RHINELANDER - No one should have to face winter without proper clothing. That's why two women in Rhinelander have a pantry full of winter essentials, and they're giving it away for FREE.
"It's all free. We do sort of monitor the bedding and the children’s clothes, because we do run out of those things, but other than that, yes. They can take whatever they need," said Gale Willcox Co-Founder of ‘Warm for the Winter’.
They call their clothing pantry ‘Warm for the Winter’, and it's open the last Saturday of each month from September to February, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
In the past four years Jan Leschke and Gale Willcox have collected, sorted and given away thousands of items.
"We have just about everything now,” said Willcox, “We have skirts and slacks, and trousers for men, and children’s clothes, and shoes, and underwear for men and women. Robes and nightclothes, and gloves, hats, and mittens."
Warm for the Winter began in Rhinelander’s First Congregational United Church, and now occupies the basement of Friendly Village, a nursing home in Rhinelander.
Anyone is welcome to come to the clothing pantry, and there are no questions asked.
"We had a young mother come this last weekend,” said Willcox, “She had some young children and they had no boots, and thin coats, and no hats or mittens, and pretty soon they left with everything they needed."
If you'd like to donate, coats, clothing or bedding, call Jan Leschke at 715-362-7157.
MADISON - The start of a new short-term loan program that wasn't slated to begin until July has been moved up in an effort to help businesses hurt by recent cutbacks at Oshkosh Corp.
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.
The board says it was starting the program earlier in light of news that Oshkosh was cutting 760 jobs from its defense division because of budget cuts being made by the U.S. Department of Defense.
The loan program this year will only target businesses in Oshkosh Corp.'s supply chain
ACROSS THE U.S. - A new proposal from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would expand regulation on tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, not regulated already by the agency.
The proposal, which was released Thursday, would regulate hookahs, nicotine gels, cigars and e-cigarettes. The FDA currently only regulates cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco.
Some smokers turn to e-cigarettes to try to stop smoking. Medical experts don’t know the full health impact of e-cigarettes yet. Leaders at the FDA want to get ahead of the trend.
The proposal would make e-cigarette producers register their products and show their ingredients to the agency.
RHINELANDER - There was no severe weather Thursday, but sirens across the Northwoods were blaring at about 1:45 pm on Thursday.
That's because the National Weather Service held a statewide tornado drill.
It was part of their severe weather awareness week, and Oneida County took part in the drill.
"The sirens are only set off for warnings, in the city of Rhinelander, it's only going to be a Severe Thunderstorm Warning that is affecting the city area," said Oneida County Emergency Management Director Ken Kortenhof. "It's also going to be set off for a Tornado Warning affecting the area."
WisDOT leaders hopeful for increase in Northwoods rail
ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Railroads give businesses a chance to move loads of material for a low cost. Loggers could use rail as an alternative to trucking material, but many businesses don’t get that opportunity in the Northwoods anymore.
Canadian National bought rail in the Northwoods about a decade ago. They have cut back service drastically since then.
Some counties haven't seen train travel in years, which hurts business. Now, those businesses want to reestablish rail service.
In response, a group of counties in Northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan formed the Northwoods Rail Transit Commission.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Drug addicts can look nearly everywhere to get their fix, and sometimes they can get that by raiding their family's medicine cabinet.
That's why Lac du Flambeau police gave a drug presentation at an event for the elderly Thursday.
Police leaders wanted to show seniors what could happen if they didn't keep track of their medications.
"A lot of times the elderly and older population can be victims from this. As the younger children, grandchildren, things like that are you know coming in and taking their grandparents prescription drugs," says Sarah Keuer, a nurse at Peter Christensen Health Center.
RHINELANDER - It won't be much longer before the Hodag water show gears up for the summer, but right now they need to make repairs to their building. Rod Olson says it may cost between $15,000 and $20,000 to make repairs to the building. To watch the video click on the video link.
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