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NEWS STORIES

Community Rallies Support for Local FamilySubmitted: 01/26/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


RHINELANDER - A girl from Rhinelander battling cancer got a big dose of community love today. Mayor Dick Johns proclaimed today Leanna Kossack day.

Seventeen-year-old Leanna suffers from a rare cancer that doctors are struggling to find an appropriate treatment for.

Today, friends, family, even strangers came out to show their support.

The day started with a bake sale. Then supporters held a rally and walked through downtown Rhinelander to Bugsy's bar to kick off a pub crawl.

Nine downtown pubs are participating with drink specials and raffles.

Organizers say the turnout was overwhelming.

"To support this wonderful girl that's so courageous and so brave, the small community of Rhinelander, our small business owners, tavern owners that have opened up their establishments and allowed the community to come together is an unbelievable feat," says family friend Gayle Wilmot.

"There's a lot of people here to support her. I think she's a really strong person and I'm glad she's here today. I'm so thankful for everybody who's here today, and I think she's very thankful too," says Leanna's sister Alyssa.

There's still time to support Leanna tonight. Some downtown bars are participating in a drink special until midnight tonight. You can get half price drinks with the purchase of a wristband.

The money raised goes toward Leanna's medical expenses, and a foundation to help other kids with cancer.

Participating bars until midnight are:
Quade's Place, Knight Gallery, Big Daddy's, Bugsy's, Buckethead's, Robbie's Place and Sunset Junction.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MERRILL - The Community Warming Center in Merrill finished up its first winter season a few weeks ago. The center provides a place to stay for people in need from November through April.

The guest's ages ranged from 22 to 45 years old. The center is run through the Merrill United Way. The Warming Center's director said its first year went much better than expected.

"It's kind of like building the field of dreams and not knowing if anyone will come to play, or to stay in our case," said Merrill United Way Executive Director Dee Olsen. "But what ended up happening was the community was responsive and we ended up with 11 guests throughout the season with 90 user nights."

The center is already preparing for the next season. They have new blankets and pillows ready for their next year.

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EAGLE RIVER - Many people enjoy freshly roasted coffee. But, the process to roast those coffee beans can be a science.

"We start with green coffee. It comes in 130 to 155 pound sacks of coffee," said owner of Eagle River Roasters Dan Beihoff.

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EAGLE RIVER - Many Northwoods cities need to make improvements to the roads now that it's spring.

Rhinelander wants to do it, enough to impose a new sales tax.

Another local city will make improvements to the road and the pipes under the road.

Eagle River will replace infrastructure on Division Street.

Eagle River's mayor Jeff Hyslop says it's about 70 years old.

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RHINELANDER - Last year, a valve malfunction in eastern Wisconsin sent natural gas leaking into the air. A similar situation in the Northwoods could cut off gas supply to a whole city and be dangerous to people in the nearby area.

Wisconsin Public Service wants to be ready in case something like that happens. A natural gas station near the intersection of Highways 8 and 47 provides natural gas to most of Rhinelander. Workers rushed there on Monday, simulating their response to a leak.

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RHINELANDER - Fields of an invasive plant called phragmites stand all along Wisconsin's Lake Michigan shore. Invasive species workers hope most of the plants stay away from the Northwoods.

But workers chopped down a stand of phragmites on Monday on Highway 8 just west of Rhinelander. The stand had been chemically treated in the fall, a step that workers hope will help control the spread of the species.

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ANTIGO - Dealing with allergic reactions to bee stings can be one of the biggest health threats to students.

"If we were seeing a reaction, for example a tingling of the mouth, swelling of the throat, a visual that a student might give us if they are unable to breath at that time, we would immediately administer an EpiPen," Director of Pupil Services Unified School District of Antigo Karen Baker.

Teachers watch carefully for possible allergic reactions, especially at recess and on field trips.

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Local kids help protect batsSubmitted: 04/27/2015

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RHINELANDER - Seventh graders in Rhinelander will help protect bats this summer. That's thanks to help from the U.S. Forest Service.

Kids in Rhinelander Monday learned about endangered bats across Wisconsin on Monday. A bat expert with Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest showed the importance of keeping bats healthy. The students helped local scientists by building new homes for the bats.

"Ms. Swaney showed us a presentation about the bats with a speaker and now we're building them," said 7th grader Jackie Wells.

"They have predators and it will kind of keep them safe in their little bat homes," said 7th Grader Connor Lund.

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