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Nicolet College Graduate Makes History Submitted: 05/18/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

Nicolet College Graduate Makes History
RHINELANDER - Students around the Northwoods graduated today. One local graduate made history at Nicolet College.

"As a Nicolet Grad, not only will your education enhance you as an individual, but you will enhance the greater good of the Northwoods community as an educated citizen of our democracy," says Nicolet College President Elizabeth Burmaster.

Hundreds of Nicolet College students walked across the stage after accomplishing their goal… earning a college degree. But one student was challenged in a way no other Nicolet graduate has experienced. Jeff Hedberg is legally blind.

"Other people can follow in my foot steps and do exactly what I did. They just need to put one foot in front of the other and believe that there are people out there that will give them a chance and opportunity," says Hedberg.

Jeff's wife Sylvia Hedberg Thomas says it all started a couple of years ago when her husband decided to go back to school. The director of disability service reached out to him to help build a plan that would ensure Jeff reached his goals.

"When Bob told Jeff everything that he would be able to do, Jeff's like 'You really think I can do that?' And I was sitting there going, 'Well yea. Of course you can," says Hedberg Thomas.

Everybody either has or will have a disability to some extent within their lifetime. Technology can and will help most of them get through the challenge of their situation," says Hedberg.

Even though Jeff's tutor Charmaine Jacques helped him out, she says she learned from him as well.

"I learned a little bit of brail from Jeff and I learned a lot about his software that he uses," says Jacques.

This isn't the last stop for Jeff. He plans to get his masters at Stout University.



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"It's hard work. It's hard on the machines, hard on the people," said Eagle River Airport Manager Robert Hom. 

Hom started working to clear the Eagle River Union Airport around 5 o'clock Tuesday morning. 

He's no stranger to spending early mornings in his plow truck.

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Hom tries to remove any trace or snow and ice so the pavement is completely bare. The snowless surface means less slipping and sliding during takeoff and landing. 

"Our runway is 5,000 feet so it's almost a mile long. But it's six to seven car lanes wide so it's like an interstate wide, like down in Minneapolis or Milwaukee," said Hom.

It usually takes about two hours before a plane could safely depart or arrive. But finishing the job takes a whole day, and sometimes longer. 

"You can't just drive your plow truck and push it aside because airplanes have wings that go out further than the runway. So you can't have big piles of snow," said Hom.

A plane took off Tuesday morning around 11:30 a.m. Two more were supposed to fly into the airport Tuesday afternoon. The weather didn't close the airport, but ultimately it's the pilot's choice whether they will fly. 

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Even though Eagle River saw about nine inches of snow, it's just another day on the job for Hom. 

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The U.S. Postal Service hopes you cleared off the sidewalk and steps to your mailbox as well.

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If they can't safely make it your mailbox, they may hold onto your mail for a day.

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Police arrested Kusters in September 2016 after officers found Richard Flynn lying on the ground with gunshot wounds to the chest and stomach.  Flynn later died at a hospital.

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