ST. GERMAIN - Today many of us at Newswatch 12 joined the ranks of brave and chilly souls jumping into Big St. Germain Lake... It was definitely cold, but the cause for the jump, warmed our hearts.
This year was the 13th Annual Northwoods Original Polar Bear Plunge benefiting Angel On My Shoulder- a foundation started in St. Germain that helps families affected by cancer.
"It's hard to put into words until you see the kid’s faces that wouldn't have an opportunity to get away from their problems, get away from the things that are affecting them, forget about life in general for a while, and just have fun being a kid. Until you see that expression on their face, it's almost impossible to put into words," said Matt Reuss, a popular returning plunger, dressed this year as a shark.
The crazy antics bring in big donations for Angel On My Shoulder.
That means dozens of kids can take a break from cancer in their lives, and just be a kid at Camp Angel, and thankfully, Polar Bear plungers are ready to pull out all the stops..
"The higher we set the bar the higher they donate to us,” said Reuss, “This year $750. A couple thousand over the years."
The annual Polar Bear plunge is sponsored by WRJO Oldies. In the past 5 years they've raised over $250,000 for Angel on my Shoulder.
RHINELANDER - Warm temperatures and lingering snow on roofs doesn't make for a good combination. Around 3 this afternoon the weight of the snow on the roof of the Elbo Room caused major damage to the building.
The awning to the building fell down onto the Brown Street sidewalk. It's important to remember to how dangerous heavy snowfall left on roofs can be this time of year.
“Well with this heavy snowfall this winter there's a lot of snow load with warm weather today the snow melting it created a lot of weight and it can damage structures with all the weight from the snow,” says Josh Schmitz, Rhinelander Fire Deptartment Deputy Chief.
No one was injured in the collapse. The fire department is not sure when cleanup will begin.
TOMAHAWK - The Tomahawk School District will need to make big budget cuts in the next year. The district will need to cut more than $500,000. Rising transportation costs along with declining enrollments challenge many Northwoods School Districts.
“We have a lot of issues in Northern Wisconsin that many districts in the state of Wisconsin don't have,” says Cheryl Baker, Tomahawk School District Superintendent. “For instance in the Tomahawk School District there's about 425 and I'm rounding that off, square miles of terrain that has to be covered everyday two times a day to pick kids up, to bring them to school, and to take them home.”
“That cost is our cost,” says Baker.
The school district does not plan to cut any electives. Instead they are moving from an 8 to a 7 period day.
“We're moving from an 8 period day to a 7 period day purely for economic reasons,” says Baker. “In other words had we not gone to the 7 period day for next year we would have had to of cut entire classes, electives, and or start cutting down teachers full time positions.”
The school district will also need to cut its full time social worker.
Rhinelander intersection could get a permanent stop sign
RHINELANDER - Drivers might need to get used to a stop sign at one intersection in Rhinelander.
The City Council held a public hearing to decide if the temporary stop sign on Davenport and Sutliff should stay.
The stop sign was put up at the three-way intersection during a construction project last summer.
"We put up a temporary stop sign because we had the closure on Kemp, and we sent all the traffic this way," says Rhinelander City Administrator Blaine Oborn. "Once we had the stop sign up, a lot of people in the community started voicing support for keeping it."
Members of the community voiced their support for or against the permanent stop sign at the public hearing.
"People who live on the west side over here go straight through, it slows them down a little bit by having to do a stop sign," says Oborn. "The people on Sutliff that have to make a left or right turn, they really favor the three-way stop sign here because it makes it a lot safer for them."
The permanent signs could be in place in the next couple of weeks if the council approves the move.
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