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NEWS STORIES

A Special Surprise for Birthday GirlSubmitted: 12/12/2012
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

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EAGLE RIVER - While the state of Wisconsin celebrates Aaron Rodgers Day, a Northland Pines Middle School student got a once in a lifetime birthday ambush.

Mackenzie Renkes turned 12 today, 12-12-2012. The next time anybody will get to celebrate a birthday like this will be a lifetime from now. So her mom rallied the troops to surprise her at school.

"It's a golden birthday and it just doesn't happen very often. She is very, very lovable. She's very soft-hearted. She's a big family person she takes care of her little brothers a lot and does a lot around the house so we just wanted to make it really special for her," says Shannon Walker.

Four generations of Mackenzie's family showed up at the school to sing her happy birthday. Her little brother Ryan even got out of school to join in the fun.

As for the other guy the whole state is celebrating today, Mackenzie says it's pretty cool to share her birthday with Aaron Rodgers' special day.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 11/26/2014

- The Northwoods teaching assistant accused of having sex with an underage teen reached a plea deal. Find out more tonight on Newswatch 12.

- Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) wants a spot on the legislature's powerful budget committee. Find out which Northwoods lawmaker beat him to it.

- It's a double whammy for cranberry growers in the Northwoods " a smaller harvest, and lower cranberry prices. What the U.S. government is doing about it, tonight on Newswatch 12.

- Your organization can get some free help solving a challenge or working on a project. 16 members of the Leadership Oneida County program are spending 9 months getting to know the services and organizations in the county.

- And success keeps coming for a musician native to Eagle River. Autumn Skibinski and her band "Only on Tuesdays" started a Kickstarter campaign back in July to help fundraise for an Extended Play (EP) album. Lac Vieux Desert Resort Casino in Watersmeet, Michigan donated the full amount to Autumn's band. The band completed work on the project, and released the EP Tuesday. We'll have reaction from Autumn on her group's success coming up tonight.

We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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Small Business Saturday: why stores want you to shop localSubmitted: 11/26/2014

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RHINELANDER - Following Thanksgiving Day shopping and after Black Friday, Northwoods businesses hope you'll stick around for one more shopping day- Small Business Saturday.

The day encourages shoppers to stay local and help businesses in the community.
Small Business Saturday first began in 2010.

Last year consumers spent about $5.7 billion at independent stores.

Shops like Imaginuity in Rhinelander have jumped on board to bring in customers.

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Wetland restoration plan broadens options for DNR, permit seekersSubmitted: 11/26/2014

WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin DNR puts an emphasis on keeping the state's wetland system healthy.

People and organizations now have a new option for addressing wetland damage because of construction.

When people or businesses fill in wetlands, they have to get a permit.

Before, they could restore other wetlands or buy credits from what are called wetland mitigation banks.

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Balanced plate could be best option for Thanksgiving mealSubmitted: 11/26/2014

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- Americans will eat more than 40 million turkeys Thursday, and that won't be the only delicious food on the table.

Thanksgiving can start weight gain for many people across the country. Dieticians like Jennifer Mikulich with Aspirus say this is the time of year when some patients avoid their dieticians. She believes the key to a healthy day is a balanced plate.

"You know have a balance between those foods that have some carbohydrates and those foods that don't," Mikulich said. "If you're somebody that is a really big sweet eater and you know there is pecan pie and pumpkin pie, well maybe you won't have the dinner roll and the mashed potatoes."

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Intriguing projects neededSubmitted: 11/26/2014

ONEIDA COUNTY - Your organization can get some free help solving a challenge or working on a project.

Sixteen members of the Leadership Oneida County program are spending nine months getting to know the services and organizations in the county.

One of their requirements for graduation is to complete a community project by this coming May.

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Eagle River native releases album with her bandSubmitted: 11/26/2014

EAGLE RIVER - A Northland Pines graduate keeps finding success as a musician.

Autumn Skibinski started a Kickstarter campaign back in June for her band "Only on Tuesdays."

It's helped finance her band's extended play album.

Now, that record, entitled "Break Free," was released this week.

The group credits the generosity of complete strangers for the revenue.

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Milwaukee students protest Ferguson shooting caseSubmitted: 11/26/2014

MILWAUKEE - The family of a black man fatally shot by a white police officer in Milwaukee is showing solidarity with the family of Michael Brown.

More than 100 protesters gathered in Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee and then marched through the streets Tuesday demanding justice for both Brown and for Dontre Hamilton, a Milwaukee man killed by Officer Christopher Manney earlier this year.

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