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Give Kids A Smile Hands Out Free Dental CareSubmitted: 02/02/2013

Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com


WESTON - It can be easy to take healthy teeth and a healthy smile for granted.

But for many kids in north-central Wisconsin, visiting the dentist is rare.

The annual Give Kids a Smile Day wants to help change that.

Six offices in the viewing area opened their doors for free dental services Friday, including a few dentists in the Wausau area.

"There's people out there that don't have opportunities or access to care, and it's important that we give them those opportunities when we can," says Dr. Alan Domeyer, one of the participating dentists.

"As young kids, it's important to get them involved in their dental health as soon as you possibly can, because if they start now, they'll continue those good habits into the future," says Dr. Julie Graf.

This is the 11th year of the program.

More than 10,000 dentists across the country offered free services to kids today.

They saw a broad range of patients.

"We're seeing kids that have no cavities at all, and we're seeing kids that have cavities in every tooth, so we've seen the full range of them today," says Domeyer.

"What's hard is that, for some of those kids, you can't fix all of them, so you just hope they can get it somewhere else, once today's over," says Graf.

About 75 children were welcomed for dental care Friday in the Wausau area alone.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

WISCONSIN -

Turkey season began last week and hunters have a new option for what they can do with the turkeys they shoot.

The DNR started a turkey donating program this year.

You can donate turkey's to three processors in the southern half of the state.

"A little bit further south of here in areas where there's usually a lot of deer donations and a lot of turkey shot so that we can try and get some good participation for the first year," said DNR's Wildlife Biologist, Jeremy Holtz.

The meat is donated to food pantries. The hope is to have the program be successful and grow to other parts of the state, and potentially here in the Northwoods.

"It may be that meat processors in Marathon, Lincoln or Langlade County would have no problem with that. But when you get further north, it may be less common for meat processors to handle wild turkeys on a regular basis," said Holtz.

The processors use the breast meat. The DNR is asking hunters to not just donate the scraps.

"Processors will be removing the breast meat from the bird and they'll be grinding it up and making it available at food pantries as ground turkey," said Holtz.

If you want to see a list of the processors, follow the link below.

There are also turkey permits still available. Contact your local DNR office for more details.


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MADISON - A Republican-backed proposal that would ban the coverage of abortions for Wisconsin state workers has cleared the state Assembly Health Committee.

The panel approved the bill Wednesday on a party-line vote, with all Republicans in support and Democrats against.

It now heads to the full Assembly for consideration.

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LINCOLN COUNTY - WARNING: Some of the above video is disturbing

In late February, a Lincoln County Deputy shot and killed a man who was shooting at him.

On Tuesday, the Lincoln County District Attorney said Deputy Sam Steckbauer was justified to use deadly force.

The DA made this decision after an extensive investigation by the State's Department of Justice.

The DOJ released video taken from the squad car footage, police scanner traffic, and a 911 call that helps explain what happened that night.

It started with a call from a nervous driver, and it ended with the death of 40-year-old Shawn Igers.

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EAGLE RIVER - Carter Heller considers one room in his high school a home away from home.  The Northland Pines junior spends most class periods -- and even district in-service days -- using the 3-D printers, vinyl cutters, and other machinery in the fab lab. Tuesday morning, Heller learned how his second "home" is about to grow thanks to a $25,000 grant.

"Everything about it makes you want to be in here," Heller said.  "It allows our capabilities as a school to expand a lot."

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WAUSAU - Children with special needs often can't enjoy the delights of a playground. Wausau's Josiah Hoerter's dying wish was to see a wheelchair-friendly playground in his own backyard. However, after he lost his life to a rare genetic disorder, MECP2 duplication syndrome, his family decided his wish should live on.

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PARK FALLS - You won't find store bought eggs or bagels at a new restaurant in Park Falls. 

You'll recognize the sunnyside up eggs, but they don't come from a grocery store. 

None of these ingredients at Valerie Mae's are store bought. 

Owner Jacob Griepentog literally takes fresh ingredients from his family's farm and serves them every day at his restaurant. 

 "The fresh mint. I pick it up and I smell it. And all a sudden my brain is creating dishes I want to eat, and thus I want other people to eat," said Griepentrog. 

Jacob created his not-so-traditional menu using the same mindset his parents have at the family farm.

Curry tree leaves, lemon grass, and fig trees are some of the other exotic plants grown at the family farm.

And at some point, they'll be on the Valerie Mae's menu, too. 

What Jacob can't get at his family's farm, he turns to other local farmers.

"I see 45 days, 50 days, 90 days, 120 days of a farmer's life: wind, rain and weather." 

Jacob says farm to table style dining might be a little intimidating at first, but it's worth a try. 

After all, the menu changes week to week. So if you don't like it, just wait. 

"I spend hours, maybe a week testing them preparing them, whatever the season is." 

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RHINELANDER - Stephanie Schneider last saw many of the dogs under her care two and a half months ago.

At a civil court hearing on Tuesday in Oneida County, she tried to get them back. But Schneider will have to wait at least an additional month for a decision in her lawsuit.

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