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Young Runners Prepare for Journeys RaceSubmitted: 05/08/2013
Young Runners Prepare for Journeys Race
Story By Lex Gray

EAGLE RIVER - Imagine yourself running a 5k. Does the thought exhaust you?

Now imagine running a 5k where you're only about chest-height compared to the rest of the runners.

Dozens of fourth and fifth graders from Northland Pines are up to the challenge.

The "Mission Possible" running club will take on the Journey's Marathon 5k this weekend after seven weeks of training.

"I think I'm ready for it," said fifth grader Brady Snedden.

He's been training with 71 other students from Northland Pines Elementary School.

Teacher Megan Hoffman started Mission Possible last year with just 30 students.

"We just saw some of the kids not veering down the right path," Hoffman said. "[They were] not making the right decisions as far as the foods they were eating and activities they were doing."

That's not an issue for fourth grader Lakken Ludwig.

"I love to run with my friends and I just like to be active," she said.

Ludwig plays soccer, too. But running feels different.

"You can just run and you don't have to worry about anything."

That idea makes running accessible to almost anyone.

"All of the kids can participate," Hoffman said. "Whether they're here to walk or whether they're here to run, they don't really necessarily have to have a special talent. Everyone is welcome."

"I feel good because every night when I go home, my parents are proud of me because I did it and it just makes me feel like I'm always in shape," Ludwig said.

That kind of encouragement is important, but the big payoff is the big race.

"It plays a huge role in our community, to see the kids out there with their families some of the parents are running, aunts and uncles are running, because [the kids] are running," Hoffman said. "It's just played such a huge impact beyond the school and in the community."

"It's just fun to train for something you know is big and that you want to accomplish," Snedden said.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

FOREST COUNTY - Bringing your pet along to watch fireworks might seem like a fun way to spend the Fourth of July, but you could be doing more harm than good.

July 5th is one of the busiest days of the year for most animal shelters.

That's because fearful pets try to escape the bangs and flashes from fireworks and end up lost.

Forest County Humane Society president Jay Schaefer says don't let yourself add to your pet's stress.

Play it down, and make the fireworks a good thing with positive talk and treats.

"They're reading cues from us constantly. So be careful of your body language and the cues you're giving them. If you act like fireworks are a big scary thing they're gonna be like, 'oh my god fireworks are scary,'" says Schaefer.

Exercise can be another way to calm your pet before the big light show.

Burning off the energy earlier in the day may help your pet go to sleep early.

"Take them for a jog on the Fourth of July. I know it's hectic, but do something so they're not all amped up at night when the fireworks go off," says Schaefer.

Like many humans, pets like the smell of lavender.

You can try diffusing the scent around the house to put your pet at ease.

Make sure you have a well-fitting collar and identification tag on your pet.

If flashes are too bright, you might want to close the curtains.

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WAUSAU - Every year, firefighters around the country ask their communities to fill up boots with money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Wausau Fire Department kicked off its "Fill the Boot" campaign Tuesday morning.

The fire department will be at local events throughout the summer to collect donations.

The fundraiser helps with research and treatment for neuromuscular diseases for kids and adults.

"It's kind of a rewarding part of the job. Most of what we do is off camera, you don't really get to see all aspects of the fire department. It is a great chance for us to get out there and see all the programs we are involved in to help,"says firefighter Matt Tormohlen.

The fundraiser also gives Wausau-area kids the chance to go to a MDA camp.

15-year-old Roy Thorson lives with spinal muscular atrophy and has gone to the camp for the last ten years.

You can find him collecting "Fill the Bucket" donations right alongside the firefighters this summer.

"It's nice to see the generosity of the public. It's nice to the firefighters willing to put their times towards this. It's just cool to see a group come together for a good cause," says Thorson.

You can also send in "Fill the Boot" donations online.

See link below.

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MADISON - Republican legislative leaders and Governor Scott Walker are once again set to meet as a deal to pass the state's $76 billion budget remains elusive.

Walker was to meet privately Wednesday with Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.

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WAUSAU - We won't see a vote on the new GOP healthcare bill until after July 4.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) postponed the senate vote Tuesday afternoon.

Several Republican senators, including Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), have said they're not ready to
vote.

Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) says he supports Johnson on this.

"We've given Senator Johnson some suggestions," Walker said. "I think he wants to vote for it, he made the promise when he ran in '10 and then last year in 2016 that he would vote to repeal it, he wants to do that, he just wants to make sure that the repeal ultimately ends up serving the people of Wisconsin well."

Both Democratic and Republican senators say they have issues with the bill.

Some Republicans say the bill doesn't get rid of enough of the Affordable Care Act.

Democrats worry about Medicaid cuts.

Walker says he wants Wisconsin to continue to do what it does well in healthcare.

"What I've asked Senator Johnson is help us do the things we've been successful at," Walker said. "We're a top ten state when it comes to access for healthcare for citizens, we're a top ten state with the quality of our healthcare systems. We want to maintain that going forward."

On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office said the new bill would cause 22 million Americans to be uninsured.

Johnson put out a statement Tuesday saying he was glad there won't be a vote this week.

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ADAMS COUNTY - Police are asking for help finding an Illinois man who disappeared while out for a walk in Adams County.

Fifty-nine-year-old William Sheeran was last seen near a boat landing on Browndeer Avenue in the Adams County Town of Monroe.

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MADISON - Budget talks between Wisconsin state Assembly and Senate Republicans have broken down.

On Tuesday, leaders from both sides called each other's positions on how to pay for road construction projects "laughable." A meeting with Republican leaders abruptly ended after 40 minutes.

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WAUSAU - Drugs led to four arrests and one death in north-central Wisconsin on Monday.

The Marathon County Sheriff's Office reports a 37-year-old Shawano man died after apparently overdosing on methamphetamine.  

Witnesses say 37-year-old Lucas Groshek and his wife, Carolyn, were shaking and convulsing in a car in the eastern Marathon County town of Norrie.  Mr. Groshek died before getting to the hospital.   Mrs. Groshek, 33, is in stable condition as of Tuesday afternoon.

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