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Medford Family Thankful for School's Autism AwarenessSubmitted: 04/10/2013
Story By Hayley Tenpas

MEDFORD - In April millions of Americans recognize Autism Awareness month.

In the Northwoods one family is speaking out for their son Jack, and how their school district is making a difference.

"You know I don't know what I'd do if he didn't have the structure of school," said Cathy Mayrer.

Mayrer's son Jack has been in the Medford Schools since age three.

"Jack was diagnosed at 3 years, 5 months old with autism," said Mayrer.

Before his autism diagnosis, Mayrer says things were difficult.

"Very isolated. Because your friends are all, well, we couldn't go anywhere.
Not with him, because he'd throw his meltdowns, have his tantrums and I didn't know what was wrong with him," said Mayrer.

Jack's autism is "moderately severe" on the autism spectrum.

But things are a lot different now than when Jack was first diagnosed, and part of that is from the help of the Medford Area School District.

"The school itself has just been, this part of his life that I can't even describe, I haven't moved anywhere else because of it. Because they've done the best that I can see locally for my son," said Mayrer.

At Medford Area Middle School, teacher Ryan Brown has been working with Jack for three years.

"Every day is different. You know one day it might be great, but then all of the sudden something is bothering them, or upsetting them. And so each and every day is different, but we just kinda adjust to them," said Brown.
The great days are what Cathy says makes a difference.

"When you see him make little gains in things, it's such a rewarding thing to watch him, and see him make these gains that you never thought he could do."

"I just, I mean personally, I feel really blessed to be able to have these guys. Because Jack and the other students, they're so much fun to be around. I've probably learned more from them, than they've learned from me," said Brown.

Autism is an individual experience, but Cathy hopes theirs can help other families.

"As long as I keep speaking for Jack, and trying to do the best thing for him on his behalf, it might not always be the right thing or the most finesse, but I'm trying to do the best I can for Jack, and that's what I aim to do"


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/31/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We will take you to Tomahawk where the Harley Davidson plant announced it will lay off 39 workers.

Renovations have begun at the Antigo Public Library. We'll give you details on what to expect when the project is finished.

And preparations are underway for this weekend's Mud Run in Manitowish Waters. Will show you some of the obstacles runners will encounter.

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

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ANTIGO - People hoping to use the Antigo library will need to find a different location for the next month.

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ANTIGO - A fire left some minor damage to a business in Antigo earlier today.

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TOMAHAWK - It doesn't look like the candidates for northern Wisconsin's seat in Congress can agree on a debate schedule just yet. 

U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Weston) said earlier this week he wants two debates, one in Superior and one in Wausau.

But that's apparently not enough for his democratic challenger. Mary Hoeft said she wants six debates.
Originally Hoeft said she wanted a debate in all 26 counties in the district.

"But people said to me, Mary, when you make this request to the Duffy campaign, make it reasonable," Hoeft said. "So alright I went in my head from 26 down to six." 

Hoeft said more debates would help voters make a more informed decision when they go to the polls. 

"But I'm happier than if he had said zero," Hoeft said. "But I'm not going to stop, though. I'm going to ask the people of the 7th Congressional District, if you want more forums, make sure that your voice is heard."

Hoeft hosted a meet and greet in Tomahawk Wednesday morning. She addressed a group of about 20 people. 

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU - People die from heroin overdoses every day throughout the U.S., and it's a problem we see here in the Northwoods as well. 

That's why Lac Du Flambeau hosted it's first Overdose Awareness Day to help people learn more about drug addiction.

"Having lost my sister last year, and other families that lost loved ones like that, an awareness and education needs to be done in Indian Communities," said organizer Jeanne Wolfe. 
 
A special agent gave a presentation about heroin.

Afterwards the people at the event could talk about ways to prevent drug use in the community.

The event was also a way to deal with grief.

"Nothing has really been done to recognize or talk about our sorrow and the loss a person goes through when somebody dies unexpectedly like that," Wolfe said. 

Wolfe hopes to host the event again next year.


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MOSINEE - After looking for several hours, searchers recovered a man's body after an apparent drowning near Mosinee.

About 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night, the Marathon County Sheriffs Office got word of a possible drowning near Beans Eddy Boat Landing.

The Sheriffs Dive team and fire personnel searched the scene.

According to the Marathon County Sheriff's Department, the man's body was found shortly before midnight.

He had apparently fallen into the water when he was pushing his pontoon boat off a sand bar.

The man's name has not be released.

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RHINELANDER - It all started with an idea.

 After visiting a church in Whitewater, Rhinelander's Barbra Thompson came back with an idea for her own community.

Thompson realized her community was missing something. 

The Table event started providing free meals to the people of Rhinelander 20 years ago. 

"A great, great opportunity to serve those in need, and I think our community in Rhinelander appreciates it," said a volunteer from St. Mary's Hospital.

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