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.
MADISON - Wisconsin police could not track cellphone locations without a warrant under a bill Gov. Scott Walker has signed into law.
The measure Walker signed Wednesday passed the Legislature in February with no opposition.
Under the new law, police would have to present details about their investigation when seeking a warrant to track a cellphone. That includes the phone's owners or whoever is possessing it, the subject of the investigation, a statement of the crime and a statement of probable cause about how tracking the cellphone is related to criminal activity.
The bill was among 55 bills Walker signed privately.
NORTHWOODS - Home sales fell in the state of Wisconsin, but they're on the rise in the Northwoods.
Real Estate experts say home sales are up 5% in Oneida County. Home sales for the Northwoods are up 4%. Experts say right now it's a buyers market.
“If you're a seller right now you are probably going to be seeing some low ball offers,” says Ashlei Highfill, Century 21 Sales Associate. “We just encourage people to respond to any offer that they get not to just reject it or be offended but these days we are seeing a lot of buyers coming in and offering a lot less than what sellers are asking for.”
Experts say fewer homes are being foreclosed. This allows more families to make first time home purchases.
“It’s great to see that people are obviously getting back to work so they can afford to take that opportunity to put their family in their first home it's exciting for all of us,” says Highfill. “We're always happy to see somebody get that first house for their kids we're seeing some people that are making more money now so they're buying a move up house.”
Overall home sales in Wisconsin fell 11% compared to this time last year.
ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - 4.7 might seem like just a random number, but it gives us an idea of just how cold it was this year. 4.7 degrees was the average temperature for this winter. It's the coldest winter in more than a century.
It’s common to see these sights and hear these sounds in a typical winter. But this year, we heard them a bit more. The Northwoods fought through it’s snowiest and coldest winter on record. What made it so rare was the persistent cold.
MERRILL - Hospitals can sometimes scare kids and even many adults.
That's why one Northwoods hospital wants those kids to be comfortable with doctors if they ever need their help.
Merrill kindergarteners visited Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center on Wednesday.
The kids got to see an ambulance, physical therapy and x rays.
"We try to show them that you know what, the hospital isn't so scary. And we bring them through different areas that they may experience when they come in or they have a family member here. And a lot of times children, if they don't know, they're very afraid. A hospital can be very intimidating, says Jane Bentz, Director of Foundation and Community Outreach.
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