TOMAHAWK - Friends normally get together and catch up during the holidays.
But three friends in Tomahawk wanted to do more.
They took on the challenge of making Christmas extra special for those in need.
"I like doing things for people because there's a lot of people that don't have anything. Some of us have more than other people. And I think it's a nice thing." said Tomahawk resident, Christine Mikles.
Tomahawk community members hope to make life a little easier for people struggling during the holiday season.
"I think it's a wonderful thing that this town does for the food pantry because there's so many people without anything," Mikles said.
"If we can help somebody, that's a wonderful thing. It's the perfect season to do it."
Patty Tholl, Roxanne Consolver and Sharon Novitski are the women who represent the Three Amigas.
They came up with an idea three years ago to help out the Tomahawk Food Pantry after Thanksgiving.
"We got together and we thought, let's have a benefit. Patty here owns the Rodeo, so we have a place," said one of the Three Amigas, Roxanne Consolver.
"All the trees are decorated on the deck so what an awesome background and backdrop. Then the three of us just decided, well, let's have a raffle. Let's see if we can get a few donations."
They got more than a few donations.
They raised $1,600 in cash, food and toys for food pantry participants last year.
"I know that they are very very busy at the food pantry this time of the year. With lay-offs and now the new insurance rules and that type of thing, people are finding a little bit more hardship this year than in previous years," Consolver said.
"So we're hoping that whatever we do here will lessen that hardship and everyone can have a really Merry Christmas."
And to be sure people have a Merry Christmas; they're giving each family a tree.
That's thanks to the North Country Riders and community members.
"What they do basically is they donate all the trees. We print up a coupon. Everybody pretty much adopts a tree. Then the coupons are delivered to the food pantry," Tomahawk Food Pantry full-time volunteer, Amber Anderson said.
"Throughout this month families that need at tree will be given a coupon. They can come here and pick any of the trees they want." Anderson said.
"We all need help. There isn't one amongst us that doesn't need help. We live in a very unique community in that respect. People here like to help each other." said Anderson.
Saturday wasn't the only time to give back.
You can drop off toys or donations at the Rodeo Saloon in Tomahawk anytime this month.
APPLETON - The U.S. Marshals Service says a convicted sex offender who was wanted for violating the terms of his release has been arrested in Appleton.
The agency says 63-year-old L.C. Streeter, of Milwaukee, was previously convicted of four separate sexual assaults from 1976 to 1985. Wisconsin committed him as a sexually violent person in 1996, and he remained in treatment until his release in 2013 under intensive supervision.
The service said in a statement that he cut off his GPS and electronic monitoring bracelets and fled supervision on Monday, resulting in a warrant for his arrest. Federal marshals and Appleton police arrested him without incident in Appleton on Friday.
Kevin Carr, the U.S. marshal for eastern Wisconsin, says Streeter was "an absolute danger to the community based upon his past convictions."
WAUSAU - This has been Wisconsin's deadliest gun-deer season in the past five years, with two shooting fatalities already recorded.
Daily Herald Media reports (http://wdhne.ws/1HvNth3 ) that the two fatalities brought to an end a three-year series of seasons that had been free of firearm deaths. Four other hunters also have been wounded.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, hunters violated some of the fundamental rules of gun safety in all the incidents.
A man was killed last Sunday in Columbia County when he was shot while passing a loaded rifle to a companion in a tree stand. Wearing mittens, she grabbed the gun near the trigger and it went off. On Monday, a hunter in Waushara County was killed by a stray bullet.
MAUSTON - Authorities are investigating the death of a person who was found unresponsive in Decorah Lake early Friday.
Kyle Lynch, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources warden for Juneau County, says he was called to the scene to assist in a boat search about 1:30 a.m. He also says the Mauston Fire Department recovered the body, which was found in the water.
The Mauston Police Department says attempts were made to rescue the individual, but the Juneau County Coroner's Office pronounced the individual dead at the scene. Police have provided few other details, and the victim's name has not been released.
TOMAH - The Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center says it has adopted another plan to improve patient care.
The La Crosse Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1QMsDMZ) that Friday's release of the "100-day plan" comes almost 11 months after media reports that veterans at the center were prescribed excessive doses of opioid pain-killers and that employees who spoke out faced retaliation from top officials.
The plan, which follows a 30-day plan announced in May, outlines steps for improving access to care, employee engagement and restoring trust.
Among other things, it calls for recruitment of psychiatric staff, employee forums and listening sessions, and opening an employee wellness center.
Several Tomah VA officials — including former Director Mario Desanctis and former Chief of Staff David Houlihan — have been fired since the problems emerged early this year.
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