machinery, it's learning how that machinery is put together," Wojtusik said.
Students are piecing together machines and building future careers at the same time.
"If I were to get an opportunity to do something like this in the future, I would definitely take it," Timm said.
Throughout the course of the camp, students were exposed to prototyping, brainstorming, modeling, safety and sketching.
The last day of the robotics camp is scheduled to be Thursday, July 28.
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