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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 ĎHunger Games', and it just so happens that the second ĎHunger 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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ONEIDA COUNTY - Back in November, a 20-year-old Rhinelander man drove and crashed his car after a night of drinking, killing his best friend in the passenger seat.

That driver will now spend nine months in jail.

Randall J. Lego was sentenced in Oneida County Court on Friday. 

He faced two charges of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.

According to court documents, Lego's car hit a power pole on River Road just outside Rhinelander.

The passenger, 23-year-old Jacob Juedes, was dead at the scene. Juedes was a husband and father of a young daughter.

Oneida County Circuit Court Judge Patrick O'Melia said it was a tragic set of circumstances.

"The only aggravating factor here, and when I say that I don't mean to diminish the loss here, but is the result of this accident," O'Melia said. "That is the only thing that is not in your favor, which is the result of the action and the permanency of it."

Some witnesses testified to Lego's character and pleaded with the judge to not give jail time.

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Lego must also complete 200 hours of community service, for which Judge O'Melia wants Lego to speak to kids and teens about his experience. 




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