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.
STEVENS POINT - Stevens Point Police are investigating an armed robbery.
Around 6 a.m. Sunday morning, police and Portage County Sheriff Deputies responded to a report of an armed robbery at the R Store in the 5400 block of HWY 10 E in Stevens Point. Police say during the initial investigation, they determined an armed suspect displayed a weapon and took money from the store,
PELICAN LAKE - Tribal members from across Wisconsin held a Deep Winter Camp to pass on parts of their cultures. Members from several different tribes wanted to give kids the chance to experience a piece of their culture. They hope the camp encourages younger members to keep traditions going and never forget where they came from. "They're going to be the next teachers they're good kids and we all love every kid that came here and spent time with us. They all learned something and they'll take it back and teach others," said Lac du Flambeau Band Vice Chairman John Johnson Sr.
CRANDON - Forest County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Justice was justified in shooting and killing 31-year-old Brandon Cude on Jan. 4, Forest County District Attorney Chuck Simono ruled Friday.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice released the results of its investigation in the case, and Simono's decision, Friday afternoon.
The DOJ documents detail how Cude swung a shotgun at Justice at close range. The deputy had just learned Cude had felony warrants against him, and Justice was trying to arrest Cude. Justice fired four shots on the scene, a rural road south of Crandon.
"He didn't get a shot off?" a fellow officer asked Justice after the shooting.
"No. He tried, though. Pulled that sucker out and pointed it right at me," Justice replied in an exchange recorded on a body camera.
MINOCQUA - Only about one-third of students showed up to classes at Lakeland Union High School Friday morning, with many staying home after police verified a shooting threat.
More police officers were on hand at the school Friday morning.
On Thursday evening, Minocqua Police Chief Dave Jaeger confirmed the discovery of shooting threats in the ladies' bathroom near the LUHS auditorium. The threat noted an attack would be similar to Wednesday's school shooting in Parkland, Fla., which killed 17 people.
EAGLE RIVER - Vilas County officers can now respond to active shooter calls better prepared.
All deputies and patrol offices now have access to steel-plated body armor, something only the Vilas County SWAT Team had before.
"We want to make sure our staff are fully protected," said Vilas County Sheriff's Office Captain Gerard Ritter. "I never want to see anything happen to any one of my staff. And we should outfit them with the protection they need."
Before the new body armor, Ritter said officers and deputies only had access to soft body armor.
"The weave material is designed to stop or slow down a projectile," said Ritter.
Officers will still wear the soft-bodied armor every day, but in active shooter situations, officers can now essentially double up on protection, protection once only offered to the SWAT Team.
"There has been an increase in active shooter incidences across the United States," said Ritter.
RHINELANDER - Police think an Oneida County man downloaded hundreds of pornographic pictures of young girls using a private chatroom.
During Danial Smith's preliminary hearing Friday, Smith's attorney asked if police had any way of knowing it was his client who downloaded the more than 700 photos.
The state Department of Justice learned a computer near Rhinelander downloaded the pictures in late 2016 thanks to a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The internet protocol (IP) addresses from the downloads were linked to Smith's home on County C in the town of Stella.
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