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NEWS STORIES

Town of Woodruff Celebrates 60th Million Penny Parade Submitted: 05/25/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray


Photos By Shardaa Gray

WOODRUFF - A million pennies might not go a long way today, but in the 1950's it helped build a hospital in Woodruff.

Saturday was about celebrating a woman with a big idea.

"It's a special celebration this year and so we just wanna help Woodruff celebrate." said Hazelhurst resident, Faye Tenhaken.

"It was awesome. I loved it. All the kids, I had a ton of my nieces and nephews with me and they loved it too." Arbor Vitae resident, Amber Kazlausky said.

This was the 60th anniversary of the Million Penny Parade.

But this day is more than that.

It all started when the town needed a hospital.

"The people of Woodruff got together and they were going to build one. It got about half finished and they ran out of money. That was when my dad and his geometry class was discussing quantity and things," said Otto Burich's daughter, Katherine Burich Patten.

"And they decided the kids wanted to see what a million of something looked like. And they decided they were going to collect a million pennies."

Those pennies were donated Dr. Kate Pelham Newcomb who wanted to build the hospital.

This year the Abor Vitae-Woodruff School kept the spirit alive by raising more than one million pennies.

"It's very meaningful, to relive this and I wish more of the classmates could have been here," 1953 Penny Queen, Donna Behn Bassett said.

"It's so wonderful to hear that they collected a million pennies again."

So the next time you're in Woodruff and you see the world's largest Penny, remember it all started with one woman wanting to build a hospital and children eager to help, one penny at a time.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

VILAS COUNTY - Earlier this month, legislators put a proposal into the state budget that would take away a county's ability to make its own shoreline zoning regulations. Here in the Northwoods, two counties have come out against that proposal.

If the state budget went through as it's written right now, individual counties and lake associations could lose their power to set zoning regulations. That's a big issue for many in the Northwoods. Vilas County alone has 1,300 lakes. The proposal has caused great concerns.

"The concern was that the proposal had the potential for doing great damage to the environment, had the potential for causing a severe problem as far as assessment procedures, and generally was opposed by the citizens-the residents-of this county," said Chuck Hayes, a Vilas County supervisor.

Vilas and Oneida counties both held board meetings last week. Both counties voted to ask for removal of zoning changes from the budget. They argue the issue of shoreline zoning was never given any time to be discussed.

"At the very least, I think the public should have had a chance to weigh in on this issue that affects the environment," said Hayes. "The counties, the municipalities and individual residents, their opinion wasn't sought on this. It was simply put in."

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 06/30/2015

- Find out how a local group is trying to help the endangered Monarch Butterfly population.

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

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander group wants to protect an endangered butterfly. The Monarch March works to save the beautiful monarch butterflies.

The butterfly is in danger because people remove milkweed from their yards. Milkweed is also removed from public ground spaces as well.

Monarchs need milkweed for food and a place to lay their eggs.

"That's the problem with the monarch; it only survives on milkweed," said Paula Larson, founder of Monarch March. "So every time you cut down milkweed, every time the highway mows down all the milkweed on the sides of the roads, they are killing hundreds of caterpillars."

A major part of the work done by Monarch March is to collect eggs and raise them until they become butterflies. The process takes about four to five weeks.

Leaders of the group believe everyone can do simple things to protect the butterflies.

"Do not cut down milkweed; plant milkweed. It's really good for gardens to become a butterfly habitat," said Larson.

The new butterflies should hatch in about two weeks. An exhibit with the caterpillars can be seen at Curran Professional Park in Rhinelander.

For more information, check out Monarch March on Facebook.

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MADISON - Republican state senators are met behind closed doors Tuesday to talk about the three main issues that have held up passage of a Wisconsin state budget for the past month.

State Sen. Paul Farrow said Tuesday that senators planned to talk about roads funding, changes to the prevailing wage and the $500 million Milwaukee Bucks stadium plan.

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COLUMBUS, OH - A 4-year-old girl who was shot in the leg by an Ohio policeman firing at a dog is recovering after surgery as her family questions how the officer responded.

Columbus police say Ava Ellis was hit accidentally June 19 when an officer fired at a charging dog at a home in suburban Whitehall. Police say another relative had flagged down the officer for help after Ava's mother cut herself on glass.

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FERGUSON, MO - A Justice Department report summary has found across-the-board flaws in police's response last summer to the protests in Ferguson, including antagonizing crowds and violating free-speech rights.

The Associated Press obtained the summary, which cites "vague and arbitrary" orders to keep protesters moving that violated their rights of assembly and free speech.

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WAUSAU - Wausau police say a fight over a woman left one man dead and sent another to jail.

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