RHINELANDER - 210 kids in Third World countries will have gifts to open on Christmas morning thanks to a church in Rhinelander.
The Pine Grove Community Church fills shoe boxes with supplies for children in need.
Filling those boxes is part of a worldwide program called Operation Christmas Child.
Boys got socks and tools. Girls will get notebooks and sewing kits.
Diane Mogg is the Operation Christmas Child Coordinator.
"This year we've collected 210 boxes, which is the most we've ever collected. Which is really wonderful for the children," says Mogg.
Operation Christmas Child began in 1993. Pine Grove Community Church started filling boxes 13 years ago.
People at the church get to see what happens with those boxes Christmas morning.
"They take videos of those children opening those boxes. When you see the video, it just touches your heart because you know that they have something that they never seen before, and probably have never had before," says Mogg. "It's really a good feeling for us."
Operation Christmas Child has helped get 100 million boxes to children in Third World countries.
The boxes from Pine Grove Community Church will go to Kenya, Madagascar and India.
RHINELANDER - The Oneida-Vilas Transit Commission will get its long-awaited federal funding installment by October 4.
The timing means no Northwoods Transit Connections drivers will have to voluntarily furlough their pay, but the requirement of 24-hour advance notice for rides will stay in place.
Transit Commission Chair Erv Teichmiller learned the news over the weekend.
The commission is waiting on an expected payment of $300,000 from the federal government. In 2016, that money came in early September. As of last Friday, the commission wasn't expecting the payment until as late as November.
HARSHAW - Oneida County sheriff's deputies found three runaway sisters, ages 14, 14, and 12, in the woods in Harshaw just after 1 p.m. on Monday.
The sisters had been reported missing by their parents Monday morning. The parents had gone to wake the girls up for school, but instead found a note saying they had gone on an "adventure."
The missing girls triggered a search from the Oneida County Sheriff's Office Special Response Unit, Newbold Fire Department Search and Rescue, Minocqua Fire Department, Lake Tomahawk Fire Department, and Little Rice Fire Department.
RHINELANDER - A large open lot on Rhinelander's east side could soon fill in with a chain restaurant.
Cory Moritz-Hoffmann and her husband hope to build a Pizza Ranch next to Kwik Trip on Eisenhower Parkway. The pair of former Pine Lake firefighters got the idea about six years ago when they first went to a Pizza Ranch in Iowa.
They considered pursing a franchise then, but it was more than they could afford at the time. About two years ago, the Hoffmanns contacted an investor and saw an opportunity to turn their dream into a reality.
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