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NEWS STORIES

Million Dollar Challenge Boosts Local Food PantriesSubmitted: 03/25/2013
Story By Kailey Burton

RHINELANDER - Most food pantries struggle this time of year. Donations drop after the holidays, but many families around the Northwoods still need help. They're getting that help here, and from all the way to Rhode Island. That's where philanthropist Alan Feinstein lives.

"Mr. Feinstein created a foundation and from that he challenges communities to donate to their local food pantries and he puts up 1 million dollars to match... we keep track of all of the donations, all of the money donations and all of the food. And every pound is equal to $1," said Bill Vancos, a Rhinelander Food Pantry Volunteer.

This $1mil challenge is open to food pantries across the country. Over the past 12 years, The Feinstein Foundation has helped food pantries raise more than $1 BILLION in donations.

"It's an excellent way for people to get a little extra kick in their donation," says Vancos, "If they donate X number of dollars it's really, [their donation] plus a roll-up from the other qualifying amounts."

The food pantry is usually gearing up for 'Cantastic' this time of year as well, but that's been rescheduled for another special event later this fall.

"Our theme we decided was going to be ‘Hunger Games', and it just so happens that the second ‘Hunger Games' movie, is coming out in November, 'Catching Fire'. So we talked to George at Rouman Cinemas and we're going to move the event out to the cinema," said Vancos.

The million dollar challenge runs through April.


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/04/2015

- Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel says he is still considering what steps to take next in reaction to new Obama administration rules designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions at power plants.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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NORTHERN WISCONSIN - Many colleges across Wisconsin ban tobacco on campus. Now, Northcentral Technical College can join that group.

As of August 1st, all NTC campuses ban tobacco on campus, including chewing tobacco and E-cigarettes. NTC staff sees this as a way to protect student health.

"As we looked at the overall wellness of our students, staff, and our visitors, we felt like that shift was a positive shift to make," said NTC Director of Student Development Shawn Sullivan. "But we made that shift with the intention of also offering resources and services to those students and staff who are interested in quitting the use of tobacco."

The change got rid of designated smoking zones. NTC staff says student feedback has been positive so far.

"Students appreciate the fact that they don't have to walk through smoke or see the tobacco use on campus," said Sullivan. "Obviously there are some students who have questions and we've been dealing with those students individually, offering to have conversations with them to get their feedback, because we think everybody's feedback is important."

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MERRILL - Merrill may get a new grandstand by next summer.

On Monday the city sent out proposal requests for companies to bid on.

The grandstand will go in the Lincoln County Fairgrounds near the location of the old grandstand. That was destroyed in 2011 by a tornado. It sat about 1,800 people on benches, and city leaders said those seats were uncomfortable.

The new grandstand will fit between 2,500 and 3,000 people on stadium seating and benches with backs "to provide a much nicer venue for events," said Merrill City Administrator Dave Johnson. 

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MERRILL - Scheduling likely helped the Lincoln County Fair draw more people this year than last.

The fair took place July 22-26.

Last year, the fair was held the same weekend as the Wisconsin Valley Fair in Wausau.

That changed this year—event organizers think it drew more than 20,000 people. That's based on a parking survey. 

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RHINELANDER - Families who rely on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, better known as WIC, should soon have more flexibility when shopping.

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MERRILL - Some parents start to leave their kids home alone around nine years old, but that can make parents very nervous.

Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center held its 21st Lincoln County Safety Day Camp for Kids today in Merrill to help ease those fears.

The camp is specifically geared toward children that are ages 8-11 years old.

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MADISON - The state Department of Natural Resources plans to unveil a new endangered species license plate.

The plate features a photograph of an eagle. DNR officials say the design was chosen from more than 2,000 entries from photographers.

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