RHINELANDER - If you haven't already checked all the items off your Christmas shopping list, you should be careful when buying toys for kids.
Buying age-appropriate toys for young ones could mean the difference between life and death when they go to play with their new gift.
Public Health Nurse Dawn Van Den Heuvel says, "Make sure that there are no small parts to it. Even like stuffed animals, its better if the eyes are sewn on and the nose and the mouth. As opposed to buttons or anything hard that could come off and get in the baby's mouth and lodged in the baby's mouth."
Read the labels carefully because tags list age suggestions and safety standards designed to keep your kids safe.
Van Den Heuvel says, safety doesn't end under the tree though..."It's good to have ornaments and lights and stuff up higher if you've got little tiny ones that crawl and might get over by the tree. Tie the tree down so that it doesn't get pulled over and land on somebody."
Also, watch out for hard candy and other holiday treats posing a choking hazard for children.
And even if it's on little Johnny's Christmas wish list, nurses do not advise buying your kids a BB-gun this holiday season.
STOUGHTON - Police in Stoughton are investigating a threatening letter that was sent to a black teenager, with a photo that depicted him as the victim of a lynching.
The letter had a Madison postmark but no return address. The family told the newspaper it contained a photo showing two men hanging from a tree, with a mob watching. A picture of the 18-year-old was superimposed onto one of the men.
MERRILL - When you think of movies you probably think of Hollywood, but one man from Northcentral Wisconsin is bringing his feature film to the local screen.
Wausau’s Jarrod Crooks not only makes movies, but he also stars in them.
His latest film, "Dispatched" is based off the Elvis Presley movie, “Girl Happy,” says filmmaker Jarrod Crooks. “My character Jake is sent to go watch my bosses daughter while she’s on vacation with a friend. Then an old enemy is kind of after him while he’s on vacation, so some things happen.”
Crooks made, "Dispatched" on a $5,000 budget and it’s full of romance, action, and comedy.
“My buddy would joke with me, ‘why don’t you just pick one genre man and then just go with it'," says Crooks. "I’m like because I want to make this movie how I want to make It'." "I actually like romantic comedies, I think they’re kind of fun, and I think they’re cute. I like action films because I’m a guy, and I like comedy because Jim Carey is great.”
Crooks is only 28 and has already made 4 feature films. His passion started when he was 12 years old.
“I went over to my friend’s house and he had a video camera. I was like oh we should make a movie, and at that time I was really into, “Wishbone,” says Crooks.
“We’d always remake our own literature pieces. Then I saw my first Jackie Chan movie and I’m like, alright it’s settled we’re doing action films from now on," says Crooks. “From then on it was just a love affair with the filmmaking.”
His latest film will be shown at the Cosmo Theatre in Merrill on Saturday at 5pm.
“The fact that I’m bringing it to central Wisconsin is great because this is where I grew up," says Crooks. "All my family and friends get to see it, so I’m very excited about that and you get to see yourself on the big screen what’s better than that.”
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