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NEWS STORIES

Million Dollar Challenge Boosts Local Food PantriesSubmitted: 03/25/2013
Story By Kailey Burton

RHINELANDER - Most food pantries struggle this time of year. Donations drop after the holidays, but many families around the Northwoods still need help. They're getting that help here, and from all the way to Rhode Island. That's where philanthropist Alan Feinstein lives.

"Mr. Feinstein created a foundation and from that he challenges communities to donate to their local food pantries and he puts up 1 million dollars to match... we keep track of all of the donations, all of the money donations and all of the food. And every pound is equal to $1," said Bill Vancos, a Rhinelander Food Pantry Volunteer.

This $1mil challenge is open to food pantries across the country. Over the past 12 years, The Feinstein Foundation has helped food pantries raise more than $1 BILLION in donations.

"It's an excellent way for people to get a little extra kick in their donation," says Vancos, "If they donate X number of dollars it's really, [their donation] plus a roll-up from the other qualifying amounts."

The food pantry is usually gearing up for 'Cantastic' this time of year as well, but that's been rescheduled for another special event later this fall.

"Our theme we decided was going to be ‘Hunger Games', and it just so happens that the second ‘Hunger Games' movie, is coming out in November, 'Catching Fire'. So we talked to George at Rouman Cinemas and we're going to move the event out to the cinema," said Vancos.

The million dollar challenge runs through April.


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 07/28/2015

- After years of rumbling over potholes, drivers in Rhinelander will soon be able to travel smoothly over Lincoln Street. The city will completely resurface the busiest part of the road starting Monday. We'll have what drivers need to know.

- Veterinarians in the Northwoods have been treating more cases of heartworm in dogs lately. The illness can leave a foot-long parasite in your dog's body. We take a look at treatment and prevention.

- The Northwoods attracts campers from all across the state every summer. But tonight at 5, we'll introduce you to some Boy Scouts who ventured more than 3,000 miles to visit Langlade County.

- Learn more about spiny water flea, one of the newer invasive species in Northwoods lakes.

- And we'll look at the Wabeno Art and Music Fest, a first-year event coming up this weekend.

We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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VILAS COUNTY - "Back in 2010, people wanted answers," says DNR Research Scientist Dr. Carl Watras, who works out of the UW-Madison Trout Lake Research Station in Boulder Junction.

Lake levels across the Northwoods were down. Way down.

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WABENO - Wabeno wants to draw more and more people to its small community by making improvements such as building new trails and hosting new cultural events.

This weekend, the town will host the first ever Wabeno Art and Music Fest. People in Wabeno say they have a unique passion for the arts.

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RHINELANDER - A crash sent a driver to the hospital in Rhinelander Tuesday morning.

Police say a man driving a pickup truck ran into a parked car on Evergreen Court around 9 a.m.

The crash threw the parked car into the front yard of a nearby home.  No one else was hurt.

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RHINELANDER - As temperatures rise in the dog days of summer, knowing how to prevent and react to heat exhaustion can save a life.

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CHICAGO - Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker wants to see changes to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

He thinks the EPA should become an "umbrella organization," with most of its powers shifted to state regulators.

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RHINELANDER - We may soon need more substance abuse counselors in the Northwoods. The demand for trained counselors is expected to increase in the next ten years.

That's why Nicolet College will offer a new technical diploma this fall for substance abuse counseling. The diploma is set up to benefit both students and professionals wanting to learn more.

"It will augment really, well people who are already in the helping and counseling professions like nurses, social workers and therapists," said Lenore Blemke, Dean of Health Occupations for Nicolet College. "This will give them an additional credential."

Counselors can be found at places like Koinonia treatment center in Rhinelander.

Koinonia has several substance abuse counselors who help people recognize their addictions and how they may affect their lives.

"It's really neat to see individually what they start to recognize about their addiction and how that has impacted them personally and for them to start to get to know themselves, aside from who they are with their substance use," said Jessica Krueger, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Therapist at Koinonia Treatment Center.

The training involves 28 credits in related subjects. Nicolet will offer the program both in the classroom and online.

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