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Phelps, Wabeno to get help revitalizing downtownsSubmitted: 07/02/2014
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Phelps, Wabeno to get help revitalizing downtowns
PHELPS, WABENO - Two small Northwoods communities will be able to use state-level resources to help revitalize their downtowns.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation accepted both Phelps and Wabeno into its Connect Communities Program last week.

Phelps and Wabeno will be able to connect with similar communities around the state to share ideas.

State-level staff will also visit to offer training for revitalization and redevelopment.

"Phelps and Wabeno, I've been working with those communities for almost two years now in both cases. They have some potential with regards to the dedicated group of individuals that are there working with them," said Naletta Burr, a WEDC Community Account Manager.

We've told you about the Friends of Wabeno group.

The volunteers are committed to making Wabeno a more vibrant community.

"Phelps is not that different from that standpoint, either. They've got a very strong base of elected officials that are working with them," Burr said. "They're working on downtown. They've got some tremendous opportunities with regards to some redevelopment opportunities. Both of them are great candidates. I'm excited that they're both in the program this year."

The Village of Marathon City will also participate in this year's program.

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WAUSAU - Every year, firefighters around the country ask their communities to fill up boots with money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Wausau Fire Department kicked off its "Fill the Boot" campaign Tuesday morning.

The fire department will be at local events throughout the summer to collect donations.

The fundraiser helps with research and treatment for neuromuscular diseases for kids and adults.

"It's kind of a rewarding part of the job. Most of what we do is off camera, you don't really get to see all aspects of the fire department. It is a great chance for us to get out there and see all the programs we are involved in to help,"says firefighter Matt Tormohlen.

The fundraiser also gives Wausau-area kids the chance to go to a MDA camp.

15-year-old Roy Thorson lives with spinal muscular atrophy and has gone to the camp for the last ten years.

You can find him collecting "Fill the Bucket" donations right alongside the firefighters this summer.

"It's nice to see the generosity of the public. It's nice to the firefighters willing to put their times towards this. It's just cool to see a group come together for a good cause," says Thorson.

You can also send in "Fill the Boot" donations online.

See link below.

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FOREST COUNTY - Bringing your pet along to watch fireworks might seem like a fun way to spend the Fourth of July, but you could be doing more harm than good.

July 5th is one of the busiest days of the year for most animal shelters.

That's because fearful pets try to escape the bangs and flashes from fireworks and end up lost.

Forest County Humane Society president Jay Schaefer says don't let yourself add to your pet's stress.

Play it down, and make the fireworks a good thing with positive talk and treats.

"They're reading cues from us constantly. So be careful of your body language and the cues you're giving them. If you act like fireworks are a big scary thing they're gonna be like, 'oh my god fireworks are scary,'" says Schaefer.

Exercise can be another way to calm your pet before the big light show.

Burning off the energy earlier in the day may help your pet go to sleep early.

"Take them for a jog on the Fourth of July. I know it's hectic, but do something so they're not all amped up at night when the fireworks go off," says Schaefer.

Like many humans, pets like the smell of lavender.

You can try diffusing the scent around the house to put your pet at ease.

Make sure you have a well-fitting collar and identification tag on your pet.

If flashes are too bright, you might want to close the curtains.

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MADISON - Republican legislative leaders and Governor Scott Walker are once again set to meet as a deal to pass the state's $76 billion budget remains elusive.

Walker was to meet privately Wednesday with Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.

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MADISON - Democratic state Senator Kathleen Vinehout has registered to run for governor, the first step in officially launching a campaign.

Vinehout, of Alma, filed the paperwork on June 14 to register a campaign committee.

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WAUSAU - Drugs led to four arrests and one death in north-central Wisconsin on Monday.

The Marathon County Sheriff's Office reports a 37-year-old Shawano man died after apparently overdosing on methamphetamine.  

Witnesses say 37-year-old Lucas Groshek and his wife, Carolyn, were shaking and convulsing in a car in the eastern Marathon County town of Norrie.  Mr. Groshek died before getting to the hospital.   Mrs. Groshek, 33, is in stable condition as of Tuesday afternoon.

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WAUSAU - Many of us try to honor our veterans whenever we can.

Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) added one more way.

The Governor visited several veteran-owned businesses across the state Tuesday for Veteran-Owned Business Day.

Tuesday afternoon he stopped at Prosthetic Orthotic Center in Wausau.

He says veteran-owned businesses are good for other veterans and the economy.

"We found statistically that veterans are about 30 percent more likely to hire fellow veterans as employees," Walker said. "So it's good all the way around."

If you are a veteran-owned business, you can register with the state at WisVets.com

That way you can get a decal that says Wisconsin Veteran-Owned for your business window or door.

You also get listed in a state veteran-owned business directory.

"We're branding it, letting the public know that businesses that are owned by veterans, letting them know whether it's in a sign in their window or whether it's on the website, or other ways that we can draw attention," Walker said.

About 390,000 veterans live in Wisconsin, and about 11 percent of the state's businesses are veteran-owned.

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ADAMS COUNTY - Police are asking for help finding an Illinois man who disappeared while out for a walk in Adams County.

Fifty-nine-year-old William Sheeran was last seen near a boat landing on Browndeer Avenue in the Adams County Town of Monroe.

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