RHINELANDER - New changes from the USDA mean your child sees healthier options in the hot lunch line at school.
In Rhinelander these changes come with a brand new company and fresh choices.
Clothes, supplies and friends aren't the only new things at school this week. The lunch line now boasts a rainbow assortment of healthy choices.
Parent Nathan Mathwig likes the change, "The first day of school I got to check the menu out and I was pretty impressed. The kids have two different main courses to choose from, a full fruit and salad bar."
The School District of Rhinelander also welcomes Taher Foods to its schools. One reason, the company focuses on healthy kids at every age.
Taher's Regional VP of Operations Jim Madden says, "If we start with the elementary kids, by the time they get to middle school, which is the hardest kids to get to eat fruits and vegetables, they will eat more."
Just remember those portions on the plate. You have your fruits, vegetables, a low fat milk and an entrée.
Here at Pelican kids have a new salad bar style buffet they can fill up on with their fruits and vegetables and get a colorful tray with plenty of healthy choices before heading on over to the kitchen for their entrée.
The goal of teaching these kids the new portions is that hopefully they'll be able to carry them on from grade school further on into life to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Parent Jenny Iwanski says, "They're influenced very easily by their friends. So seeing their friends trying new things is only going to be good for them and hopefully that will continue as they get older."
After their first few meals of the year, the verdict is positive. Jenny's son Max says, "Yummy."
Nathan's daughter Madlyn agrees, "I think I want this to stick around at this school because it's really yummy."
Because the learning doesn't stop during lunch.
Rhinelander's new Foodservice Director Pat Karaba explains, "We're also here to make them healthy and give them lifestyle skills."
Something Iwanski likes, "What better place to give it to them than here? They can see other kids eating it and then take that home with them. Say, 'Hey mom, I had this and we can get this.' Get some apples or whatnot."
Changing the way the next generation looks at lunch is something many parents are standing behind.
Mathwig is optimistic, "Hopefully it continues, the kids become healthier and realize that fruits and vegetables are fun and good to eat, it's not just junk food."
Freshening up not only the menu, but also the idea of school lunches.
Rhinelander is also featuring a new fruit, vegetable, and whole grain each month to throw a little variety into the menu.
ST. GERMAIN - We all love our favorite sports teams. But what would happen if you had to dress up in your rival's gear? That's exactly what happened to Bears fan, Jerry Healy.
He's the janitor at St. Germain Elementary School. Healy challenged the students to raise over $700 for charity. If they did he'd wear the green and gold.
“Mr Healy you're unbelievable thank you for doing this,” says Jerry Healy, St. Germain Elementary School Janitor. “One kid said, "all this is disgusting Mr. Healy,” and another little kid who's a diehard Packers fan came up he came up and he's got an orange and blue pair of pants on and goes I'm a bears fan, today you're a packer fan, and that was pretty cool he's in second grade.”
As you can see the students surpassed the goal. The money went to pennies for patients. It’s an organization that supports people diagnosed with leukemia. The challenge brought the whole school together.
“Well I think they rose to the occasion they understood they're helping others in an easy but fun way. They came together as a class, as a whole school and just had a lot of fun with it,” says Jeff Waltz, a third grade teacher at St. Germain Elementary School.
This wasn't the first time Jerry got to dress up as a Packers fan. He did the same thing a few years ago when students accomplished a reading goal.
WOODRUFF - The Olympics might be over, but the Paralympics are underway in Sochi. Teachers at one local school are using the Olympic spirit to teach students about other countries.
Students at North Country Montessori celebrated International Day Friday morning. The students learn about different countries throughout the school year.
"The children at Montessori do a huge unit on geography and world culture, and we used today as a way to express the information that we found and things that we've learned," says North Country Montessori director Candice Henderson.
This year's theme was the Sochi Olympics.
Each student dressed up as a different country and sang songs in Russian.
This was the school's 30th annual International Day celebration. It ended with a potluck meal featuring ethnic food from different countries.
RHINELANDER - Wisconsin will get a new state attorney general this election year.That could mean new changes for the department.
But many of the candidates agree that more needs to be done to deal with heroin in Wisconsin.
Police and prosecutors say the drug continues to spread throughout the state. Republican candidate Brad Schimel, Waukesha County district attorney, believes heroin and opiates are one of the state’s biggest challenge.
"We're seeing more people die from accidental drug overdoses than we're seeing in car crashes," Schimel said. "That is a dangerous statistic for us to be looking at."
According to a Gannet Wisconsin Investigative study, at least 199 people died in 2012 in Wisconsin from drug overdoses.
The legislature has passed several bills this session to fight heroin and help people who are addicted to the drug.
State Rep. Jon Richards-(D) Milwaukee, is one of three Democratic candidates running for attorney general. He believes the state needs to keep going after drug traffickers.
"Local prosecutors and law enforcement are already stretched to the max in terms of their man power," Richards said. "We have to be addressing these new problems of public safety in creative ways and effective ways."
Democratic candidates Susan Happ and Ismael Ozanne were not available before running this story.
Richards was touring the Northwoods Friday talking to media and district attorneys in the area.
The Democratic primary is set for August 12th. Election day is Nov. 4, 2014.
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