With shortage of pilots likely in the future, local airport hopes to get kids interested in flyingSubmitted: 09/19/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson

ANTIGO - We fly to visit family, go on a vacation, or travel for business.

But what if there weren't enough pilots to fly us?

The EAA says that's a very real possibility because they project there will be a shortage of pilots.

That's why a local airport is trying to get kids interested in flying.

The Langlade County Airport partners with the EAA's Young Eagles program.

For one day every year, they give kids between the ages of 8 and 17 free airplane rides.

The Young Eagles program was founded in 1992.

Since then, they've flown more than 1.7 million kids from all over the country.

Leonard Boltz is a commercial airline pilot and a Young Eagles volunteer.

He says getting kids interested in aviation is important to the industry.

"We lost about a third of the private pilots between the years 1990 and 2010. And if that trend continues, there's not going to be enough pilots to fulfill the needs that we have as a nation," says commercial airline pilot Leonard Boltz.

Kids can fly free this Saturday.

It's part of the Langlade County Airport's 10th annual Fly In and Air Show on Saturday.

The air show includes a performance by three aerobatic performers and a crop dusting demonstration.

The airport manager believes this event is the perfect way to introduce people to their local airport.

"The main reason that we do it is just to promote the airport: to get people who don't normally utilize the airport to come out and enjoy it and have an opportunity for everybody to utilize their airport," says Langlade County Airport Manager Josh Walker.

The Air Show runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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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 bill sponsored by Sen. Duey Stroebel and Rep. Rob Brooks would transfer $47 million in federal funding from local projects to state projects and move $47 million in state dollars from state projects to local ones.

Stroebel says the swap would save money by removing local projects from burdensome federal regulations.

He has been a vocal advocate for doing away with prevailing wage statutes, which require minimum salaries for workers on government-funded construction projects.

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

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The Wisconsin State Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1Ple8j5 ) it obtained the data from the Department of Human Services under the state open records law.

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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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.

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