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 - People in Wisconsin love their beer, but alcohol is a big problem in the Northwoods. Experts want people to remember that alcohol is a drug and should never be abused.
Alcohol is a depressant and slows down the central nervous system. Experts feel drinking here in the Northwoods has become too normalized.
“When you talk to people even from the Northwoods community alcohol goes hand in hand with family gatherings , graduation, prom, hunting, snowmobiling, recreational activities,” says Katie Kennedy, Options Counseling Service Clinician. “It's kind of created this normalized look at alcohol that it's okay to do that in these environments or in these situations when it actually really increases risks.”
It's not just adults that have alcohol problems. Kids under 21 are finding unique ways to abuse the drug. Some have even resorted to snorting alcohol as a means to get drunk faster.
“What happens anytime you ingest a substance as far as snorting like right into your nose it goes into your mucus membrane,” says Kennedy. “So instead of drinking alcohol whereas it's processed through your system it's a process, the alcohol goes immediately into your body into your blood stream it affects you a lot quicker.”
In 2012 Wisconsin was the number one state for binge drinking. That's according to the Center for Disease Control. April is alcohol awareness month.
GREEN BAY - Two people convicted of mistreating cows at a Brown County dairy farm have been fined hundreds of dollars.
Lucia Martinez pleaded no contest Tuesday to two counts of mistreating animals, and Abelardo Jaimes pleaded no contest to one count. As part of a plea deal the charge was downgraded from a misdemeanor to a forfeiture.
Prosecutor David Lasee says with fines and court costs, Martinez will owe about $1,100, while Jaimes will have to pay $600 to $700.
Martinez, Jaimes and two others were charged after Mercy for Animals, an animal-rights group, secretly recorded workers beating injured cows.
Jaimes' attorney, Luca Lopes Fagundes, says workers were told they needed to make sure sick cows didn't remain down because they could die.
A message left with Martinez's attorney wasn't immediately returned.
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