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.
MADISON - A federal appeals court has upheld Republican Gov. Scott Walker's public union restrictions.
The restrictions stripped most public workers of nearly all their collective bargaining rights. Two unions representing city of Madison and Dane County public workers filed a lawsuit in 2011 alleging the law violated their right to freely assembly and equal protection.
U.S. District Judge William Conley found the restrictions constitutional in September. A three-judge appeals panel affirmed Conley's ruling Friday, saying the U.S. Constitution doesn't require the state to maintain policies that allow certain associations to thrive.
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen calls the ruling ``a victory for the law and for Wisconsin taxpayers.''
An attorney for the unions tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he needs to talk to his clients before deciding whether to appeal.
MERRILL - When you think of movies you probably think of Hollywood, but one man from Northcentral Wisconsin is bringing his feature film to the local screen.
Wausau’s Jarrod Crooks not only makes movies, but he also stars in them.
His latest film, "Dispatched" is based off the Elvis Presley movie, “Girl Happy,” says filmmaker Jarrod Crooks. “My character Jake is sent to go watch my bosses daughter while she’s on vacation with a friend. Then an old enemy is kind of after him while he’s on vacation, so some things happen.”
Crooks made, "Dispatched" on a $5,000 budget and it’s full of romance, action, and comedy.
“My buddy would joke with me, ‘why don’t you just pick one genre man and then just go with it'," says Crooks. "I’m like because I want to make this movie how I want to make It'." "I actually like romantic comedies, I think they’re kind of fun, and I think they’re cute. I like action films because I’m a guy, and I like comedy because Jim Carey is great.”
Crooks is only 28 and has already made 4 feature films. His passion started when he was 12 years old.
“I went over to my friend’s house and he had a video camera. I was like oh we should make a movie, and at that time I was really into, “Wishbone,” says Crooks.
“We’d always remake our own literature pieces. Then I saw my first Jackie Chan movie and I’m like, alright it’s settled we’re doing action films from now on," says Crooks. “From then on it was just a love affair with the filmmaking.”
His latest film will be shown at the Cosmo Theatre in Merrill on Saturday at 5pm.
“The fact that I’m bringing it to central Wisconsin is great because this is where I grew up," says Crooks. "All my family and friends get to see it, so I’m very excited about that and you get to see yourself on the big screen what’s better than that.”
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