RHINELANDER - The NCAA mens basketball tournament begins it's second round Thursday morning. Thousands of fans have filled out a bracket trying to predict the winners in each game. For many it's for bragging rights, and possibly some money. But for some Rhinelander third graders - it's also a learning tool.
The tournament brings alot of excitement. For a third grade class at Cresent Elementary, the kids used the tourney as a class project. About 17 kids in Tyler Johnson's class tried to predict the winners in the tournament.
"I've run it for three years and it incorporates so much," says Johnson. "Hopefully the kids learn something from it."
It may seem like fun, but it's about more than just basketball. The kids are learning such math skills as probability. For many it leaves them with one simple rule.
"You learn to pick the lower number," says Hannah Morey. This was her first time ever picking a bracket. "It's really fun is all I know."
The kids also practice multiplication. Each correct answer is worth so many points depending on the round. Not to mention, they're learning about abbreviations and different colleges.
In the Badgers first game vs. Mississippi, the consensus was Wisconsin.
We'll take you live to the Vilas County Courthouse for day 3 of the trial for 36-year-old Rodney Teets who is accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman at knife point in July 2015.
The Northern Wisconsin Initiative to Stop Homelessness wants to work with landlords to help people get back on their feet. We talk to the housing program team leader about a meeting coming up in Rhinelander that will allow landlords to share information that can help the homeless find places to rent.
And we talk with The Forest County Health Department director about a program that is encouraging people to limit their time with TV, computers, iPhones and other types of screens for a week.
We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.
RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Area Food Pantry hopes you'll sample some of the area's best salads and win some prizes on Saturday.
The pantry is hosting the Garden Fresh Salad Bowl event at Holiday Acres. It's a fundraiser for the pantry, and several local restaurants are participating.
"It should be a very nice event. It's a beautiful setting," said Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Executive Director Guy Hansen. "We've got 12 different restaurants that have contributed salads toward this."
About half of the crowd will win handcrafted door prizes from the Northwoods Turners. The event runs from 11 to 1. Tickets are available at the food pantry, CT's Deli, Forth Floral, and People's State Bank.
RHINELANDER - Nothing gets the competitive juices flowing like racing to fix a car's fuse box. Nicolet College in Rhinelander hosted 12 Northwoods high schools for some friendly competition with a specific goal in mind.
The competitions varied from auto skills to welding to even cupcake baking. The goal was for students to begin thinking about college.
"Getting to see the inner workings of a vehicle, getting to work and learn at the same time, it makes me think more about college and what I want to do with my future," said Crandon sophomore, Kegan Wilson.
TOMAHAWK - Unless you find yourself in trouble, you don't usually sit down and talk with a cop.
The Tomahawk Police Department held its monthly Coffee with a Cop meeting Wednesday morning.
It gives people the chance to pull up a chair and talk to Chief Al Elvins about their questions or concerns.
Those concerns change with the season.
Warmer weather means kids will be out of school soon and there'll be more foot traffic.
And don't forget about those motorcycles.
"Watch out for the motorcycles. So often they hit a blind spot on us and you don't see them. If you are driving a bike, be aware of your surroundings. Remember that four wheels don't always see your two wheels," said Chief Elvins.
The city's drug takeback will be open all day on Saturday. The department does it twice a year.
You can bring in any over the counter or prescription drugs to the station's drop-off box.
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