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Remembering President Kennedy in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 11/22/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson

Remembering President Kennedy in the Northwoods
RHINELANDER - We will all experience at least one moment in life we'll never forget.

For many people, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was one of those moments.

"Everybody couldn't imagine...What happened?" remembers Shirley Swearingen.

"I was confused and shocked. And watched it on TV," adds Susan Piazza.

Fred Kauzrich loved politics growing up. The news of President Kennedy's assassination came as a shock: "It's something that doesn't happen usually in most people's lifetimes."

Walter Meyer remembers where he was when he heard the news.

"I was working at the Rhinelander Paper Company and one of the supervisors came out and told me that President Kennedy had just been assassinated," he recalls.

"It was parent-teacher conferences that day," says Susan Piazza. "My parents went to my teachers to find out how I was doing and they came out after the conference and they were crying. And I thought, 'Oh my goodness, I didn't realize I had done that badly.' But that was not the case at all."

Sam Metoyier was serving a tour of duty in Schweinfurt, West Germany.

"I was with the Third Division. And I was out in the field and everybody in our forces would tell us that, 'Hey, you know Kennedy just got shot?' And we all said a prayer for him at the time," he recalls. "It was very hard on the military forces because we knew we could expect anything from our enemies. We knew that we had to stand our ground and just keep on going."

When asked how he thinks the day changed our country, Walter Meyer responds, "I often wonder what it would have been like if he wouldn't have been assassinated, how much of a change he'd have made in the country."

Though 50 years ago, the anniversary "brings back emotion and a whole lot of thought about what happened that day, and the fact that it happened shortly after, a few years after, to his brother. That it is real. It did happen. And it's a sad day for everyone," says Piazza.

Walter Meyer sums up why it's important to commemorate the anniversary.

"You have to remember history. If you don't remember history, you tend to repeat it."

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 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - Kids all over Wisconsin will head back to school soon.

However, workers at a Rhinelander bus service say knowing bus safety skills could safe your child's life.

"The song Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round inspired me so much. That's why I became a bus driver," said Jake Kriesel a Rhinelander bus driver who never puts a break on fun.

But Kriesel says bus safety is no laughing matter.
"Bus drivers only have one thing in mind and that is your safety," said Kriesel.

Kriesel drives for Bowen's Bus Service, and Thursday he will be a part of a School Bus Safety Open House.

"Making sure there're safe. That's really our number one job," said Kriesel.

The open house will have three bus emergency scenarios for kids to learn how to evacuate safely.

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EAGLE RIVER - Most of us go out on the boat for a day of fun and relaxation. But to Gary and Shele Fawcett, a trip out on the water means a chance to teach history.

"The Eagle River Chain of Lakes alone is about 350-400 miles of water," said Shele.

"We talk about Eagle River and the things that used to happen up here, but nobody knows the stuff that's going on on the lakes," said Gary.

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EAGLE RIVER - Wednesday's weather made it the perfect day for a group of people to grab their paddles and explore some Northwoods waters.

The Northwoods Land Trust invited the community on a tour of private and protected waters.

People met up to paddle down Deerskin River in Eagle River.

Executive Director of the Northwoods Land Trust Bryan Pierce said Deerskin River is special because it's a trout stream and known for its resources.

"Our intent is to try and keep it that high quality keep the water quality protected and also provide for both fish and wildlife habitat," said Pierce. 

Wednesday was also a celebration.

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EAGLE RIVER - A $14,000 donation will help bring kids from urban areas to the Northwoods.

Baden-Powell Northwoods Experience donated the money earlier this month.

The Milwaukee-based group tried to use that money to save a Laona Boy Scout camp last year, but it wasn't able to raise enough money fast enough. 

So, the group decided to donate the left over funds to Trees for Tomorrow. 

Executive Director Robin Ginner said the two groups missions line up well. 

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU - A 50-year-old Lac Du Flambeau man faces felony charges for sexual assault. 

Deputies found out about the allegations against the man in May. 

To protect the victims' identities, we are not releasing his name at this time.

The assaults took place in the Town of Birch in Lincoln County in the summer or 2016 and the spring of 2017. 

The two victims were teenagers between the ages of 16 and 18. 

The suspect appeared in Lincoln County Court today where he was formally charged with three felony counts. 

The suspect posted a $5,000 cash bond and has been released from jail.

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MERRILL - It might look like Olivia Telschow works alone these days.  That impression isn't far from the truth.

"It definitely isn't a job for a slacker," Telschow said of her work.

Telschow is in her second year of running Helene's Hilltop Orchard south of Merrill. She's been busy pruning 14 acres of apple trees, mowing the grass, and cutting the corn maze four times in the last month alone.

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HARSHAW - More than 50 people from Vilas, Forest, and Oneida counties came together Wednesday to learn leadership skills. 

Northwoods United Way hosted the second annual Leaderfest at Rondele Ranch in Harshaw. 

Executive Director Nancy Sattler was excited to present this opportunity to people in the area. 

"We want to offer the opportunity for enrichment, learning, and growth and the opportunity also to network with other people from the Northwoods and to learn from them and maybe they can help them in the future," said Sattler. 

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