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NEWS STORIES

Eight-year-old spearheads diaper driveSubmitted: 05/10/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


STEVENS POINT - When you think of basic needs for people in poverty, you probably think of food, shelter, and maybe gas for the car.

But for people living in poverty WITH young children, something else can also be a big expense - and big problem if it's not around.

On Friday, we found a group looking to collect DIAPERS to help those in need.

The United Way of Portage County kicked off their No Child's Wet Behind Diaper Drive today.

One of their top spokespeople might be a little different than what you'd envision.

"Mom and dads can't always get out of the house or afford diapers, because they're apparently really expensive, so this is helping. We're going to distribute the diapers through Operation Bootstrap, and it's going to go to those families that need them," says Ellie Andrews.

Eight-year-old Ellie has done everything from speaking before groups to radio commercials to raise awareness for the diaper drive.

The Women's Fund of Portage County hosted the kickoff for the drive.

As well as collecting diapers, the Women's Fund and United Way want to raise awareness for the issue itself.

"Lots of people can relate to the expense of diapers because they've had children. But they don't put it into perspective to think, 'oh my gosh, if I'm making minimum wage or $10 an hour, to supply diapers to one child can mean 10% of my annual income'. That's a lot of money," says United Way of Portage County Director of Community Impact Patti Cahill.

The drive is also partnering with Portage County businesses and churches.

It officially runs from this Mother's Day weekend (this weekend) to Father's Day weekend in June.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/27/2015

- A man in Wausau used an eight-month-old baby as a human shield last night. Today, we hear from first responders who helped negotiate the safe recovery of the child.

- A Northwoods fishing guide has grown tired of what seems to be a growing number of drownings across the area. Now, he's working to change the laws to make waterways safer. We'll have a live report from Minocqua.

- And a donation will help the Merrill Police Department keep its K-9 unit safe. We'll tell you why the K-9 first aid kit will help the unit and why it came with an infant diaper. We'll also tell you how you can help other K-9 units tonight on Newswatch 12.

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

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IRON COUNTY, MICHIGAN - State troopers in Upper Michigan arrested two people after reports of an explosion and gunfire in Iron County.

It happened around 12:30 yesterday afternoon at a home in Mastadon Township.

The investigation showed two people tried to bring down a structure using fireworks and a large amount of tannerite.

That's an explosive primarily used to make exploding targets.

Commercial grade fireworks, a large quantity of tannerite, and "pipe bomb" type explosives were seized.

Charges are being sought against the two people involved.

(Copyright 2015 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)

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WAUSAU - Wausau police say a man used a baby as a shield when he surrendered to tactical officers following a standoff.

Authorities say police were called to a house Wednesday night on a report of a domestic disturbance. They found a man and woman who were wanted on felony warrants. Capt. Matt Barnes says police had been looking for the couple in order to check on the welfare of an 8-month-old child.

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TOMAH - The troubled Tomah Veterans Administration Medical Center will be making changes to address staff shortages.

The VA will be temporarily closing hospital's 11-bed inpatient psychiatric unit.

It has stopped admitting new patients.

The VA's Matthew Gowan believes the two patients currently in the unit likely will be discharged before the September 4th closure.

Any veteran requiring psychiatric treatment will be transferred to VA facilities in Madison and Milwaukee, or to non-VA hospitals.

Tomah VA Medical Center also plans to suspend psychiatric admissions to its residential long-term care facility until additional staff are hired.

The nursing home will continue admitting veterans with non-psychiatric needs.

Hours for the Urgent Care clinic will be permanently reduced.

(Copyright 2015 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)

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WISCONSIN - You can spend a day in the water and help protect Wisconsin waterways this weekend. The Wisconsin River Alliance needs volunteers to find aquatic invasive species. It's for the second statewide AIS Bridge Snapshot Day Saturday.

"We want to pay attention to our streams and creeks in the area here," said Oneida County AIS Coordinator Michele Sadauskas. "We're picking bridge crossings and road crossings just for access. Easy access for people to go down and see if they can find and take a look at any invasive species right in that area. "

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DES MOINES, IA - Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker says the proper response to the on-air shootings in Virginia is "more sophisticated and challenging" than the gun control measures Hillary Rodham Clinton has proposed.

Clinton said Wednesday outside of Des Moines that if guns weren't so readily available, perhaps carnage like the killings of WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward by a disgruntled former employee could be prevented.

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SARATOGA - Search warrants filed in Wood County show the teenager accused of fatally shooting a woman had been dating the victim's daughter who ended a relationship with the boy the day her mother was killed.

Gannett Central Wisconsin Media (http://wrtnews.co/1hIc8TK ) reports the warrants describe the events that led to the death of 47-year-old Theresa Coates at her home in Saratoga Aug. 17.

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