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An Everyday Hero Saves Hundreds of LivesSubmitted: 04/09/2013
Story By Kailey Burton

An Everyday Hero Saves Hundreds of Lives
ANTIGO - This week the North Central Chapter of the Red Cross will honor local heroes. We're highlighting one who doesn't consider himself a hero at all.

Since 1952 Godfrey Gabriel has donated blood like clock-work. The first time he had some extra incentive.

"I was in boot camp out in New Jersey, and they said anybody who gives a pint of blood, can have a weekend pass in Atlantic City," said Gabriel with a smile.

He also says the free lunches are a big motivator, but that's not the whole story.

He estimates the 128 pints of blood he's donated over the years could have helped around 500 hundred people.

"[You] contribute to people you don't even know, and it costs you nothing. So it's been very, satisfying I think is the right word. And I would recommend it to anybody," said Gabriel.

Now at 83 years old, medication stops Gabriel from donating any more, but a healthy donor can give blood 6 times per year. Each liter of blood can help up to 3 people.

On Thursday at the Real Heroes Banquet, the Red Cross will honor Gabriel for the nearly 16 gallons of blood he's donated.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

EAGLE RIVER - Colder temps and windy weather delayed work on the Vilas County Courthouse expansion this winter.

The $11 million project is scheduled to be finished at the end of February. The only portion of the building still being worked on is the connector between the new building and the existing courthouse. 

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander middle school students could experience a new class schedule this fall.

School administrators have worked for a year and half to change the 20-year-old master schedule.

James Williams Middle School Principal Richard Gretzinger says the main focus of a new schedule is to give students a 30 minute free or "enrichment" period.

"Sometimes students get caught up in getting to go to one class to the other to the other. If we can break up that day for those students and give them some movement, brain breaks and activities… Studies have shown that they will be effective through the day," said Gretzinger.

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's police chief hoped to fill two jobs in his department last summer.  A field of eight finalists led to zero job offers, but this week Lloyd Gauthier's force might finally get back to full strength.

The Rhinelander Police and Fire Commission approved hiring Tyler and Logan Pontbriand on Monday.  Their hires would bring the total force in Rhinelander to 17, including the chief and captain positions.

The Pontbriand twins are deputies with the Vilas County Sheriff's Office.  Logan started as a corrections officer in May 2015 while Tyler was hired as a deputy in January 2016.

Gauthier says they had six qualified applicants after reopening the application process in November, but the Pontbriands - who both live in Rhinelander - had qualities you simply can't teach.

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MEDFORD - Police in Taylor County arrested a man who shot at officers during a standoff near Medford on Wednesday evening.

The Taylor County Sheriff's Office reports it arrested Jake M. Wendt, 31, after a "lengthy phone negotiation" with the suspect, according to a news release sent late Wednesday night.

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CRANDON - A new local owner could reopen Crandon's shuttered nursing home facility.

Peg and Jim Houle officially bought the former AGI Healthcare facility, which announced its closing last April. All 37 residents were moved by May.

The Houles replace Milwaukee-area lawyer Robert Roth, who shut down the nursing home when it was no longer profitable.

The Forest County Economic Development Partnership helped coordinate the sale to the Houles.

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RHINELANDER - Local veterinarian, Dr. Alison French, actually sees a decrease in vet visits in the winter months due to less outdoor exercise and fewer injuries. But less time outside with pets is not necessarily a good thing.

French recommends you give your pets plenty of water and take walks outside even in the coldest temperatures.

Just like humans, animals dehydrate faster in the cold. Make sure you refill your pet's water bowls.

"Make sure they have fresh water. So if they're outside all the time make sure they have a heated water dish," said French.

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RHINELANDER - A Three Lakes man accused of sexually assaulting two children pleaded not guilty in court on Wednesday. 
 
David Teresinski, 69, is accused of sexually assaulting a child over the course of five years. 

In December, details about another child Teresinski allegedly assaulted came forward. 

Wednesday in Oneida County Court, Teresinski waived his right to hear evidence against him.
Teresinki is out on a $25,000 cash bond. 

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