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Building confidence with horseback riding Submitted: 08/02/2013

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WOODRUFF - Animals can make humans feel better.

The relationship can even be a form of therapy.


Sarah Nei has Down syndrome.

Sheís built a lot of confidence over the last two years.

Itís all thanks to a program in Woodruff called Hoof Prints of Hope.

"The purpose is to connect kids and horses and to help kids come out of their shell." said Hoof Prints of Hope Director, Cheryl Vos.

Vos started horseback riding lessons three years ago to help developmentally challenged kids.

"The riding program helps in a way that when a kid rides, the movement of the horse mimics our movement and it creates muscle memory," Vos said.

"So for them it changes their gait."

Sarahís mom has seen drastic improvement since Sarah first started.

"It shows me that she is capable of interacting with others. Capable of asking for what she wants." Dawn Nei said.

Students like Sarah arenít the only people benefiting from this program.

"If like thereís people in my classroom or something, it kind of has the same thing as them. I can kind of help them because I know from this opportunity." said volunteer, Ashley Marquardt.

Someday, Vos wants to have her own ranch.

She would devote it to helping developmentally challenged kids and at-risk young adults.

"My goal is not to make a ton of money at this," Vos said.

"Itís never been my goal. My goal is just to help kids and families."

Classes are every Monday at the Double D Ranch.

Story By: Shardaa Gray
Photo By: Shardaa Gray

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First indoor Easter egg huntSubmitted: 04/20/2014

MANITOWISH WATERS - Most Easter egg hunts take place outside.

But with the recent snow fall, some were in danger of being canceled.

One Northwoods camp found an alternative to keep the festivities going.

Camp Jorn YMCA in Manitowish Waters hosted their first Easter Egg Hunt.

More than 30 kids ran around inside of the camp.

Camp Jorn daycamp director says they got the idea from Boulder Junction's Easter Egg Hunt.

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Celebrating Easter Sunday traditionally Submitted: 04/20/2014

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Some might have Easter breakfast or have their own Easter Egg Hunt.

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Police investigate threatening letter Submitted: 04/19/2014

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Easter weekend brings in more businessSubmitted: 04/19/2014

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The Pine Cone Boutique in Minocqua says they've seen an increase in customers.

They're right off Highway 51 North, right next to McDonald's.

One of the sales associates just started working there.

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34 Acres burned in Township of Cary Submitted: 04/19/2014

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It burned more than 34 acres.

Pittsville Fire chief says it happened around 1:55 Saturday afternoon.

Rock and Vesper fire departments also helped put the fire out.

The DNR also helped by using a patrol plane to spot the fire.

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Police rescued 22 animals from home Submitted: 04/19/2014

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Another three horses were found dead.

Cattle Rescue Inc. will be caring for the surviving horses. Director Bill Blemke says they are malnourished.

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Celebrating Easter in the snowSubmitted: 04/19/2014

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RHINELANDER - Snow on the ground canít keep the Easter bunny away in the Northwoods.

Hundreds of kids and their families searched for Easter eggs in Rhinelander on Saturday.

ďEven with the snow and the slush, they love running around and getting out there and getting the eggs,Ēsaid Nicole Polkowski, the Rhinelander Area Optimist Club president.

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