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Northwoods Children's Museum Receives Needed DonationSubmitted: 03/14/2013
Story By Kailey Burton


EAGLE RIVER - Where do kids learn the most? Is it at a school desk, or on a field trip? One place in Eagle River combines the best of both worlds.

The Northwoods Children's Museum is a truly special place. Some, are even moved to tears by it...

"You see kids having a really good time… Once in a while you see them crying when they have to go home," said Ken Nimmer, the museum's board president, "They really like to be here."

As the museum's board president and a retired school psychologist Ken and Lynne Nimmer understand how important playing is for children to learn and grow.

"Kids learn through doing and hands-on, and everything here is touchable."

This museum is the perfect classroom- It's 23 exhibits of fun and valuable lessons.

"Every one of them teach different things," said Rouleen Gartner, the Northwoods Children's Museum Director, "Whether it's science, reading, just how to be a professional in the work-field."

For 15 years kids have ENJOYED learning and exploring at the Northwoods Children's Museum. It's a place where families can connect and have fun. But places like this don't exist without help from the community.

"Sometimes the hardest part is just to find the money to keep things operating," said Nimmer.

Revenue for the museum dropped 30% in the last 2 years. That's more than half their budget- the rest comes from donors.

"When it decreases that much, it really hurts us," said Gartner. "So we definitely have to find other support to help keep the doors open, and keep us viable in this community."

Luckily they've got their supporters. The Nimmer's and an annoymous donor gave $15,000 to the museum. That's a lot of lessons and a lot of smiles. They'd like YOUR help to keep them coming.


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ONEIDA COUNTY - Just over a week ago more than 10 different agencies rushed out to rural western Oneida County for a man threatening to blow up his house.

When crews got there, 60-year-old Kenneth Welsh was sitting on his porch with a long gun, for three hours he held police up in a standoff.

Last week he was charged with attempted first degree homicide among other felonies.

Welsh appeared in court Friday to hear the judge's decision if there's enough evidence in the case against him to move forward.

Ultimately Judge Michael Bloom did decide to move it forward, but not without hearing testimony.

Welsh didn't waive his preliminary hearing because his public defender said there was information she wanted to get on the record.

"He has a right to a preliminary hearing and this is a very serious charge and I wasn't going to waive that," said Welsh's public defender Mary Roth Burns.

For instance, Roth Burns asked Detective Sergeant Chad Wanta, who testified, about Welsh's medical condition during the standoff, since he had been shot in the shoulder. She also asked about Welsh's wife, Mary Butler, who changed her story multiple times. In the criminal complaint, Butler made inconsistent statements about Welsh was drinking and if he pointed a gun at her before she shot him, which investigators concluded was in self defense.

"The wife said he wasn't going to go down without a fight and made it sound like he was really violent," Roth Burns said. "And he basically went down, he never shot, fired a shot anyone, he never made a threat at anyone."

When asked if she thought Welsh went down without a fight, Roth Burns responded, "absolutely."

In the search warrant investigators found several guns, a few loaded, and one semi automatic shotgun. Roth Burns asked if Welsh ever shot at police during the standoff. The detective testifying said no.

The detective also said when crews shot the bean bag rounds at him to try to arrest him, Welsh said, "Just kill me, just kill me, just shoot me."

Roth Burns said there's other evidence she still needs to see. For instance, police flew a drone over the Welsh home. The detective said Welsh aimed at the drone, but not at police.

"There was a drone, I'd like to see video of the drone if that shows him sitting on the steps waiting for law enforcement to arrive," Roth Burns said. "That's not threatening anyone."

She said it's still early, but they are considering defense strategies—not excluding a possible competency examination.

Welsh will be back in court on May 16 for an arraignment. 

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