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NEWS STORIES

People brave cold temperatures at 14th Annual Polar Bear Plunge Submitted: 01/04/2014
Story By Shardaa Gray


ST. GERMAIN - Bone chilling temperatures didn't stop people from jumping into an icy lake.

It was all to help people affected by cancer.

Newswatch 12 takes you to St. Germain for the 14th annual Polar Bear Plunge.

For a few seconds you feel paralyzed and shocked after jumping into a freezing lake.

"It'll take your breath away, but I understand the concept of it. 30 seconds of freezing cold water is nothing compared to people dealing with cancer have to go through every day during their treatment." said WRJO's Co-Emcee, Amy Linnett.

For 14 years, people who have or are affected by cancer jump into a very icy Big Saint Germain Lake.

It raises money for Angel On My Shoulder; an organization founded by Lolly Rose after her husband died from cancer.

"My children and I wanted to make something good out of something bad. We wanted to start a foundation that would support those living with or affected by cancer." Rose said.

"Our daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She was actually one of the 22 cases ever known in the world," said volunteer, Eric Schoeneck.

"We spent a lot of time down in Madison for surgeries and saint Joe's in Marshfield. After seven months she lost her battle with cancer. She passed away three and half years old."
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Through the support of the foundation, Schoeneck and other families get the support they need.

"Everybody in the organization wanted to make sure we were comfortable and taking care of that we could focus on Jadelyn's care," Schoeneck said.

"It's just a heartwarming experience. That's why we do what we do with the volunteering."

It might sound crazy to jump into an icy lake.

But if you're brave enough to do it, there are some things to consider.

"We always recommend shoes because once you get out of the water, you're back on the snow and ice and it's not good on the feet." Linnett said.

"You want to make sure you put light clothing on because when you once you get out of the water… make sure you're hydrated as well." second time jumper, Margaret Willis said.

Freezing is an understatement, but it's definitely for a good cause.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

THREE LAKES - The 57 year old wrestling coach, Joseph Fitzpatrick is charged with sexual assault of a minor and delivering drugs to several students.

He's accused of giving students drugs at school and at his home.

That's after one student, caught with marijuana, said she got it from Fitzpatrick.

That 14 year old student also said Fitzpatrick had sex with her.

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Merrill police donate carSubmitted: 05/29/2015

MERRILL - A Merrill public safety center can now use a new patrol car for training. The Merrill Police Department donated one of their retired police cars to the Northcentral Technical College's Public Safety Center of Excellence. The donation marks the end of Crown Victoria police cars for the city.

"We've just retired our last Ford Crown Victoria," said Merrill Police Chief Ken Neff. "A couple of years ago, Ford stopped manufacturing the Crown Victoria as a fleet vehicle. For years we've had Crown Vics, but now we've gone to the Ford Taurus and the Ford Explorer."

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THREE LAKES - Eleven campgrounds in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest closed this year after the U.S. Forest Service reduced its funding and services.

The cuts happened because fewer people have been visiting the campgrounds in the last few years, but the Three Lakes Town Board will pay to keep one of its grounds open for the 2015 season.

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WHITE LAKE - Students in White Lake spent the day outside of the classroom learning about invasive species today. It was the 16th annual Spring Lake Day at White Lake. It's part of the year-round Adopt-A-Lake program that teaches students about waterway and environmental preservation.

"Being on White Lake and being in the Northwoods, aquatic invasive species education is extremely important," said Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator John Preuss. "And a good way to reach out to people is through our students and through our youth."

Elementary students from White Lake School learned about the different aquatic invasive species such as purple loosestrife, and Eurasian watermilfoil. They also learned how to prevent them from spreading.

"Those plants spread by fragmentation and boat traffic," said Preuss. "And just educating people so they know the right steps to take and the laws to prevent this plant from moving around. We have 15,000 lakes in Wisconsin; just a small percentage have an invasive species."

Students also learned about the spread of a tree killing bug called emerald ash bore.

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MADISON - The Legislature's budget-writing committee plans to reduce Gov. Scott Walker's proposed $300 million cut to the University of Wisconsin System by $50 million.

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MADISON - Wisconsin lawmakers have rejected Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plan to block the state Department of Natural Resources from purchasing any land through its stewardship program for at least the next 13 years.

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ARMSTRONG CREEK - Liz Wywialowski gets a certain feeling when she comes back to her old family farm near Armstrong Creek.

"You would see me breathing deeply," she says, drawing in a lungful of oxygen. "Even now, there's nothing like clean, fresh air."

Liz grew up on this farm, and now owns the place, though she lives in southern Wisconsin. Her father built the majestic cedar-sided barn with her brothers, finishing it in 1944.

"He built this barn as if it would be the last barn he would need to build," Liz says.

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