Program aims at childhood hunger around the worldSubmitted: 10/19/2013

Adam Fox
10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter

MINOCQUA - Hunger can make people desperate. One out of every eight people in the world don't get enough food or nutrition.

That's why hundreds of people gathered at Lakeland Union High School Saturday to pack meals with rice, minerals and other nutritious items.

Some like John Neisen, who works with the Food for Kidz organization based in Stewert,Minn, have seen the struggle of malnutrition first hand.

"I have seen little kids (overseas) digging in garbage piles," Neisen said. "If there is one thing that this (event) can prevent is having those kids eat off of garbage piles."

Food for Kidz formed nearly a decade ago to help get meals to malnourished children around the world. Workers pack meals with rice, minerals and other nutritious items. The bags hold 6 meals.

John Breiten and a friend organized the first Food for Kidz event in Minocqua six years ago.

"What we find is that the kids overseas are just so malnourished, that this special diet was developed for this particular packing," Breiten said.

Barbara Logan has volunteered for every Food for Kidz drive in Minocqua. She enjoys the event because it pulls the community closer together.

"I like the fact that it involves people from about three-years-old to old people who are great-grandparents and so forth," Logan said. "They are all working around the table and all working for the common goal."

Volunteers hoped to bag more than 150 thousand meals. Each meal costs about 15 cents. People in the area helped raise $22,500 to pay for the food.

Neisen says the food goes to children in Honduras and Haiti.

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RHINELANDER - Harvest Hoedown started Saturday at noon at the Woodpecker Bar and Grill in Rhinelander.

The event had a hay maze, horse drawn carriage rides, food, and live music all afternoon.

"I think it's going great. We got a little sunshine right now. We got probably a couple hundred people here. People are buying food, spending money. It's what we're after," said Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Executive Director Guy Hanson.

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EAGLE RIVER - Eagle River hosted its 36th annual Cranberry Fest during October's first weekend.

Organizers say the weather this year brought in many more visitors.

"People come to this whether there's good weather of bad weather," said Executive Director of the Eagle River Chamber Kim Emerson. "And with this year being great weather, we had above-average crowds and it was just spectacular. We're so happy about that."

By 3 p.m. Saturday, the World's Largest Cranberry Cheesecake had already been devoured. Sales of slices go towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. 

Organizers said they also almost sold out of cranberries, but they said they would still have more to sell on Sunday. 

There were also dozens of craft vendors, food and wine and cranberry marsh tours.

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Volunteers at Pointe Basse recreated a historical camp portraying lives of people from the 1700s and early 1800s.

Volunteers from all across the U.S. all had a piece of history to share.

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ASHWAUBENON - Early interest in the Green Bay Packers' proposal for an entertainment, retail and residential district around Lambeau Field has the franchise already thinking of expanding its plans.

The Packers announced recently it plans to develop the Titletown District on 34 acres around the stadium, including 30 to 50 townhouses overlooking a public plaza.

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The land, about a half mile off Highway 47 along Ole Lake Road, was the site of an old landfill that the DNR closed in July 1988. The site has been empty ever since.

Buying the land would essentially double the space Newbold already owns for its planned recreation area.

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MERRILL - Firefighters need to be prepared to rescue people from more than just fires.

People can get trapped in tree stands, water, or a tight spot. 

Local fire departments respond to those emergencies.

Merrill's first Citizen's Fire Academy learned about these specialized rescues Thursday night.

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WOOD COUNTY - Two people who stole a UTV led police on a wild chase early Friday morning. Friday night, those suspects were still on the run.

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