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School lunch hero daySubmitted: 05/02/2014
Story By Matt Brooks


RHINELANDER - School cafeteria workers work hard for their students.

Kids and staff showed their appreciation today.

Students, staff, and parents thank their local cafeteria workers on School Lunch Hero Day.

Rhinelander High School celebrated their kitchen staff.

Here's what one high school senior thought about his cafeteria.

"The lunch ladies are fantastic, they really talk to you while you're getting your food," said Rhinelander High School senior Matt Will. "They don't just like, take a spoonful and just plop it right on there and say "Have Fun!" and that's the most interaction you get all day. No, they actually communicate with you and ask you what you want and then make it perfectly."

School Lunch Hero Day is sponsored by the School Nutrition Association.

It is a day to start off School Nutrition Employee Week.

"Lunch Lady Day, let's celebrate it, let's really get it out there that these ladies really do a lot," said Rhinelander School District Food Director Patricia Karaba. "They do about 1500 meals per day and 600 breakfasts a day in the district. So that's a lot of work."

School Nutrition Employee Week runs through May 5th through the 9th.

Next week you can show your appreciation for school nutrition staff.


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For the first time on Wednesday, one shooting victim told his story.

Collin Cooper, 18, said he's doing ok. He spent nearly seven days in the hospital, undergoing three surgeries to get the leg just below the knee on the right track to heal properly. He wraps an ace bandage around his left calf, which covers the wound. He also has stitches from where doctors made incisions during surgery. He also has a vacuum-assisted closure, or V.A.C., for the wound.

"I can't walk yet," Cooper said. "But they said I can put pressure on it in about three to four weeks, I think they said. But I wont be back to walking on it fully for three to four months."
He said doctors told him the bullet shattered 10 percent of his tibia, a major bone in the calf.

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He says when family and friends aren't visiting him at home, he plays video games and watches TV. He can't yet return to school, so he his doing some work from home.

But when you ask Cooper about how he's processing the shooting at prom, he just shrugs.

"I'm kind of bummed to be down right now but I'm thankful and lucky that it was just this and it could have been a lot worse," Cooper said.

He's been bombarded on social media, flooded with questions and friend requests. He's only posted several times since the shooting, with the #AntigoStrong hashtag that's been trending on social media since the prom.

The oldest of five has leaned on his faith, his family and his friends.

"I'm fine I just want people to worry about Collin," said Cooper's friend Spencer Fittante, 17, who was walking out of prom with Cooper when he was shot. Fittante helped tie a his tie around Cooper's leg as a tourniquet.

"I never thought anything like that would ever happen to us, ever," Fittante said.

Still, Cooper won't let the injury keep him from working this summer or walking across the stage at graduation. He joked about practicing walking up stairs with his crutches. He said he thinks his humor helps him cope.

He's proud of and humbled by the Antigo community. He said there are days when it gets hard, but he's got the support of his family and friends. He wants to move on, but he also thinks sharing his experience might be able to help others.

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