NEWS STORIES

All-Terrain Wheelchair Helps Whitewater Student Track WolvesSubmitted: 01/04/2012
TOMAHAWK - This week, a group of UW-Whitewater students is at Treehaven learning to track wolves and other rare animals.

They’re giving up part of their winter break to help the DNR with a wolf survey.

Many seem enthusiastic and dedicated to the course, but none more so than Meg Lynch, who’s keeping up with her classmates in a wheelchair.

“I call myself Megatron when I’m in the chair,” says Lynch.

It’s no ordinary chair – the four-wheel-drive, all-terrain wheelchair powers through brush and snow so Lynch can keep up with UW Whitewater’s biology curriculum.

“I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I like to try new things,” Lynch says.

UW-Whitewater prides itself on being accessible to all students.

The chair, made possible by a grant, brings that accessibility beyond campus and classroom.

After three years in wheelchairs and walkers that can’t get through this kind of terrain, Lynch says it’s a good buy.

“I’m grateful to have this chair, because I wouldn’t be here without this chair,” she says.

Lynch’s professor, Dr. George Clokey, agrees. He believes the chair will build her confidence and help her realize what he calls great potential.

This week’s hands-on course will do the same for everyone here, giving every participants a chance to get out and put their classroom knowledge to use.

They’re learning from Dr. Clokey and wolf expert Dr. Jim Halfpenny, who came from Yellowstone to teach and help the Wisconsin DNR.

“Here at Treehaven, we have a nice selection of animals to work with – grey fox, otter, fisher, deer. That allows the students to gain a lot of practice,” says Halfpenny.

Today, students learned how to identify and preserve animal tracks. They started by analyzing a dog’s different gaits.

After classroom and field training here, the class will head farther north to Cable, where they’ll help the DNR estimate how many wolves are in Wisconsin.

“It’s certainly nice to have a young bunch of students from the University working on these. As we do go forward to delisting wolves, we know we’ll have a cadre of trained people out there,” says Halfpenny.

Although Lynch isn’t sure if she’ll pursue field work after college, she’s grateful for this opportunity.

“I’m just trying everything I possibly can. I’m thankful for being here,” she says.

This summer, Lynch hopes to be Megatron once again, heading to Yellowstone for a similar field ecology course.


Story By: Lex Gray

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The proposal would make e-cigarette producers register their products and show their ingredients to the agency.

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The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the state's chief jobs agency, voted this week to start the pilot program earlier. It will provide loans or loan guarantees of up to $250,000 to companies for projects or expenses that may not be eligible for traditional financing.

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Police: Smoking in bathroom caused school fireSubmitted: 04/24/2014

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After reviewing surveillance video and interviewing students and staff members, Oconto police have identified as 16-year-old student as a person of interest.

Firefighters interviewed the student, who said he left class early and went to the bathroom, where he smoked a home-rolled cigarette.

Police believe the cigarette was used too close to a toilet paper dispenser, causing an accidental fire. No one else used the bathroom after the boy.

The April 16 fire forced the building to be evacuated. Students returned to class Monday at Oconto Middle School.

WLUK-TV (http://bit.ly/1lJIFZH) reports the boy is being referred to the Oconto County Department of Human Services.

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Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit in February 2013 arguing the law is unconstitutionally vague. The organization argues its unclear how doctors should determine voluntary consent and whether doctors need to be present when drugs are dispensed or administered.

Judge Richard Niess is set to hear arguments Thursday morning.

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