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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

EDGAR - Marathon County authorities say a woman has died from drowning in a pool in Edgar in central Wisconsin.

Lt. Tim Burkholder of the Marathon County Sheriff's Department says it happened sometime after midnight Monday.

While the investigation is ongoing, he says the drowning appears to be accidental.

The department is withholding the victim's name and other details for now.

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MERRILL - Hundreds of people gathered in Merrill on Monday to honor the lives of the service men and women lost over the years.

"From the Second World War, there were over 400,000 men and women who lost their lives, and it took a tremendous toll on our young people," said World War II veteran Richard Bjorklund.

The ceremony featured a guest speaker and acknowledged those still alive who served. People young and old remembered friends and family who are no longer here.

"Everybody worked together, and we still lost guys," said Vietnam War veteran John Jirovec. "It's hard to forget. Really hard to forget."

For one mother, every day is Memorial Day.
 
"My son Ryan, Sergeant Ryan Jopek, was killed in action on August 2, 2006," said Jopek's mother Tracy. "He just turned 20 and was coming home in a couple weeks, but fate didn't have it quite that way, and he didn't make it home, and we miss him every day."

Tears were shed thinking of the memories of loved ones, remembering freedom comes with a price.

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ST. GERMAIN - A popular Northwoods tradition kicked off its 40th season today. The St. Germain Flea Market draws thousands of bargain hunters each week during the summer.

The market attracts nearly 400 vendors every week. Vendors showcase everything from homemade crafts and artwork to plants and homemade treats.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Last Thursday, 15 members of the Oneida County community graduated from Leadership Oneida County. The nine-month program aims to give participants a better understanding of the county's resources and to improve participation in organizations throughout the county.

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MINOCQUA - Many golf courses in the Northwoods need to work hard to make a profit each year. Cold northern springs and falls mean a shorter playing season than other parts of the state. Many increase their rates near the peak of tourism season.

One Northwoods course went the other direction during the last week of April and tried something new. Timber Ridge Golf Club in Minocqua offered something unheard of - completely free golf for everyone.

"We all just kind of thought, what a nice idea, to just say thank you to all of our customers. (We thought,) come on out for a free week of golf," said Timber Ridge PGA Professional Jerry Collins.

The course was in great shape by late April. Golfers flooded in to play during the entire week.


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WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin DNR wants to know if it has the right plans for beavers in the state. The final public feedback period is open for the new beaver management plan.

The document will guide decisions on beavers through 2025. The final draft touches on topics like population, habitat, and damage management. The current draft recommends keeping beaver populations mostly stable in the state.

Public input for the final beaver management plan is open through June 22. The DNR will also host a public meeting on June 16 from 6-8 p.m. at the DNR Service Center in Rhinelander to take comments.

You can read the final draft of the plan by clicking the link below. Another link shows opportunities for feedback.

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RHINELANDER -  A Northwoods veterans group wants people to remember those who died serving our country. 

The Oneida County Veterans Council held a Memorial Day ceremony in Rhinelander on Monday.

The Rhinelander High School band and choir performed at the ceremony.

Mayor Dick Johns was the speaker. 

Event organizers hope people take time on Memorial Day to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. 

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