NEWS STORIES

Groups donate time and materials to repair veteran's homeSubmitted: 11/14/2013

MINOCQUA - Most Vietnam veterans didnt get a celebratory welcome home.

But a pair of Northwoods groups wanted to show veterans from wars past that they care now.

Veterans like Rich Koch remembers his first time in Vietnam.

"When you first get there you are real scared," Koch said. "You know nobody pays much attention to you because you are the new guy."

Koch felt the same way when he returned a year later from Vietnam in 1970. He flew into O'hare Airport past midnight and was picked up by his wife. He didn't get a hero's welcome.

But Koch knows first hand that people deal with veterans differently these days. Still, he was surprised when a group wanted to repair and remodel his home for free.

"I had no idea what they were going do," Koch said. "They say could we help you out and are there anything that you are planning to do."

An area Home Depot joined forces with the Wausua based Ultimate Sacrifice USA to repair and remodel Koch's home. They started work Thursday.

More than ten volunteers took down old cabinets, pulled up old carpet and removed bathroom fixtures. Home Depot's Jason Kuharske says the home need some work.

"It definitely was needed," Kuharske said. "You could probably live there, but it will be nice to know that they can come to a home instead of just a house."

Home Depot donated around $20,000 in material and labor. They replaced floors, cabinets, vanities and other items in the house.

They worked with Ultimate Sacrifice USA founder Bob Cankar. He used to run a business, but enjoys this more.

"The business can't compare to being able to help a veteran that when they went in they didn't know if they we're going to be coming back," Cankar said.

But Koch did make it back, and now he's getting help from the people he fought for. He believes this is finally his welcome home.

"It's beyond words I can't explain it to you," Koch said. "It's like a miracle."





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Story By: Adam Fox

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Outside agencies will investigate officer related deathsSubmitted: 04/23/2014

RHINELANDER - Police departments in Wisconsin will now need to hire an outside agency to investigate deaths that happen in their custody.

Governor Walker signed a bill requiring the outside investigations today.

Lawmakers hope the new law will prevent police departments from protecting their own officers during investigations.

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The ingredients for a harsh winterSubmitted: 04/23/2014

ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - 4.7 might seem like just a random number, but it gives us an idea of just how cold it was this year. 4.7 degrees was the average temperature for this winter. It's the coldest winter in more than a century.

Its common to see these sights and hear these sounds in a typical winter. But this year, we heard them a bit more. The Northwoods fought through its snowiest and coldest winter on record. What made it so rare was the persistent cold.

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Library requests bids for expansionSubmitted: 04/23/2014

EAGLE RIVER - A library in the Northwoods met their fundraising goals for a new addition.

Now the Walter E. Olson Memorial Library in Eagle River could see changes to their original plan.

The Eagle River city council members told the library trustees to look for new bids.

This could result in changes to the design that the library fund-raised for over the past two years.

Design and Build by Visner in Eagle River designed the expansion plan they fund-raised for.

"I think there was some disappointment on the part of the person that created the conceptual design that we fund-raised with," said Library Trustees President Tina Koller. "But they've stepped up to the plate and are willing to participate in the bidding process. So this is where I think we can really move forward today."

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Kids learn about hospital Submitted: 04/23/2014

MERRILL - Hospitals can sometimes scare kids and even many adults.

That's why one Northwoods hospital wants those kids to be comfortable with doctors if they ever need their help.

Merrill kindergarteners visited Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center on Wednesday.

The kids got to see an ambulance, physical therapy and x rays.

"We try to show them that you know what, the hospital isn't so scary. And we bring them through different areas that they may experience when they come in or they have a family member here. And a lot of times children, if they don't know, they're very afraid. A hospital can be very intimidating, says Jane Bentz, Director of Foundation and Community Outreach.

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Home sales on the rise in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 04/23/2014

NORTHWOODS - Home sales fell in the state of Wisconsin, but they're on the rise in the Northwoods.

Real Estate experts say home sales are up 5% in Oneida County. Home sales for the Northwoods are up 4%. Experts say right now it's a buyers market.

If you're a seller right now you are probably going to be seeing some low ball offers, says Ashlei Highfill, Century 21 Sales Associate. We just encourage people to respond to any offer that they get not to just reject it or be offended but these days we are seeing a lot of buyers coming in and offering a lot less than what sellers are asking for.

Experts say fewer homes are being foreclosed. This allows more families to make first time home purchases.

Its great to see that people are obviously getting back to work so they can afford to take that opportunity to put their family in their first home it's exciting for all of us, says Highfill. We're always happy to see somebody get that first house for their kids we're seeing some people that are making more money now so they're buying a move up house.

Overall home sales in Wisconsin fell 11% compared to this time last year.

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Correction: Northwoods man initially charged with attempted homicide, takes plea deal Submitted: 04/23/2014

LAC DU FLAMBEAU - We want to correct a mistake we made in our Newscasts at ten last night and again this morning.

The story was about 31-year old James Peterson of Lac du Flambeau who accepted a plea deal.

We wrongly said he had originally been charged with first degree intentional homicide.

He actually had been charged with attempted first degree intentional homicide and was convicted of reduced charges.

We apologize for that error.

Witnesses told police Peterson showed up to a party with a knife and drunkenly started a fight.

Other witnesses say Peterson was attacked.

This week he accepted a plea deal.

Peterson pleaded no contest to hurting someone by carelessly using a weapon.

He was also found guilty of a second O-W-I.

Peterson will find out his sentence in August.

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Late start expected for farmersSubmitted: 04/23/2014

ANTIGO - Some farmers get ready to plant new crops around this time of year.

But the planting season could be pushed back this spring.

That could hurt potato farmers in Langlade County.

Some seed distributors expect a late start for crops because of the long, cold winter.

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