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.
WAUSAU - This has been Wisconsin's deadliest gun-deer season in the past five years, with two shooting fatalities already recorded.
Daily Herald Media reports (http://wdhne.ws/1HvNth3 ) that the two fatalities brought to an end a three-year series of seasons that had been free of firearm deaths. Four other hunters also have been wounded.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, hunters violated some of the fundamental rules of gun safety in all the incidents.
A man was killed last Sunday in Columbia County when he was shot while passing a loaded rifle to a companion in a tree stand. Wearing mittens, she grabbed the gun near the trigger and it went off. On Monday, a hunter in Waushara County was killed by a stray bullet.
APPLETON - The U.S. Marshals Service says a convicted sex offender who was wanted for violating the terms of his release has been arrested in Appleton.
The agency says 63-year-old L.C. Streeter, of Milwaukee, was previously convicted of four separate sexual assaults from 1976 to 1985. Wisconsin committed him as a sexually violent person in 1996, and he remained in treatment until his release in 2013 under intensive supervision.
The service said in a statement that he cut off his GPS and electronic monitoring bracelets and fled supervision on Monday, resulting in a warrant for his arrest. Federal marshals and Appleton police arrested him without incident in Appleton on Friday.
Kevin Carr, the U.S. marshal for eastern Wisconsin, says Streeter was "an absolute danger to the community based upon his past convictions."
TOMAH - The Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center says it has adopted another plan to improve patient care.
The La Crosse Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1QMsDMZ) that Friday's release of the "100-day plan" comes almost 11 months after media reports that veterans at the center were prescribed excessive doses of opioid pain-killers and that employees who spoke out faced retaliation from top officials.
The plan, which follows a 30-day plan announced in May, outlines steps for improving access to care, employee engagement and restoring trust.
Among other things, it calls for recruitment of psychiatric staff, employee forums and listening sessions, and opening an employee wellness center.
Several Tomah VA officials — including former Director Mario Desanctis and former Chief of Staff David Houlihan — have been fired since the problems emerged early this year.
MAUSTON - Authorities are investigating the death of a person who was found unresponsive in Decorah Lake early Friday.
Kyle Lynch, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources warden for Juneau County, says he was called to the scene to assist in a boat search about 1:30 a.m. He also says the Mauston Fire Department recovered the body, which was found in the water.
The Mauston Police Department says attempts were made to rescue the individual, but the Juneau County Coroner's Office pronounced the individual dead at the scene. Police have provided few other details, and the victim's name has not been released.
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