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Craft fair helps with uninsuredSubmitted: 11/09/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

Craft fair helps with uninsured
RHINELANDER - Medical bills can take a family to brink of bankruptcy.

Not everything is covered.

Even if you do have insurance.

That's why a Rhinelander nonprofit organization tries to help the families with big medical bills.

Today was the seventh annual Christmas From the Heart event.

28 vendors filled the main hallway at Ministry Saint Mary's Hospital in Rhinelander.

Ministry Hospice Services helps people with and without insurance.

"If Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance can't cover it, since we are nonprofit, then donations such as these can help kick in for patient care," said Volunteer Community Outreach coordinator, Mel Houg.

"At the end of life that's the last thing you want to worry about. How am I going to pay for the care? I don't want to leave it all to my family. So that's a huge part of it."

A portion of every sale goes to Hospice.

The outreach coordinator says this can help a lot of people.

"This can help out a number of people. It pays $163 a day. We go off of what they can afford," Houg said.

"So it can pitch in for a number of people. Right now we have a census of about 55 people. So that's huge. If we can help out one, that's great."

More than 44 million Americans are uninsured.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MINOCQUA -
You can help the Oneida County Dive Team by grabbing your goggles and swim cap Saturday (June 23) morning.

Swimmers will launch from Torpy Park for the Minocqua Island Swim Challenge.

The race is one mile long, but people can choose to swim just 400 meters, too.

The water temperature will be about 65 degrees during the race.

"A lot of people will wear wet suits and be very comfortable. I have seen plenty of people go without and have no trouble," says Laura Fuhrman.

Money raised from the race will go to Oneida County's dive team.

They are first responders to water rescue calls.

"We just got our dark vision gear last year through fundraisers like this. It helps us be more efficient and safe," says Assistant Dive Team Leader, Michael Fraley.

You still have time to register in person Friday night from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Torpy Park.

Click below for more info.

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CHIPPEWA FALLS - A World War II veteran who spent more than a year as a prisoner of war is finally being awarded the Purple Heart.

The Leader-Telegram reports that 94-year-old Max Bergen will receive the medal Friday. The Wisconsin man says he's overwhelmed and stunned by the honor.

Bergen was serving on a bomb squadron when he was shot down over Germany in 1944. He was held prisoner at a camp in Austria for 14 months.

Bergen suffered shoulder and ankle wounds in the crash, but he had no paperwork about the injuries because he was immediately taken prisoner. Such documentation is needed for the medal that honors troops injured in combat.

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MADISON - High school students from Parkland, Florida., visit Wisconsin to advocate for stricter gun control laws and to register young people to vote.

The students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are making three stops in Wisconsin as part of a nationwide March for Our Lives: Road to Change tour. They plan to hold events Friday in Janesville and Madison and on Saturday in Milwaukee.

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MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has issued a warning about synthetic marijuana products that have recently sent multiple people to the hospital with severe bleeding.

The state has had seven confirmed hospitalizations caused by the use of the synthetic drug since March.


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MADISON - The second Democrat in as many days has dropped out of the race for governor.

State Representative Dana Wachs, of Eau Claire, announced Friday that he is ending his campaign and endorsing Tony Evers.

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RHINELANDER - More than 10,000 cars pass through one of the area's busiest intersections each day: Highways 8 and 47 on Rhinelander's west side.  But next year, all those cars might need to go around the intersection as construction for a roundabout gets started.

The Department of Transportation is considering two options for traffic flow as crews build an approximately $2 million roundabout.

Option 1: the intersection largely stays open as a "T", but Kemp Street gets closed completely.

Option 2: widened off-ramps detour traffic around the intersection to Boyce Drive or Kemp Street.

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MADISON - A judge has sentenced a former University of Wisconsin-Madison student who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting three female students and choking or stalking two others to three years behind bars.

WKOW-TV reports Dane County Circuit Judge Stephen Ehlke sentenced 22-year-old Alec Cook of Edina, Minnesota, on Thursday to three years in prison and five years of extended supervision.

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