Sinkhole Found in Front YardSubmitted: 07/10/2013
Story By Melissa Constanzer

RHINELANDER - Storm damage can be a big problem. After days of heavy rain and severe storms, one man in the Northwoods LITERALLY fell into a big clean-up.

We expect this kind of clean-up after a storm. But one Pelican resident got in deeper than he bargained for today. Dominic Cinfio was checking his property for storm damage this morning.

"I was walking towards the road and I step on this hole and I went down at least a foot, foot and a half ... I didn't know what was going on. I wasn't sure. The more I dug, the deeper it got. Then I realized what was going on, and next thing I know, the hole was at least nine feet by four feet." -9sec, Dominic." says Dominic Cinfio, a Pelican resident.

The ground sank in because we've had more than two inches of rain in three days. Dominic thinks it was an old septic tank since he found brick, metal and wood in the hole. In his forty years at the house, he's never had a storm clean up like this.

"You see this someplace else like Florida, everything like this is happening. I never thought it would happen here. I mean, it just, BOOM ... there I was," says Dominic.

The Cinfio's are getting the hole filled tomorrow. It will cost them about 200 dollars.

Dominic wasn't the only one who had a hard time believing it.

"My husband comes in and says, we have a sinkhole in the front yard and I said we have a what?! He said 'yeah' and I said well how do you know? He says 'I fell in it!' And I thought 'Yeah right!'… I didn't believe him," says Gail Cinfio, Dominic's wife.

Gail was thankful Dominic didn't disappear. But she was also thankful she didn't find the hole.

"I would've screamed ... yeah I would have for sure ... You just don't expect that to happen," said Gail.

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PARK FALLS - Many people in the Northwoods go to church on Sunday mornings, and for some of them it may be begrudgingly.

But there are plenty of people, often elderly or sick, who want to go to church but have a hard time doing so.

Peace Lutheran Church in Park Falls wanted to change that. Since May, they've been undergoing some construction. On Sunday, the church had a dedication ceremony for a special new addition—an elevator.

Now people like 100-year-old Ruth Olson can worship with greater ease.

Before the elevator, Olson said she would get to church by literally pulling herself up the stairs using the railing.

Olson's story is like many. As the older population grows, church buildings don't evolve with them. The buildings are often old and sometimes lack accomodating features for the elderly or disabled, and takes money to update the buildings.

"We have churches where the people are getting older and it's very hard for people to get around," said Rev. Dwayne Lueck, the district president for the North Wisconsin District Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod.

Some parishoners couldn't do what Ruth used to do, and so they would have to worship at a service held across the street in the day care center, instead of in the beautiful church.

"Now all the services can be over here," said Rev. Dale Heinlein, the pastor of Peace Lutheran.

The congregation at Peace Lutheran believed in an elevator, so they paid for it.

"We been talking and planning this for...a long time," said Dick Ross, president of the congregation. "Pretty hard for some of the people, and I think you saw them, pretty hard for some of the people to worship here, so it was time."

"You can see it in their eyes more than anything when they know they have access and when they come up here and just enter the building and no steps, it's a great thing," said Buzz Peters, a parishoner who helped design the new elevator and space.

"We can finally have access for everybody to get into the worship facility, free access, that's what this is all about," Heinlein said. 

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The rule took effect in April for participants in the state's food stamp program, FoodShare. It requires able-bodied adults without children living at home to work at least 80 hours a month or look for work to stay in the program.

The DHS data show about 25 percent of the 60,000 recipients eligible to work were dropped from the program between July and September. But about 4,500 found work through a new job training program for FoodShare recipients.

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Spokeswomen for GOP legislative leaders didn't respond to inquiries about the bill's chances.

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