IRON BELT - You probably lost a dog or cat at some point during your life.
Perhaps you rescued yours.
But chances are you probably never trekked across several feet of snow to do it.
One family did - and it wasn't to find a small pet.
"My grandpa came from Finland in 1888," says Iron Belt farmer Rudy Kangas.
Making my way to the Kangas farm, outside tiny Iron Belt, in Iron County, took plenty of patience.
But for this story with the Kangas family, native Finlanders who have been here for more than a century, it was worth it.
"What are you going to do? I don't know. Can't leave the calf out there," Rudy's nephew Jason told me.
The calf, a rare March birth, came to the family under unique circumstances.
73-year-old Rudy led his four cattle to a trail one night, like he usually does.
"Then in the morning, only three of them came back. Then I called by brother, and my nephew, and said the cow's probably going to have a calf," said Rudy.
That's what cows like to do - get away from other animals when they give birth. Jason spotted the cow first.
"When we came over, I saw it coming across the deep snow in the morning," said Jason.
The cow was much lighter - it had clearly had a calf.
A calf that was nowhere in sight.
"Jason backtracked with the skis into the swamp and found it, and then he skied out with it," Rudy said.
True to good old Finnish heritage, those skis weren't something new from the sporting goods store.
"Made by a couple of old Finlanders that were neighbors of ours that lived a quarter mile away. We have more than one set. They're made from yellow birch. Preferred wood in this part of the area," Jason told me as he showed off the skis.
The family thinks the skis are about 80 years old.
But they worked just fine to rescue the calf.
"I slapped him over the shoulder, and I was just holding it while using one arm to balance myself," Jason remembered.
Now just more than a month old, the 'little calf' is in great shape.
"Oh, beautiful. You see him there. He's all full of his winter fur and everything," Rudy said, motioning.
Maybe in part from being rescued from deep winter in a style that would make the Old Country proud.
NORTHWOODS - The U.S. Forest Service will hire thousands of temporary workers this spring. Leaders at the Chequamegon Nicolet Forest Service want to hire more than 50 temporary employees to work during summer. They're looking for people with diverse backgrounds and plenty of experience.
MADISON - A team of students from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, is conducting research on foxes and coyotes in hopes of learning how the animals and humans can peacefully coexist.
Forest and wildlife associate professor David Drake and his students are humanely trapping the animals, running tests, then fitting them with tracking devices. The goal is to learn about traveling patterns, diseases the animals might have, and how they interact with other animals and humans.
Drake says foxes and coyotes are moving into areas where people are living. And if that continues, and the animals lose their fear of humans, they could become aggressive in extreme cases.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says residents should stay a safe distance from foxes or coyotes, and shouldn't feed them.
WAUSAU - Enrollment for health coverage will end soon. That's why healthcare providers participated in "Super Saturday".
Bridge Clinic in Wausau welcomed people to sign up for health insurance options Saturday.
The Open Enrollment deadline is February 15th. If you don't sign up before then, it could cost you $325 or more depending on your income.
"We recommend just make an informed choice. Don't just let it lapse and get the penalty, be surprised with a penalty later on. Come in, make an informed choice. There are health care options," said Bridge Community Health Clinic Executive Director Laura Scudiere.
PINE RIVER - Firefighters in Pine River had a tough day Saturday. They battled a house fire Friday night.
Crews didn't finish cleaning up the scene until 3:30 Saturday morning. Then they got called to a second fire in the afternoon.
The first fire happened at 9:12 p.m. The Lincoln County Dispatch Center got a call about a possible structure fire on County Highway WW in the Town of Pine River. That's east of Merrill, but when the Pine River Department got there, the house was in flames.
ST. GERMAIN - Bikinis and snowmobiles don't typically mix. Except, when you're at the St. Germain Bikini Run.
The event draws a huge crowd every year and it raised thousands of dollars for charity.
"We started with six girls and maybe $8000 seven years ago. Now, we're up to 33 girls today and more than $50,000," says Mark Hiller, the St. Germain Radar Run race director. "Every year it just grows, and grows."
NEW YORK - More than 2 million Toyota, Chrysler and Honda vehicles are being recalled for a second fix for faulty air bags that may inadvertently inflate while the car is running.
The recall includes some Acura MDX, Dodge Viper, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Honda Odyssey, Pontiac Vibe, Toyota Corolla and Toyota Avalon models made from 2002 to 2004.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says all the vehicles covered in Saturday's announcement had already been under a recall for the faulty air bags, but the carmakers' original attempts to fix the defects only worked about 85 percent of the time.
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