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Rhinelander Community Remembers Leanna KossackSubmitted: 02/10/2013
Rhinelander Community Remembers Leanna Kossack
Story By Shardaa Gray

RHINELANDER - A young girls struggle will be remembered by the Rhinelander community for a long time.

Tonight Leanna Kossack was remembered by her family and friends.

Leanna suffered from a rare form of cancer.

It caused a tumor the size of a softball to surround her spine.

She died January 28th.

Her mother didn't want to have a traditonal funeral because her daughter didn't want that.

"Leanna wasn't afraid she was going to die. I at that point as a mother, as a human mother, I knew that it was coming," said Jaimie Kossack.

"She turned around and looked at me and gave me that sarcastic look she always gives me. She said, 'You know what mom, if I can do this, you guys can do this'."

Even though this is tough for her close friends, they've been able to remember the good times.

"Even if you're bored together, it was the best moment ever because you're together and not alone," said Carly Walters.

"So we did a lot of siting around and watching movies and hung out."

January 26th was declared Leanna Kossack Day by Mayor Dick Johns.

The Leanna Kossack Sarcoma Foundation will still continue.

Related Weblinks:
Click here to visit Leanna Kossack Sarcoma Foundation on Facebook

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 IN OTHER NEWS

HARSHAW - More than 50 people from Vilas, Forest, and Oneida counties came together Wednesday to learn leadership skills. 

Northwoods United Way hosted the second annual Leaderfest at Rondele Ranch in Harshaw. 

Executive Director Nancy Sattler was excited to present this opportunity to people in the area. 

"We want to offer the opportunity for enrichment, learning, and growth and the opportunity also to network with other people from the Northwoods and to learn from them and maybe they can help them in the future," said Sattler. 

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EAGLE RIVER - A $14,000 donation will help bring kids from urban areas to the Northwoods.

Baden-Powell Northwoods Experience donated the money earlier this month.

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So, the group decided to donate the left over funds to Trees for Tomorrow. 

Executive Director Robin Ginner said the two groups missions line up well. 

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU - A 50-year-old Lac Du Flambeau man faces felony charges for sexual assault. 

Deputies found out about the allegations against the man in May. 

To protect the victims' identities, we are not releasing his name at this time.

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The two victims were teenagers between the ages of 16 and 18. 

The suspect appeared in Lincoln County Court today where he was formally charged with three felony counts. 

The suspect posted a $5,000 cash bond and has been released from jail.

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HAZELHURST - A local Northwoods business works together to make better products than it did when it first began in 1925. 

Tomahawk Live Trap has grown and even relocated to Hazelhurst since then.

Greg Smith and his wife Jenny bought Tomahawk Live Trap about seven years ago.

And the company has been growing ever since.

Sales have more than doubled since Greg and Jenny took over.  But it's not just the sales that have grown.

"When we first came in here, the culture, I'm going to say was toxic," said Greg Smith.

But it's not toxic anymore. Tomahawk Live Trap has worked with UW-Stout and its Manufacturing Outreach Center to form a better team.

"You treat people like people, you empower people so they can do their jobs and you listen to them," said Smith.

Operations Coordinator, Chris Powers was there when the Smith's took over and has noticed the big improvement with the environment.

"We work together as a team to put out the best product we can, as fast as we can," said Powers.

The program uses a "lean" philosophy which helps trim unnecessary portions of a work area.

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The Northwoods Land Trust invited the community on a tour of private and protected waters.

People met up to paddle down Deerskin River in Eagle River.

Executive Director of the Northwoods Land Trust Bryan Pierce said Deerskin River is special because it's a trout stream and known for its resources.

"Our intent is to try and keep it that high quality keep the water quality protected and also provide for both fish and wildlife habitat," said Pierce. 

Wednesday was also a celebration.

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